What Are You Running From? {31 Days of Fear--Day 1}

I soar down the wooded trail, sand, wet dirt and gravel beneath rubber-shod feet, leaves barely canopying green above me and I wipe skin-itching rain from my cheek, and see water gun-slinging outward from arms in motion at my side and I'm amazed that this is me beating the dirt and gravel in the ground and this is my sweat, rain, hard-won tears and blood running together, being flung off. I smell her--earth, all fresh and alive, just the way she was made to be.

She had asked it, my friend who knows me better than she should, "What are you running FROM, Nacole?"

Why do I run along the trails and the hills, struggling for air? To. just. breathe?

I throw myself against the elements--run the entire four and a half miles in the pouring rain, leap over protruding roots that stand in my way, daring me to try them, and when I sail past, my heart swells and I smile on the inside--what is that all about? Why does this adrenaline surge beckon to me?

What am I running from?


Fear of  not being good enough, not measuring up, fear of sinking back into that dark black hole of depression, the depths from which I'm afraid no one will be able to pull me.

Fear of being fat because old habits die hard, and yes, I'm running from the fear self-loathing brings, from the fear of feeling like a failure and from defeat, from just barely being able to make it through the dailies, from not being able to hold onto relationships dear to me and seeing them slip through my fingertips like all this sand.

I'm running from the fear that I'm different, that I'm the only me, and there is no manual--no one left instructions on how to be me--and I wonder if I'll do it all wrong, that I'll lie on my deathbed wishing it'd all been different and I could go back. And what I know now is that then I won't be able to and I only get one chance to not screw it up.

Yes, running from the fear of my genes, what's in the DNA that I can't control--this fragile, passionate nature easily provoked, this timid yet fiercely loving heart, this hippy free spirit with the inability to follow a clock, this illness that has gripped--my father said my grandmother had all that too.

And I run from the fear of the religious types who try to wrestle me into a box. Just like they tried to wrestle Jesus into a box, but he wasn't having it. He knew His purpose. I think I'm finally finding mine.

I pant harder and my quads kick into high gear as I run-climb the monstrous grainy hill on my toes. The rain pounds my face, and I lean into it, thrust myself forward, grimace and climb and work through the pain. Quads pulling, exerting, muscles flexing, toe, toe, toe, on my toes as earth and gravel rolls and groans underneath.

This is me saying to the pelting rain, you'll not bend and break my bow today--I'll fight with my last breath and I rather enjoy the feel of you on my face, because God has ushered you forth and destined you to take your best shot. So take it. Because in the midst of the relentless, beating storm when I'm weakest, He will cause His spirit in me to rise up strong and conquer you.


And I figured out that, yes, I may be running from something, but more than that--I'm running toward something. Maybe He knew it would be that way all along.

What am I running toward? Not the Jesus inside the box, the one they fancy dress all up.

No, I'm running toward the real one, the Jesus outside the box.

                                                                              *Edited re-post from archives

...I feel Him speaking to me gently, Come away with me.. this is the whole album live...listen to the first song or just leave
it on play while you write or clean house... ~smile~

Do you struggle with fear? Have things you run from? How does God heal you, console you, shephard you? I'd love for you to share your answers and thoughts below, friends... I hope you'll also be along for this adventurous ride--I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here.

Only a few days late, I've decided to do 31 days--this is my second time ever doing this. Since I'm starting my Day 1 a little late, my "31 Days" will not have 31 posts. I have chosen to do this one on FEAR, because it seems to be something I keep wrestling with over and over, something that keeps me in chains, pins me down, won't let me free. I hope you will come with me on this journey--to get a taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus smack-dab in the middle of my fears. And Jesus sits with sinners. I won't have to look very far. Couldn't we all use some freedom from those fear-chains that bind? I pray God gives me the strength and the courage to complete 31 days--y'all, it's going to be hard on this 'ol gal to write every.single.day. Pray for me? You can find the entire 31 Day collective here<---hover with mouse to highlight and click 

Linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers....This ought to be one wild, brave ride...


  1. At times, I have fears about my future. The unending chronic pain, fatigue, and weakness is always there. I have a number of serious health problems, any one of which could spin out of control at any time. Or not! Some days it's hard to keep going at all. Whatever will become of me when I can no longer care for myself?

    I'm not strong enough to run. Or even to walk very far. People say you should leave an abusive situation, but when your own body beats up on you there's no outrunning what feels like abuse (which can seem like punishment for doing something wrong, except that I don't know that I did anything wrong.)

    I just have to keep turning toward Jesus Christ. Making myself sing hymns or recite Bible verses. I like the words "rely on God" better than "believe in God". Because I don't know how to believe (feel) I'll ever be out of pain, or be able to be used for his kingdom in the ways that I perceive he has gifted me. But I can choose to rely on the fact that his promises are true, and that he makes all things beautiful in his time. (Even if the circumstances come out much different than what I'd hoped for.)

    I'm glad for you, that you've found freedom in running toward God.

  2. The ending is a powerful twist, not the expected conclusion of a narrative on fear. Running TOWARD Jesus, the one who lives outside the box. How the religious world has tried to tame the Spirit who leads his own, sometimes into the wilderness. I’ve heard it put like this: housetrain the Holy Spirit :-(

  3. Let's always be running toward Him! I am in!

  4. I feel like I could have written this post :) I just want to say that I love your blog, your writing and your voice :)
    Be blessed.



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