If only I had spent more actual time rather than figurative time running. I was running away from feelings. Running away from truth. Ignoring, with wild abandon, logic and sense and reality. I am a fixer and a please-er and a responsible one. I was prideful. I was confident that if I just tried hard enough, sacrificed enough, learned enough, gave away enough of myself, I could make things work out. Or at least I could live with the consequences, find what serenity I could find and make the best of things. If anything went right I was convinced in my own mind that it was now all better and everything would be coming up roses from now on.
Then somewhere along the way I got too old to run. I got too fragile to handle and 'take' things. I became weak and sad and confused. I told God numerous times that His burden wasn't easy and His yoke wasn't light. It was killing me. I wanted to be rescued like I had so long tried to rescue others. I needed help. I could barely hobble along the path, let alone run. So I stepped off the path.
This isn't the life I had planned. It isn't what I had envisioned. God showed me another way. Accepting this side path took me time. I went to many people wiser than I am. I was told that I would need all of my faith and trust and hope. I needed to turn my will and my life over to God. It required humility to let myself be in the position of one who is judged harshly and even despised. Some people blame me for everything. Some people would curse me and spit upon me if they could. I am learning to unite those sufferings of mine with those of Christ.
I am not trying to run and carry everyone or anyone else these days. The burden has gotten easy and the yoke is so light. Or lighter-ish. For a while I thought since I have taken this side path, I would have nothing to share, that I was shame, I was the woman at the well. I thought that I should shut my mouth, close up my keyboard and slink away.
And I am, that woman at the well although I intend to have no more husbands. I have concluded that I am not a good or even reasonable judge of character. Marriage for me was hard and sad and painful. I don't look to take that journey again. Perhaps I am just not good at running with a partner.
But, the woman at the well, despite her poor choices, had something to share. I don't want to advocate that anyone else take the road I am on. It is hard and painful and rocky. If there was any way I thought I could answer God's call and not take this path, I would do it. I have tried to ignore God's message to me for nearly 40 years of my life.
But, it is important for me to be clear that I have not abandoned my faith. I intend to investigate and work to heal with my church. And perhaps someday my suffering will be recognized and acknowledged and perhaps I will remain a poor sinner throughout my life. But, we are all sinners and none of us deserve the graces we receive. Any one of us might be called out of our plans and sent on some other road. Sometimes it is time to stop running and sit in prayer and adoration and let the God of the universe work in our lives.