Went on a run today. It was the first outdoor run in quite a while. And I don’t mean quite-a-while like “wow this was a busy week, haven’t run since last saturday!” I mean, months. Don’t worry, thanks to weight training PE class, I am getting at least two days a week of a short jog and 45 minutes of pumping iron. I also might get to the gym every once in a while and pop on the eliptical and stair stepper. But a road run is different. It works muscles that don’t seem to get touched in the gym.

No matter how good I feel after a run–glad I got out there–I never want to go. I have to convince myself that this will be good, consciously moving my body towards the door…one step at a time. I always resist going, finding any excuse to stay at home or do something “more important.” Today was one of those days that I was able to convince myself. Finally. Once I am out there, it is good for about five minutes. Then by body realized that I wasn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. Thankfully, I was able to persevere through the revolt of my body and made  it to the otherside where you can jog steadily for a good fifteen minutes. Remember: first time run in months. A short one.

This process of pain and refinement is a brutal one. Sometimes more so than others. It is so bitter sweet. Runs can be beautiful times of rest for my soul. They are good for my body. And I feel those good things sometimes during and other times afterwards. I also feel the sore muscles.

Isn’t this so what life is? Relationships are such gifts largely for this reason of refinement. Some of the most intimate moments I have experienced with others have been after we have reconciled our hurts.It is often those we love most that we wrong the most frequently and wound deepest. Those points of conflict are so painful. I avoid them at all cost. But in those dreaded moments there is something so powerful. When there is true reconciliation of forgiveness and acceptance and even forgetting, there is freedom and a deep love that says “no matter who you are or what you do, I will always embrace you.”

So here I am. In this “beautiful” yet truly awful-at-times tension. This tension of refinement. Suffering. Pain. To somewhat loathe something, while at the same time being so thankful and adoring it. Wise people tell me that as time goes on, these refining moments become less and less tension filled and difficult. But for now, here is to the tension.


May you be given a new perspective within your pain, suffering, grief, boredom, frustration, and sorrow. May you see the gift of the process. Not necessarily what comes from going through the valleys, but what happens in it. Happy tromping through the murk of life. May you know peace and joy in it.



2 thoughts on “Refinement

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