Maybe I’m conjuring up the spirit of National Velvet or some other famous race horse. A filmy image of one such beauty floats through my imagination when I try to describe this place of anxiety, excitement, freedom, healing and fear that courses through my body. Others might simply call it adrenaline, but I know it’s so much more. I’ve never felt this way before.
Several years ago, I took the first permanent steps away from anorexia. As I did, I turned and quickly tossed a proverbial match onto the proverbial bridge of old behaviors. There’s no going back. No matter the fear, no matter the temptation, no matter the uncertainty, I will never again entertain the seductive, demonic voice of an eating disorder.
Now, in most recent days, God has opened up the field in front of me. I am that race horse, leaning into the wind, shot from the starting gate, fueled by memories of the terrible confinement of anorexia. There is no going back.
The track is wide, muddy, the congestion of competition fades beside and then behind me. The faster I go, the farther from the gate, there is more and more potential, more and more possibility, more and more surety that I will win this race. And now, the others are on my heels, they follow, picking up speed. It seems as if they are energized by my passion, pulling ahead.
God penned a book with my fingers. He has brought me an agent and a publisher and an audience. He has done all these good things. But they scare me. The field is so wide, the race is so long and those close behind are drafting, following me, trusting me in some way. I’ve never run this course before. What if I fall, what if I fail?
But the truth is,
The faster run, the farther I stretch.
With each lengthening stride,
I’m farther from that prison.
I kick up more dust over that confining starting gate.
I bury it in the rush of my enthusiasm for freedom.
The wind is cool.
I am scared.
But the more I lean into the wind,
The more I stretch,
The farther I leave fear,
The more beautiful, compelling, the future.