Within the past two years or so I've become "involved" with running. In high school I was a hurdler and sprinter--distance running (I considered an 800m run a distance race!) was not my thing. In the spring of 2008 I ran my first 5k, and this spring I completed my first half-marathon. As my husband and I drove through Eagle Canyon out at Lake McConaughy tonight to try to catch the sunset, I began thinking of running--but in a different way.

I've never really been very good at dealing with struggles. I don't like confrontation and usually run whenever a threat of it draws near. Recently Nate and I have experienced a type of struggle we'd never thought we would encounter--having children. You see, we've been trying to start a family for the past two years and well, have been unsuccessful. It's really hit me hard this year as we've been in and out of doctor's offices trying to figure out what's wrong and have helped friends and family welcome new little ones into the world. I've been doing a lot of digging around in the bible this year and have spent a lot of time talking with God trying to find some sort of solace and gather some wisdom into the situation. I am fairly certain that one reason God has dealt me this hand is so that I can relate to others who may be experiencing/have experienced/will experience something similar. And I can respect and even appreciate that. But...as I was processing this whole concept of running tonight, I began getting that feeling I get when I run from confrontation. It's a very unsettling feeling where my stomach does somersaults, my legs grow restless, and my mind begins racing. I don't think I've ever experienced an anxiety attack--but I imagine it's similar to what I felt tonight.

As I talked through this awful feeling with my husband he said, "Good luck running...I don't think you'll get very far from Him." This isn't a novel idea for me--I've tried running from inner confrontations before and I never get far before He brings me back. But I'm glad my husband reminded me of this simple truth--it's not going to be easy to resist my nature to run when trouble hits. I'll continue to struggle, but I believe that God sends struggles our way so that we will draw closer to Him*. I often think that when God comforts me to the point where I feel a little better, my troubles should vanish. But then another month goes by and the dilemmas still exist. If God took away our troubles simply when we felt better about our situation-we would only call on Him when we experience pain and not simply because we love Him. Nobody wants to be treated like this---I am very annoyed by people who only contact me when they need or want something.

I'm feeling a little better about my situation now but this doesn't mean God has taken away my issues. Though I desire to run from my struggles--I know I can't--He still has a lot to teach me and emotional baggage is not easily ditched. And like I said earlier---He has a habit of bringing His children back even those who are tempted to run from Him.

*"We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us" (Paul in his letter to the Corinthians-- 2 Corinthians 1:8-10).

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