Imagine you’re running so fast, the ground beneath your feet becomes a blur. You leap from plateau to plateau, grateful to get farther away from where you began.
You slow your steps enough to look back. You’re so far from where you started, and yet, there’s an ache inside that remains.
“You’re not the boss of me!” 14-year-old Cheryl screamed down the hall.
I ran away from home twice. Cell phones weren’t around yet, so the only trace I’d leave was a dramatic note on my pillow. “I’m done with you!” I’d scribble, and march haughtily into the world—an approach I’d adopt into many of my relationships.
You’d think as a writer communication would be my forte. But anger was my predisposition and retraction, my hiding place. The few times I opened up was unfortunately in the hands of fellow flawed individuals. And so I hid behind walls, marinating in fear, perpetuating a cycle where I was “not enough” and “too much”—all at the same time (‘Captivating‘, John and Stacy Eldridge).
I’ve been running for so long. Only when I moved back home did I realize this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. My very own Nineveh.
For me, Asia was another escape, like new wins, new boyfriends, and new towns always were. It wasn’t an ideal I was running toward, but another means of running away.
But here’s the kicker: you can’t outrun your past. It’s only a matter of time before you hit Empty.
The pain of recovery will be greater than the injury, but embrace it and you will be stronger on the other side.
-Christine Caine, ‘The Courage To Let Go Of Your Past‘
I’ve avoided social media since canceling my ticket as feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy from pains of my past—people I’ve hurt; people who’ve hurt me; lies I’ve bought into—caught up with me. But I’m not going to hide anymore.
It’s hard for me to admit that I’m not perfect, or that I still carry the weight of my past. It’s something I fight every day. But I am writing, raw and open, in the hopes that this post will resonate with at least one of you.
You were not meant to live a life in the shadows burdened by shame, guilt, or pain. You cannot change your past, but you can walk free in the truth that the God of this entire universe sent His perfect son to restore your imperfections because He loves you so much He can’t stand the thought of being without you.
You are loved, accepted, beautiful, and wanted. You are not the sum of your mistakes, your pains, or the opinions of anyone—especially your own. You are cherished beyond your issues, whole despite your hurts, and worthy no matter what anyone has ever said or shown.
You are loved not for who you are but for who He is.
You called me bold for my decision to hop on a plane. Thank you for cheering me on and following along here and on Instagram @Cata7yst. At this point, boldness has come in facing the parts of myself I’ve tried desperately to avoid. This is my true next adventure: to march bravely into the extraordinary future that God has for me, one greater than even my dreams could conceive, freed from past pains. Whether that’s in Thailand or Tierrasanta, Australia or Adams Ave., I’ll be ready.
Because I’m done running.
And I’m here for you when you’re ready, too.
“Your love is better than all the world can give…”