Into marvelous light I’m {literally} running

My dominant characteristic? Goofball!

I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out what happened this past weekend. There’s a fragment of Scripture coursing through my heart: the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). This isn’t what I expected God to do at Allume. But reconciliation, healing and the hard work of peace-making really IS what happened, what is happening.

And might I dare suggest that God is using women to accomplish this ministry of reconciliation within the body of Christ? 

Because if there is one thing I saw this weekend at Allume, it’s that women are weary of strife and division.

We are sick of us vs. them.

We are no longer willing to play the proof-texting, doctrine-scrutinizing, outsider-insider game. 

We are ready–oh, we are SO ready–to lay aside our weapons and embrace each other. We are already loving across denominational lines. We are becoming what we already are: one in Christ.

It’s been a long time coming. But our dark night of the divided Christian soul just might be breaking into marvelous light.

If you’ve read here in the past year, you know I’ve been battling my own dark night of the soul. Actually, it’s been more like five years.

And then I started running. Literally running. As in, lacing up my shoes and doing the one thing I hated most: running.

My legs hated running. My feet hated running. My brain hated running. In fact, every fiber of my being fought against running.

When I first started running, I could hardly run half a city block. I ran for less than 2 minutes and felt like I was dying. I also hated those runner-type people who suggested stuff like: “Hey, let’s go for a run!”

To me that sounded like: “Hey, let’s go poke out our eyeballs!”

But something quite unexpected starting happening after about seven months of running: I started enjoying running. I started looking forward to a long, sweaty run. The hard work of running strengthened my body, healed my depression and–I know this sounds crazy–made me less cynical about God.

Running became a sort of spiritual experience. I was outdoors. I was moving. I was breathing. Running gave me a sense of incredible freedom.

This morning, to celebrate my Allume homecoming, I went for a 2 mile run. I borrowed my husband’s iShuffle. I had no idea what kind of music he had stored on it, so I just hit play. It was a worship-y song. I’m not super into those. I was about to fast-forward when I heard the opening line: Into marvelous light I’m running.

I smiled. I WAS running into marvelous light. I was running IN marvelous light.

So, I listened and I ran out of darkness, out of shame.

I was running like a total goofball with a huge grin across my face.

Your breath fills up my lungs. Now I’m free, now I’m free.

I hit repeat and listened again. I ran and I smiled and yeah, I might have shouted THANK YOU, JESUS!

Because do you know what happened to me this past weekend? I was healed. In community. I’ve been waiting for that for 10 years. I never, ever imagined I’d feel content, peaceful and happy in a group of Christian women. But that happened for me this past weekend.

Marvelous light broke all over me. It was the moment I’d been waiting for: confirmation that my story would be redeemed, that my story would end with God, that no matter how much darkness I’ve lived through–the Light of the world would shatter my darkness.

This is what I know for sure: if God can heal ME–a faith-wounded, scarred, frightened, cynical and disillusioned woman–His love is far, far bigger than I ever imagined.

And He can heal you, too. I’m so very sure of it now.

Run with me.

Run into marvelous light.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5)

  • http://angidoesministry.blogspot.com Angi Pratt

    Love it! Thanks for sharing what God is doing! It definitely encourages me!

  • http://www.mercyfoundme.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Just beautiful! And it was nice to talk to you a bit over lunch at allume!! I too have taken up running and I love the redemption story you’ve shared here…blessings to you Elizabeth!

  • Sally Clarkson

    Sweet One,
    You were an unexpected angel to me in the airport yesterday. Gentle spirit, life-giving words and miraculous hands and fingers (will you move next door), but I was so thankful to have the opportunity to have just a few minutes. I am praying blessing for you and loved reading your heart today. Wonderful.

  • Emily Ufkes

    Amazing post. I needed to read all these words today. Thank you for sharing your journey, the darkness and the light. Celebrating running and freedom and love with you today.

  • Michelle

    Wow, EE. :) This was, like, the best post ever. :)

  • Anonymous

    As a fitness blogger and runner, I dig this post—for multiple reasons. :) Beautiful.

  • Dina

    yay! glad the weekend was a blessed retreat for your spirit!

  • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    Okay…so I’ll admit it.
    It actually did make me cry. But the good kind.
    And I can totally picture the huge-goofball-happy-running-grin.

    “Your breath fills up my lungs.Now I’m free. now I’m free!”

  • Lucie

    Like, like, like.

  • Nancy

    Tears of recognition and JOY for your words here!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jenannelambert Jennifer Lambert

    Loved loved loved hanging out with you at the airport! such a God appointment! This post just sums it up, girlfriend. We need to run to each other, with each other, into the Light.

  • Kelly Sauer

    This was what I came to read; I saw your face in my stream, and I prayed, and EE, I love this and you and Him and all of it. I am sad to have missed meeting you, but this? I couldn’t have been part of this yet. He knew. Oh He KNEW.

    I love you so much. Thanks for loving me too.

  • Anotherlisa

    Well, drat
    I don’t really want/have time to invest in a new-to-me blog to follow. But “into marvelous light” on blogher side column caught my eye, and your writing did the rest.
    LOVE Charlie Hall and appreciate your honesty and grace with words. Now I have to go read your archives, because you’ve blessed me this morning!
    Thanks, EE
    anotherlisa

  • Anonymous

    I tend to read in clumps and I’m just going to have to stop now because I don’t want to cry all night. I love this post for more reasons than I’m willing to “disqus,” but you know. You know.

  • Aprille

    EE: I too was at a conference last weekend (not allume)…and came to find the same freedom that crosses denominational lines. Healing tears fell the whole weekend. I hope you will read my post…I think you can relate: http://beautifulinhistimeblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/leave-it-all-behind/