It was early 2012. I had just experienced the loss of my Grandma, and came out of a short but corrupting relationship. It was then that I began running heavily. I was doing 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, and spending lots of miles on the road. I would talk with friends and coworkers about all of the miles I was putting in. If I was talking about anything, it was most likely running. I was a runner, and that was my identity.
It was late 2013, and I met someone special through a social running group. She was much different than anyone I had known before. She was a Christian, yet I was not. It was through that relationship that God brought me to Himself. I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. But running was still my identity. And now this relationship was my identity.
It was early 2014. A few months into that relationship, things took an unexpected turn with my running. Out of nowhere, I experienced a show-stopping injury. My hip flexor, piriformis, iliacus, gracilis, psoas, hamstrings, and others were so tight that I could barely lay down comfortably. So I had to completely stop running. Over the past few years, I had overused many of my muscles, and I had no choice but to stop. I was no longer a runner. Running was no longer part of my identity. But I had my relationship.
It was mid 2014. Things took an unexpected turn with my relationship. One evening my girlfriend and I were sitting outside at her home, and it was there that I heard those heart breaking words. It felt like it was out of no where. We had some issues like any other relationship, but nothing that I thought couldn’t be worked out. The relationship was over, and I was confused. And now this relationship was no longer part of my identity.
It was in this moment that the identities that I had tried to build up for myself had all failed. It was in this moment that I was completely broken. All of my idols has been torn down to the ground. Looking back over these years, I don’t think this was by accident.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.
It was in this brokenness, when all the identities and idols I had were destroyed, that I was able to truly see Jesus for who He is in my life. He is not Lord of just some things, He is Lord of everything.
It is 2015, and my identity is fully and forever in Jesus.
Today I still have some lingering effects of those running injuries, but I’m running now. I still have some questions and hurts from that broken relationship, but I’m moving on with life. Both of these things have brought me to Jesus, and both of them have shown me how much I need Jesus, and both of these things have shown me that I can trust in His promises.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.