We all wear masks. I’ve been called positive, playful, and joyful. I am, but I am not those qualities in isolation. Only those closest to me know the depth of my fight for joy.
Today was one of those fighting-for-all-I-was-worth mornings. Tonight’s schedule included a special event that would require a public face. I didn’t want to plaster on a fake mask, but no one would want to see the discouragement I fought. I needed to dig deep, find my joy, and be a survivor.
Thankfully the weight loss journey has given me a new, healthier way of coping. I walk, run, stomp . . . and eventually pray. The fresh air, the ground beneath my feet, the birds singing, and the conversations with God help me combat my struggles and deal with whatever negative emotion my peri-menopausal body flings at me.
So I walked to my morning appointment in hopes I would be in a better state for the evening’s requirements.
Much of this last year has been about breaking free of a hard season, not just the car accidents, but also the years of intensity that preceded them. Last summer I awoke for several days to Christmas carols playing through my mind and heart, sensing HIS presence in them.
It wasn’t the season for such music, and I shared the experience with my friend Jill, wondering at what it might mean. As we talked she got excited. “It’s His promise to you, Paula. Remember The Chronicles of Narnia? Because of the reign of the evil White Witch, it was always winter and never Christmas in the land. But when Aslan returned the waters began to thaw. Father Christmas broke through the evil forces. Eventually the land blossomed into spring and summer. The songs are God’s promise that Christmas is coming in your life. Winter is thawing. The reign of the White Witch is coming to an end.”
I’d had much joy during the Christmas season, but in the cold of January I’d struggled to find it again. I began begging God to show me that this promise was true. I share this story so you can appreciate what happened on my three mile trek.
I started off at a pretty good clip, focused on the goal of being on time to my appointment. Soon I was on an unfamiliar route. I knew the area from the road, but not from the footpath. I came upon a frozen stream.
Captivated by the cold beauty, I slipped closer.
And I noticed something surprising for that January day.
A slight gurgle.
The unmistakable sounds and sights of thawing.
“Are you paying attention?” HE said.
“Yes, Lord.” My heart sang. “Aslan is on the move.”
I’m sure He smiled.
I slipped back onto the sidewalk. My heart and body felt light.
And I ran for a mile.