“I can’t get stuck. I have to keep moving. Keep moving Kara. Keep moving forward.”
I was quietly whispering these words to myself as I ran. The sun was slowly rising and this day, today, feels different. I breathe and continue on. I’m now aware I have more strength than I ever knew.
A week ago my world was turned upside down. Just a week ago I was in the midst of peace and near constant joy. I was enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon relaxing with one of my closest friends. I would wake up last Sunday morning wondering if I was in the middle of a nightmare. And I in fact was. Only this one I couldn’t wake up from. My friend was dead. I had watched him die right in front of my eyes. I had sat motionless and in shock for hours on the pavement looking around in horror at the broken glass, the car flipped on its side and blood stains along the road.
I don’t want to get stuck. I will not close my heart off to feeling, even if the feeling is pain.
I don’t want to always see those images every time I close my eyes. So as I run I keep my eyes directed straight ahead along the path. I will not stop. No matter how much it hurts. I’m allowing myself to feel every emotion that comes my way but I don’t want to find myself in a place where I’m overwhelmed by a certain emotion. Take anger for example. I’m really angry right now and I’m ok with being angry. I’m even ok with yelling at God and letting him know how mad I really am. Because I know Jesus can take it.
I won’t run to cheap comfort. I deserve and desire more.
This time I won’t run to unhealthy and temporary fixes to mask my pain. I’m looking to Jesus to provide lasting peace and comfort.
I don’t want to stop moving forward. I want to keep running. This circumstance will not define me.
Eleven years ago I witnessed my mother die in a very similar way. I allowed her death and the events of that day to haunt me and hold me back from love and engaging in true community for too long. I won’t do that again this time. I want to continue seeking my own restoration and healing and I know I need others in order to do that well.
I mourn the loss of my friend. I grieve over what could have been. I celebrate the bittersweet knowing that he is with Jesus. I am still angry most days. But I also know that I am deeply loved. I am encouraged and challenged to stay hopeful by some amazing friends and family. God is sovereign and good.
I may be tired and weary and at times I’ll slow down, but I won’t stop.
I am strong. I’m still running.
I’m too damn determined to do anything but move forward.
Running towards Jesus….because I don’t want to be going anywhere else.