of pines, and sorrows, and peace

it’s been a long weekend, and today didn’t start off the week too much better.

So today, when I felt like I went through the 9 hour shift in a fog I drove down the road to the first starbucks I could find and wandered inside, barely unclipping my nametage before reaching the counter managed by a teenager with a plastic smile. I stumbled through my order, mind racing over the two options that always soothe my soul, and then settled on a soy hazelnut latte with a pumpkin scone on the side. Coffee in hand I went out the door and back to my perfect little car that I will relinquish in just over a month.

With the window cranked down and my radio just a little too loud, I went to lonely roads headed out to the country. I needed to clear my head, or maybe run through the thoughts that have been ricocheting through my brain for days. I soared past the Pinery, following a train of cars that were dusty and unscathed by the scraps kicked up on the roadside. And suddenly they went left while I went right. Curling around two lane roads and dropping down steeper hills than I would have expected, I found myself first in Franktown and then Elizabeth. I left Douglas County in my need to run, with my mother’s words ringing through my head despite Coldplay singing in surround sound that he knows Saint Peter “won’t call my name.”

This weekend was long and hard and this week doesn’t seem to be looking up. I said I wanted to go, last night I cried that I just wnated to go to Latin America, that I was going to find a flight and flee to Costa Rica. Mum shook her head in concerned dismay, “sara,” she said softly but firmly, “this running problem you have… I know sometimes, when we argue, I go for a drive, but someday, when you are married, and you have an argument, you cannot run. You have to deal with it, you can’t just up and leave.” At which point I broke into tears and she wrapped my head in her arms and cradled it to her chest.

Today I let my hand drape out the window, knowing that I could stay in fifth gear and glide through the lonely roads. I came out of the plains and into a row of pine trees that suddenly became a forest. There was a ranch with horses and an old well and suddenly there was tunnel vision between the trees, going up and over the hill. I was alone on the road, and only seeing straight forward, which suddenly seemed to help. I settled down on something, my mind stopped racing back and forth for a few brief moments. Tomorrow my meeting has been canceled and I have the whole evening to see Ghena and go to City Group. Many blessings.

I came out of the trees near a house with windows that looked like a modern day impression of the Cathedral of the Assumption. It looked out of place, sort of how I feel in this place. Up ahead, where the land flattened out I had a choice, East or West. With gravel crunching and grabbing at my slippery tires I rolled up to the stop sign in neutral and tok a moment to contemplate my options. There’s a song that says to go West… But a man in a long white pick up truck with a wide brimmed hat was coming from the East and he tipped to me and smiled. So I threw the car into first and headed away from the setting sun.

So I wandered on lonely back country roads, running over stupid choices and sad moments in life. But in the midst of it, there was this bizarre sense of peace. I was tearing up at moments, pounding the steering wheels at others, afraid and unsure how God can make all things glorious as David Crowder claims and completely understanding the complacent fear of Saint Peter’s possible rejection.

Tonight, I spent lovely hours with Salem and Sutton who both cried and both laughed, and both snuggled in my lap at some point. I drove home in the glowing night that had remained warm after the muggy afternoon of heat and no sun (which seemed to mimic and console the state of my heart). The lights of Denver shimmered hazily. With a reluctant sigh, I had to admit:

This is where I am. This is home, even though last night I begged Jesus to take me away or to come back. I don’t understand it, and I don’t always like it. But this isit. And momma was right, I can’t just run away, no matter how much easier it would be. And it’s hard and painful, but it’s good and right and I think he’s got it all under control, some way, some how.

which is a very rambling and round about way to say that it’s been a sheisty weekend, but God gives peace in all things.

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2 responses

  1. Soy hazelnut, huh. I should try that.

    I’m a runner. That’s my instinct. I’m usually just too chicken to run far. But yeah, your mom is right. When I have a fight with Isaac I always want to just walk out of the house and disappear for hours until somehow it all goes away.

    But I can’t do that. I used to, actually, when we were dating. It’s really hard sometimes to not do that now… because staying is awfully vulnerable sometimes.

    • Yeah, I thought about running on Monday. Really truly–saw the road heading up a hill between a thick line of trees and then disappearing down the other side into the distance. I considered just driving and skipping work: I had clothes in my car, a credit card, a coat and plenty of gas to get somewhere, anywhere.

      and then I realized it’s a borrowed car and that might be considered grand theft auto.

      But yeah, it’s hard, because running is a habit, and it’s so much easier than dealing with it. I just shut down and walk away. I’m trying to figure out how to stop doing that in relationships, but it’s a long road.

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