I love the process of figuring things out. I want to know why we do what we do.
This summer, I found the phrase, “I just want to run away,” whispered in a text to a friend and stated with tension in conversations with others. I confided in more than one person. The statement was always accompanied by angst in my spirit. I found myself returning to reminders from other friends: “Breathe. Just breathe.” I often wore the necklace that was gifted to me by my friend, Della. It was a physical reminder to … calm.down. To be honest, the “run away” thought concerned me. Because, I’ve never been one to run away from messes. But, when things got tough and I didn’t know what to do or what to think or how to handle what was going on … I found myself thinking, “I just want to run away.”
So, I began to question. Why did I want to run away? What was I running from? Where did I want to go? Why would I prefer to be there than where I currently was? How would the other destination be better? Would it actually help me to go … because … eventually I would have to return home.
The answer to the question “Where did I want to go?” … came fairly easy. I wanted to camp. After several years of wonderful adventures … this summer felt dry and still. Lack of traveling money and a weak vehicle left me unable to “go.” I learned a long time ago that living small was more important than leaving my children. So, I preferred to stay home with Joy than go off to work. I would rather do without than have her bounced from place to place all summer … or sit at home alone. And last year was a terrible year in school for Joy. I was asked to bring Joy home again to homeschool (though, those plans changed) so I knew a job wasn’t in the future for fall. This meant … being still all summer and fall.
And I could feel … an emptiness in my soul.
Why did I want to camp? I pinpointed that, when I camp, I feel most connected to God. A hotel is not an escape. And a cabin in the woods is not an escape. It is specific for me: tent camping is when I feel most close to God. When there is only a thin fiber between my body and the great expanse of creation is when I feel Him. I inhale the dew when I breathe. He surrounds me in the night air when I sleep. He cradles me with the lapping of waves at the beach or the stealthy nocturnal movement of life so close. God is right.there.
And when I camp, I leave absolutely everything else behind. There is nothing to clean or tidy. I don’t have to replace the toilet paper when the roll spins empty. I don’t have to stack towels that others have left around. I don’t have to worry about being in the way when house cleaning comes to tidy. I don’t have to wipe down a kitchen counter or tell anyone to turn off the television. I crawl out of my bed and pull up the covers and the bedroom is clean. I cook and clean scantily. The “mother/female-in-charge” duty is very, very minimal. And, when camping, there is never this draw to just sit around the tent site. We get up and we are ready to head off on an adventure! There are trails to blaze, paths to explore and adventures to be experienced. It’s a wonderful thing! It is the greatest freedom I know.
So, I realized that
I didn’t want to “run away from ….. ”
I wanted to “run to …. God.”
One thing I realized was that this feeling of wanting to run away was accompanied by intricacies in relationships – rejection. 2012 brought with it several male rejections. And I’m such a FIGHTER! I WANT relationships to work. I WANT to stick it out. I WANT to work through the tough stuff. But, each of these men, in their own way, said, “You’re too much.” “You’re too much work.” “I don’t want you to ___________. I don’t like that. I want you to __________.” And “________” would leave me … without authenticity. It would mean being someone I was not.
I’m finished with that. I’m just too tired to try to be someone I am not. I’m going to do my best … to just be myself.
And if I never, ever find anyone who likes me for who I am … so be it.
And this running away …. was more of a “rejuvenating” or “refueling.” When I camp, I come home new and whole and relaxed. It’s like an entire weekend of quiet time with God.
And during this season when I am unable to camp, I find that same release and connection
when I run for exercise.
I am outside without interruption.
I can think and fellowship and hear from God.
He speaks to me with stories of spiritual/physical parallels.
I see Him in creation around me
and He speaks to my soul in ways that I cannot hear in other environments.
It’s a wonderful thing!
I am really looking forward to spring. I hope that this next year will be sprinkled with weekend camping adventures. It’s been too long. But, I’m thankful that God has shown me some answers … to the whys and whens in my world. And I’m thankful for my morning jaunts with Him, as well.