A few weeks ago Betsy (our squad coach) talked to us about discovering our personal oxygen…the things in life that help us relax, recharge, breathe, and be ourselves. If we don’t get our personal oxygen we begin to suffocate and suffer internally.
Today I found myself gasping for air.
I haven’t been alone since December. And surprisingly, I’ve been okay. Until today. Today I needed to be alone, I needed to breathe. So I grabbed my lunch and told Mac I was going for a walk.
There’s not really anywhere to walk around here except for this one unpaved road. I walked down it until I came across the only shade in sight. I sat down on a pile of leaves and small rocks and ate my sandwich, brushing ants off my water bottle before taking a sip. My head began to clear and my emotions started to settle.
I listened to God speak, felt his touch across my cheek as a gust of wind passed me by. I love you I love you I love you.
I listened and I talked – I handed my hurt feelings to him and my confusion over decisions to be made. But mostly I just sat with him on the side of that dirty road, feeling his heart beat inside my own.
Eventually I decided to climb the tree I had been eyeing. I kicked off my flip-flops and hoisted myself up…I don’t know how long I sat on those branches. I do know that I felt my lungs expand and fill with the sweet taste of nature, of alone time, of oxygen.
I remembered that one day in Cambodia on my original World Race, nearly two years ago now, when I had the same desperate need for alone time. Instead of going straight home to my team like I was supposed to, I ditched my bike in the sand and dipped my toes in the water.
When I committed to squad leading I knew from experience that alone time would be one of the hardest things for me to sacrifice. And even though I thought I might explode today…it’s all worth it. It’s so completely worth it.
Six weeks from tomorrow I’ll get my fill of alone time. I don’t doubt it will be great, but at the same time I know I’ll miss being surrounded by my squad, my people…
because they are also my oxygen.