February 14, 2011

What the Lion told me

I started training for a half marathon this week, and I skipped one day of running. It was actually my long day too. Saturday: 5 miles.

I'm not usually a skipper of training days, especially long days because those are the ones where I can relax, turn my brain off of life, and often find inspiration for my writing. (Which, on a side note, I have been very inspired this week... I think I may take a crack at novel writing. Fiction has never really been my strong point in writing, I like real life too much but I'm ready for something different this year. And since my husband has been a very strong encouragement to my writing, and since I'm not in school to research and write seminar papers, and since I feel like I have that dreaded block in every other area of writing, I've been jotting down plot lines and character sketches, and novel ideas. Hmm... we'll see. )

But back to my running. Yes, I actually skipped a day, and I'm not put out about it. That's part of the enduring. Sometimes, you just have to go with life. Which is exactly what I'm trying to embrace right now.

See, I really blame Music Man for it. He's my husband. He's been gone for the last two weeks working, with a National Guard drill weekend in between, and so this is the first time we've got to spend time together in a bit. Plus, he was sick, and even if it meant sitting around reading on a couch while he played some video games or watched tv, I wanted to spend time with him instead of pacing on a treadmill for forty-five minutes.

I guess it's time for a bit of our story, and where Enduring is coming from. Music Man and I got married last summer/fall and I moved to Texas with him while he finished out his active duty Army contract. We were going to spend the six months he had left figuring out where our next step in life was going to be. Stay in the Army and stay in Texas? Stay in the Army and move to a different post? Get out of the Army and stay in Texas? Get out of the Army and move somewhere else, like back home? So... we had a full plate of decisions and a whole lot of prayer going on. We weren't in Texas but a month and a half when God decided to answer.

About mid November, Music Man learned that his separation date was being pushed back to January, and his leave would actually start in December. Meaning, he would be done with the Army two days before Christmas. I hadn't found a job yet in Texas, his last paycheck would be January 1st, and we had no idea where or what to do. So we took a leap of faith, Music Man applied for school, and we decided to move back home. Within two weeks, he had gotten accepted for this fall and been offered a scholarship, decided to re-enlist in the National Guard because the benefits for school and life were really great, and we were going to head back to the Midwest.

Fast forward a bit and we're here. I'm still jobless, full-time jobless anyway, Music Man is working two hours away from where we are currently living, which is with my parents, and well, we're enduring.
We at one of those points where it's hard. We're newlyweds trying to get back on our feet again. We looking for a place of our own to live, I'm trying to find a job in this economy, and we're still trying to pay our bills on a part-time and full-time minimum wage jobs.

But the crazy part is, we are both starting to feel peace about this. Ideally, this is not where we want to be: living with family and two hours apart during the week. But we're following God's direction. And I know that we are following because in December Music Man found out his name wasn't supposed to come out on the early separation list. His superiors have no idea how it got there. But we do. God had a hand it. There is a reason we are here. Now. There is a reason we are struggling.
God often calls us to struggle. In fact, he has the audacity to tell us to consider it pure joy. Pure Joy when we are broke and homeless and jobless because we will grow in perseverance if we do.
And so, I am enduring. We are enduring. And this morning I woke up with Aslan telling me, "Courage! Courage, brave heart!"

So yes, I skipped a day of running. And I skipped it on purpose.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
-James 1:2-8