“Don’t you quit now, Bri! Finish it! Just finish it!”
This is me talking to myself while running on the MoPac trail this morning. You see I have this problem sometimes. I get kinda lazy. I see the finish so I think I’m done (even though I’m not there yet). So I stop and walk the last 15 yards to my finish. I love running! Not competitively though. I do it for fun. It’s relaxing for me. The moment you tell me I need to beat a time or a person I promise I will lose all benefit from the exercise.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with depression. Really scary time. Of course I was able to find a good course of treatment; medication and some time with a counselor. Everything I read told how good exercise was for my mind. I learned about endorphins and all the great benefits of regular exercise. Tragically, this added information took all the fun out of my running. It was no longer for fun but for “have to”. All the magic of being outside, the sounds, the smells, the peaceful rhythmic breathing, the zone… it was gone. Disappeared into doctor’s orders. I thought, “Oh I guess its nothing special after all…just endorphins.”
I can be stubborn that way. It has to be my idea and my reasons. I don’t like to do something just because someone told me to. I know, really mature. My eyes are rolling with you I promise. My dear mother who raised this stubborn child knows exactly what I’m talking about. I think my husband might nod his head here too.
Sadly the divine was taken from another life-giving part of my life. Prayer. I absolutely loved praying. I believed in what I was praying about. I believed that God heard me. I believed that He would answer my pleas for people.
And I need to be anchored. But then counselors and journal articles all told about the benefits of meditation and prayer. These experts told how good it was to sit quietly and clear your head. All good things. But with my depression/anxiety it is hard to sit alone, quietly and feel like it’s doing any good for me. And there was no talk of the divine spiritual perspective of prayer. It became a time out and it became all about me. Already, my depression had me squarely focused on me and the last thing I needed was more me time.
It’s been five years since I’ve come out of the dungeon. And I’ve got to tell you, I am taking back my running and I am taking back my prayer. I’m so glad that exercise helps my mind, but I want the mystery. So I run like a child -before the battle scars of depression and before it was all about me. I enjoy the sounds, smells, the rhythm and the zone once again. I don’t think much about what I’m getting out of it. I try to not think much at all. I just enjoy it. And when I want to burst with joy and praise my God on the running trail, I will! And just be thankful and enjoy Him. Even when other runners on the trail are thinking “I’d like to have those kind of endorphins”… I’ll still believe.
Think with me – but not over-think it 😉
Like me, was something stolen from you at the hand of depression?
What would you like to take back?
How did “over-thinking” it take your enjoyment out of it?
The counselor I saw years ago was not a believer. As I began to come out of my depression by telling her of the hope that Jesus gave me, she dismissed me – awkwardly. Thank goodness the Lord had given me the confidence in that moment to realize that I was not a lunatic for my faith. The gospel is foolishness to those who don’t believe. But I wonder if some of you came out of depression believing that your faith was just a crutch and not the very solid ground that your life stands on?
Lets cry out to God and claim it once more!
Dear Almighty God, We believe that you care deeply for us and long for us to be close to you. Help us Lord to cling to that. Let us not grieve the lost years and the lost fruit and instead look forward to what you have for us now. Lord we want to lavish in Your mystery and acknowledge Your power in our lives once more. We come back to you Lord, like little children sitting at your feet. All this in the sweet name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure… –Hebrews 6:19
Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. –Mark 10:14-16 (NLT)