I had a bad weekend.  I felt defeated.  I felt smaller than I have in months.  It was easy to give in to feelings of shame and failure.  But in my quiet place of defeat, God offered a moment of clarity—I’m alive, I can think, feel and jump, usually without peeing my pants, and I can keep working to do what I want to do in this world.

In light of my new place of liberation, I made a power playlist for my run.  Every song captured a piece of what I want to be, what I feel I’m made to be, and a reminder that I’m more than what I often hear about myself. 

It’s my anti-shame playlist.  Brene Brown would be proud.

I was so revved up that I accidentally sprinted the 5 miles.  And now I hate my life and my legs a little. 

Awkwardly, running is my karaoke time—I literally sing to passing cars.  I dance, often waving my hands in the air and running like Phoebe from Friends.  I look like a cross between a chased victim in a horror film and one of those people convinced they’re always in a music video.

Two days after my personal freedom rally, I sat in my bathroom and cried.  My world of bright starts gave way to feelings of being overwhelmed and unproductive.  I felt emotionally buried- it’s a quicksand season where I’m fighting moment-by-moment not to be swallowed.

And I realized, yet again, that I am my own worst enemy.

Often, I am afraid I am circumstantially blocked.  Often, I’m afraid my flaws hold me back.

Why do I listen to the expectations of others?  Why do I pay attention to imaginary limitations?

The life I have, the circumstances I’m in, these are the very instruments I have with which I can create and live and love.  These squeezing moments, the joys and the challenges, are all meant to be fuel in the pursuit of my calling.

There’s no place in my life, no point in my journey, no circumstance in which I find myself that I can’t be who I was made to be.

And I don’t need a stress-free life in order to live, parent, love, teach and write.

I can pay attention to what I don’t have, or I can use what I do have to run after what I want.

I told a friend about my feelings of self-defeat.  I said that the only thing I’m good at is not caring when people see me in my rare fitness form of dance-running.

And he said, “Well, just live like you run.”

Our schedule limitations, relational limitations, job struggles, depression, financial difficulty or even regrets aren’t enough to keep us from running—even if we run like crazy, uncoordinated people.

God always provides what we need even in positions of flux.  So, today, get up and run.

And then tomorrow, run some more.