The last thing I wanted to do that morning was run through mud and do a bunch of obstacles. I hadn’t trained the way I wanted to train. I wasn’t feeling confident. It seemed too hard. I was trying to harness the Nike motto “Just Do It.” Before I knew it we were off and running. When we hit the first swamp, my feet were sinking in the muck. We had to go slow or be pulled under the water. Sometimes the thought of retreating seemed like a good idea. Staring at a 10 foot wall, stopping seemed like a viable option.
There have been many times in my life when I have felt like I was stuck in the mud. I definitely felt stuck when I was in the midst of dealing with memories of the abuse. I would replay my situation over and over in my mind keeping me stuck. I deserved to be angry. I had a right to the hate in my heart. I had the right not to trust. Telling me to get over it, only fueled my “right” to be angry. But the truth is, they were lies keeping me stuck. There was no room for love. We can’t heal without love. Thankfully, God is willing to reach down into the muck and mire and pull us out.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
When we go for it and take the first step, it leads to second and a third. Before we know it, we are standing at the finish line. Having a friend walk through the mud with you is awesome, but it’s even better to have the hand of Jesus reach out and start pulling you to firm ground.
Slowly I began to acknowledge that my “rights” were lies keeping me stuck. I had to be willing to let my “rights” go including the right to be angry. Slowly I began to embrace forgiveness and grace. And, slowly I began to see the benefits of restoring my heart. I had more love for my husband. I had more room in my heart for God. The anger subsided. I was starting to taste freedom.
Starting is the hardest part. Sometimes you have to just go for it. What wound is holding you in the mud? Is it something your boss said at work, something a parent never said? What do you keep replaying in your head that brings all the negative emotions back to the surface? What are you missing out on because you are holding resentment? Reach your hand up and sing a song of praise. Choose forgiveness. Choose grace. Then watch what happens to your heart.
Are you willing to try? Post a comment – share your first steps – make a declaration of change. Oh, to be honest, we had a lot of fun on that 5k and I really didn’t want to do it.