In theory, it sounded like a great idea…a bike ride to my high school teacher’s meeting only 2.4 miles away. It’ll be glorious! I had just gotten over a cold which put me down & out of the gym for a week. Keep in mind, I had only been going once a week, anyways. I slipped in my head phones, and pedaled off only to meet the first hill of difficulty. The first was the worst and I wondered if I should turn around while still in the neighborhood. My legs were like noodles as I turned onto the side of the road. I had to use my whole body just to keep my legs going. This beach cruiser of mine looks adorable but without gears, that’s about all it’s good for.
Then, the wind hit me like a slap in the face. A sweet push behind the back would’ve been nice but it came flexing against me like a wall holding me back from keeping steady pace.My mind ran a million negative thoughts all at once:
Why did I think this was a good idea?/ This was perhaps the worst idea ever. / Even the wind is against me!/ I’m so out of shape. / This is too hard.
With each perplexing thought, God chimed back quickly at each one pulling the relation to marriage as “It is well” came on my iPod. “This was a great idea! Are you going to give up so quickly? Are you going to let the adversity and trial push you to give up and fear? You can do anything with Me.”
I considered His opposite perspective and began to dwell on His comments. Like marriage, huh. Sounds like an amazing idea. Marriage? I was born to be a wife! It’s only committing the rest of your life to someone. Sign me up! Then the first hill comes and you’re wondering if you can make it up. Your loss of energy hits and you begin to look inwardly. Self focus never wins and certainly doesn’t produce anything but rotten “woe is me” fruit.
Then the song chimed, “It is well, with my soul.” Is it well? Is it only well when the wind is on my side? Is it only well when it’s easy? Or will it be well right now, when everything feels wrong and discomforted? Then the words came, “So let go my soul & trust in Him, the wind & waves still know His name.” Yes Lord, it is well.
The breeze hit me with a cooling chill in the heat of the sun as if the Lord’s AC had been turned on. I stopped turning my wheels and let the hill glide me down. It does get easier! Rest comes when you don’t forfeit the trial. I arrived sweaty and told of my journey to my fellow teachers because they saw me on their way in their air-conditioned cars. “Oh, well I’m sure someone can take you home from here.”
In addition to all the pain at stake that could be avoided and my own excuses, I didn’t need someone else giving me a way out. It’s usually during those hard times that the world gives you the easy way out. In my eyes, the way out was taking the long route & I am so joyful I did.
I laughed as a barking dog who had the energy level of…well, a dog, chased me with sprints back and forth down the fence line. Then an orange butterfly, the same size & color as the one I wore in my hair on my wedding day flew right before my face almost giving me a “butterfly kiss”. Pedaling on, I came across these beautiful flowers that looked like purple dyed dandelions. I wanted to pick one so bad to keepsake this crazy experience but out of respect for God’s creation, I left it be as a memory in my mind. I was at the last light before home and a truck with my favorite number passed by with a white horse on the trailer. It locked eyes with me, which felt like forever. I couldn’t help but feel as if it was Jesus Himself, saying at the end of my journey, “Well done, my good & faithful servant!” I oozed with excitement and endurance for the hill down home as the breeze rushed against my cheeks…this time with favor. It wasn’t until 1 day later, I noticed that same purple flower stood alone in my front yard, tall & proud as if God had planted it just for me.