I have difficulty with all things technical, and blogging, both conceptually and in actuality, is pretty far out of my comfort zone. I will be amazed if I am able to make what I type on this screen show up on a page entitled, "Running With Jesus." That said, I have admired my friends' abilities to manage blogspots at which they post random thoughts for anyone, or for no one at all. With the hope that someone will be reading this, I felt the need to try it out myself because there's something I want to tell you about.
The desire to create this blog is borne of many long runs during which I have reflected upon my relationship with Jesus and my strong desire for everyone to know Him like I do, especially my friends and family. The difficulty in telling people about Jesus, however, is that soon into a conversation which goes something like me saying, "Hey [brother/sister/friend], Jesus is my savior," the other person quickly excuses themselves in shock and horror, almost embarrassed for me, for bringing that up. They quickly make their getaway, and subsequently write me off as some kind of freak. Which I most definitely am not. Unless you mean of the Jesus variety. Then I guess I am. More than one person has walked away from the annual family Christmas party shaking their head and wondering, "What happened to Mo this year? She's like some...some...Jesus Freak." It's like they're afraid they've lost me.
Well, I'm not exactly sure what a Jesus Freak looks like. Back in the 1970s, I think people thought we shaved our heads and wore white robes to hand out flowers in the local airport. Nope. And I don't know who those folks were, but rest assured, I was leery of them and their creepy smiles, too. If its any consolation to those of you who have never met me in person but were just starting to enjoy reading this, people never seem to guess that I'm a Jesus Freak. I guess that's a good thing. I like to catch 'em off guard!
If people listen very carefully when I speak, though, there are clues to my true identity. For example, I never say, "Thank God!," because, let's face it, everyone says that, right? I say, "Praise God!" which makes people just a little bit uneasy but they still haven't written me off entirely. Sometimes they give me a confused nod and let the remark pass, trying not to read anything into it. And at the end of my voicemail recording, I say "have a blessed day." Unfortunately, I never get to see people's faces when they hear this, for the obvious reason, but my non-Jesus Freak friends have never asked me about it so maybe they pretend they heard it incorrectly. Whatever.
If you're still reading this despite the fact that I might be a Jesus Freak, I'm really, really glad. In future posts, I'll tell you how I became a Jesus Freak, because I wasn't always. In fact, if we can agree that Jesus is the Higher Power, well, let's just say that I used to run with the lower power, if you know what I mean. But this story isn't about me, it's about Jesus, and how He saved me from a pretty horrible existence. And by horrible, I mean horrible. So horrible, that one day it occurred to me that I was probably going to eventually kill myself. And I was okay with that. Anything seemed better than living. another. day.
Why and how I reached this level of despondency will be the source of my future posts. For now, let's just say that I couldn't face my life on its own terms, which included the diagnosis of my middle son with a progressive neuromuscular disease, and the death of my youngest son from that very same disease. Throw in there my father's death after a long battle with cancer and a propensity toward depression and addiction, and you've got all the makings of a trainwreck.
And wreck that train, I did. For almost two solid years, I drove that train off the track, off bridges, and full steam ahead into other trains. And each time, somehow, I managed to get back up, brush myself off, and live to tell about it.
Those days were a long way from Running With Jesus. But you know what? I think He had me marked. When I first started going to Zarephath Christian Church shortly after I got sober, the pastor, Rob Cruver, spoke about being pursued by Jesus. When I heard that, I breathed a big sigh of relief. Maybe I wasn't crazy, afterall. I had a target on my back and Jesus was coming after me. HE was pursuing ME!
Maybe you also have a target on your back. The very fact that you are here, reading this, might suggest that you do; that this morning, or afternoon, or whenever you're reading this, God brought you here, to my newly created blogspot, to hear my story.
Maybe today will be the start of YOUR story!