I’m a runner. Really, I am. I even have pictures and the Couch to 5K to prove it. I have also done two 5Ks. Okay, so maybe I didn’t exactly run the whole time, but I tried, really I did. And I didn’t finish last. That counts, right? You see every year I get so excited about running. I make sure my app is downloaded, I pump myself up with pictures, and I start running. I have this love/hate relationship with running. I love the “idea” of running. I love the way I feel afterwards. I love the thought of being that girl who runs. I love the challenge of running. I love pushing myself. 

But I also hate it. I hate how hard it is. I hate feeling like I can’t breathe. And I hate knowing my face looks like a lobster after I get done (vain, I know but trust me, it’s not pretty). And in my defense, the two times I really started getting the whole running thing down, I got pregnant. Which means another 10 months of no exerciseSo, in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not exactly a good distance runner. At least not yet. But, I am a runner in a different way.

I tend to run from things. Or at least I used to. I can still feel it in me, the urge to just run when things get hard, uncomfortable, or painful. It’s easy to run. It’s hard to stay put, to figure things out, to mend what’s wrong, and to pray. I still remember the day I first realized I was a runner. It was a hard day, an ugly day. It was one of those days you wished was a dream and you could do over again. But, it was also a life changing day (I didn’t know it at the time). I had been dating my husband for a year. We had just started talking about how serious our relationship was and taking it to the next level of commitment (although no one else knew we were talking about marriage at this point). And then, out of what seemed like nowhere he broke up with me. Not only was it the first time I had ever been broken up with, but it was the first time I had ever felt like I was going to marry someone. I knew with all my heart that he was the one, but he had just broken up with me. My world was crushed. Literally. I felt like I was going to die. I felt this pain inside me that I had never felt. My heart was breaking into so many pieces and I was bleeding everywhere.

Some of you reading this may think I was crazy for being that torn up over a break up. And really, maybe I was crazy for it. But, here’s why. I grew up in a very unstable home. Trusting people was hard for me. I had been hurt, abused, and neglected by those closest to me and even by those in spiritual authority over me. (I won’t go into details, I’m not ready for that, but it was extremely detrimental). I had a messed up view of what love was supposed to be. And here I was, I had poured out my whole heart, soul, and mind into this boy that I knew was the one. I shared my past with him (things no one else knew), I trusted him with everything in me (you have no idea how hard that was), and I gave him my heart (which at the time I didn’t realize was broken in a million places to begin with). Before you start getting mad at him (trust me, I’d never been so mad at someone in my whole life. I hated him for it), you should know that I was in a very bad place and didn’t know it. Our relationship had gone from being a spiritual one to being a very unhealthy one. We both had things we were dealing with on the inside and we were spewing it out at each other. I had gone from giving God my all, to making Charles my all. I thought I was loving him, but really I was controlling and manipulating him and it wasn’t until he broke up with me that I realized two hard truths: I was a runner and I didn’t know how to truly love. 

When he broke up with me something happened to me. I broke. I fell apart. And, to make things worse I had grown very close to his mother and looked to her as a mentor. I felt alone. And I did the only sensible thing I knew (and seriously praise God I did), I asked his mom if I could talk to her. Looking back, if I was his mom I would’ve said no. Seriously. I’m kind of embarrassed at the fact that I even asked to talk to her, but I was desperate, and deep down I needed someone to speak to me, to tell me not what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear, and I knew she was the one to do it. I’ve always had this crazy, God connection with her. She has always been able to speak things into me that no one else has. So, she agreed to meet me. I was bawling, I looked a hot mess and quite frankly I was mad at her too. I don’t remember much of the conversation except this one phrase. She looked me right in the eyes and said,

I was done. I had never been so mad at someone in my life. How dare she call me a runner. Truthfully, I was mad because I knew it was true, and it hurt. It hurt so badly. I didn’t want to be a runner. I wanted to be tough. I have always thrived on being that tough girl who could take care of herself, who didn’t need anyone and who never struggled. But, I wasn’t. Deep down I was longing to be loved, to be taken care of, to cry until I couldn’t cry anymore. I was broken. 

I left from talking to her and I went back to my dorm mad. I was determined to prove her wrong. I wanted her to know she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was. But everything in me wanted to run. I wanted to pack my bags, leave the place God had called me to, and go back home. I wanted to run so far away. But I didn’t. Mostly because of my stubbornness and pride. And thank the Lord, my precious future mother-in-law said those words to me because who knows where I would’ve been today had she not. 

The truth is, this break up did cause me to run. It caused me to run to God’s presence like I had never run to Him before. I would spend countless hours in our prayer room at school just lying face down on the floor listening to worship music and crying out to God. Every single ounce of pain I had experienced for so long, every single abuse or wrong doing seeped out of me, every ounce of emotion I had held came pouring out. For the first time, I was experiencing a healing I had never experienced in my life. I was encountering a love I did not deserve. And it was during this time, I realized I could never love anyone, including myself if I did not first know God’s love for me. My love had been so tainted, so misconstruedand so broken. I was loving everyone around me the way I had seen love. And really it wasn’t love at all. I’m convinced we cannot fully know what love is or how to love if we do not first know Christ’s love. Christ is the root of our love

My heart aches for those who have been wronged, for those who have been abused, neglected or treated poorly. I hate to think there are those who feel unloved, unwanted, not good enough or broken. I’ve been there. I was so scared to love. I was so afraid of not knowing how to love my husband, kids, and friends. It’s been hard. And I’m still not where I want to be, but I can tell you I understand and recognize what love is and isn’t so much more now because I know Christ’s love in my own life (and because my husband so unselfishly loves me day in and day out, even when I really don’t deserve it). 

And although you may feel like you could never possibly love someone or trust anyone ever again, you can. I promise. But first you must be firmly rooted in the love of Christ. He loves you more than you can imagine. 

So, dear one, run to Him.
Run, like you’ve never run before.


  1. Thank God for mother-in-laws 😂 God had a special plan for a girl like you or me when he gave us those mothers! Thank you for sharing and being obedient to Him. He's using you in massive ways

  2. Excellent article, Summer! Thank you for being vulnerable and allowing us to see what God's love can do in each of our lives if we run to Him.

  3. So proud of you! You are doing amazing things for God! You are such an encouragement and inspiration to so many, including myself. I thank God for the opportunity to have our paths cross, if only for that very short time. Keep following His lead!


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