Stay

Written by Destiny Oribhabor

I hate running.

Well, maybe not hate. I do run for cardio purposes, however it is still a struggle. I remember attempting track and field in middle school for an extra-curricular activity and I quit after a few days. I was the slowest and my complaint was that I wasn't cut out for this, this was supposed to be easy and not feel like work. It didn’t help that my oldest brother who was an athlete and somewhat of a track star, poked fun of my feeble attempts. Beyond that, I had tons of pride and I didn’t want to be humiliated.

Since I hate running, you would think that would translate into my personal life. Quite the contrary. Patterns in my life have showed me that in actuality I love running, it just shows up in different ways. 

Where did it all begin?

When I was in elementary school, dance became my thing. I was in a dance company and I had the opportunity to prepare and perform for our annual recital. I can still remember the day of our recital. Our theme was batman, so I had on a black bodysuit, a black cape and a sparkly blue belt that adorned my waist. The excitement was high and I thoroughly enjoyed performing. A few months after my recital, during one of my tap/ballet classes one of the young girls told me I was fat. I was one of the only young black girls in my dance company, so my body was not like the other girls. Her comment broke my heart and I never went back to dance class. I ran. 

This became a pattern in my life: when things got hard, when someone questioned my attempts, if I knew I was going to look foolish, I would quit, run and move on the the next. 

“The easy solution in my head is always to move. To go somewhere else. To escape. To get away. And that’s never going to give you a full life– it is going to give you a life of running with a suitcase you can’t seem to put down." -Hannah Brencher
 

Sadly, this mind-set affected so many areas in my life. I didn’t want hard, I wanted to easy. If my vision didn’t match what I was experiencing, I ran. Because God wouldn’t want me to have a hard life right? Wrong. I know the sexy and popular message is, if it doesn’t make you happy move on to the next. If you aren’t getting your needs met, keep it moving. If you aren’t happy then it means that God is not in it. 

Merriam-Webster defines the word stay as, “to continue to stay in a place or condition; to still or remain with (as a race or trial of endurance) to the end - usually used in the phrase stay the course.” 

This definition reminds me of Romans 5:4, that endurance produces character. How can our character ever be built if we never endure. How can we ever see God do miracles right before our eyes if we are always running to the next thing, to the next job, next church, the next friendship circle,  to the next relationship?

In a few weeks, it will mark a year since God led me on a new venture. In the beginning, my excitement was on high, I knew this is where God wanted me. Then it God hard. I shed tears and I hated looking like I didn’t know what I was doing.  My pride was on high. It was uncomfortable. I was asked to do things I didn’t sign up for.  I had an escape plan. I wanted something easier. I wanted to run, but God told me to stay.

It’s still hard at times, but I can honestly say I have learned so much.  I asked God to teach me how to fight and not run so quickly and He so lovingly used my job to do so. Be careful what you pray for! I love how God can use different circumstances to teach us important life lessons. What He has taught me has made me, not a perfect, but a better woman. These lessons have taught me to fight through and not to be a woman who is blown to and fro like the wind. Yes, there are times when God is calling you not to stay. Especially if something is unhealthy or is breaking you down. However, sometimes God is calling us to stay. To press, remain and endure.

To get to the good, we have to wade through bad. How can we see the miraculous, if we never stay?

-Des-