Social Media makes disappearing impossible. A limb from the family tree cannot fully vanish so future generations wonder at the mystery. It’s doubly hard to vanish when as a writer I must have an online platform. It’s too hard to create a pseudo-name and build that brand again. I’ve spent years working on my name. The question becomes how do I run when I need an escape? How do I start over without the history I’ve created?
I stare at that question on my computer. I have no answers. I have no escape from trouble. Trouble will always find me. It will seek me out from the shadows and haunt my steps. Escape has to be rethought.
So when it becomes too tough and my lungs cannot expand I escape to the woods or on a brisk walk or to a coffee shop where my creativity can distract. There’s something about a cup of coffee, the Spartan trees standing all in a row, or the exhilaration of a three-mile walk and the pressure of getting it done within my allotted time at lunch that causes my mood to rise.
I want to run less when I live healthy. I do not wish for escape when I dig into God’s Word and trust Him with every situation. He has given me many examples of women in worse situations that stay and make a difference and live in the everyday. There’s no one to take away those burdens from them, and they can’t run away. They can’t escape their reality. Every day they fight their battles wearily, unhappily, but manage to find happiness even during these times. Those women are my heroes. They don’t live in fear. They live in the moment.
And life goes on; the day doesn’t wait; and I see that my suffering has a purpose. When things go wrong I know God is teaching me something. When people hurt me God is teaching me something. That alone makes me smile. When my impatience makes me careless God is doing something. When irony becomes an answered prayer I rejoice.
People used to hop a train and disappear. That limb on the family tree remained a mystery for future generations. Now Social Media follows us like a gnat that won’t stop fluttering past your eyelashes. If you can’t find someone, Google them. Look for them on Facebook or Myspace. If you can’t find someone, search her name on the Internet. Escape becomes a myth. But then, my history can help another Christian accept their history and use it for God’s glory. What matters is not in escaping our situation, but in how people see us bear it.
Are you running from your past? Are you finding purpose in suffering? Are you creating your own escape or white space?