On our very first date post separation Adam and I went to the movies in the middle of the day, but on our way we made a quick stop at an outdoor supply store to pick something up. Right at the checkout counter I saw a book titled: “Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph” by Jennifer Pharr Davis.
I don’t know why (ahem…Jesus), but I snatched the book up all spur of the moment like, handed it to Adam and said, “Will you buy me this?”
Which he did.
The book is written by the woman who set the overall record for hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011. Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked 2,181 miles–from Main to Georgia– in 46 days. She averaged 47 miles per day.
But the thing that really struck me in this story was not her amazing athleticism, or her drive. No, what really rocked me was the moment in her journey when she decided to give up.
Near the beginning of her hike Jennifer developed sever shin splints. She also caught a stomach bug of some sort and was hiking her 46 mile days with diarrhea, nausea and extreme leg pain.
At one point she met up with her husband (who was providing her with food, water and support along the hike) sat him down and told him she needed to quit. She still had SO far to go, her butt was chaffing, her legs were killing her, she was hallucinating from the lack of calories and sleep deprivation. In short, her body was shutting down and it was time to give this up.
To which her husband replied:
He went on to say that he was certain she would never forgive him or herself if he let her give up while in this state of mind. In effect he said:
You are in too negative a place to make such a big decision. I’ll let you quit when you feel good. Don’t quit while it’s hard, if you still want to quit when it gets easy then we can trust the decision.
This idea: Don’t quit when it’s hard. You can quit when you’re healthy.
This idea has been my marching song throughout all this heartbreak. I have been working my whole life towards one goal: Love, family, partnership. I have been far too broken and sleep-deprived to make a life altering decision about giving this dream up.
I shouldn’t have been allowed to operate heavy machinery, much less make a decision that would affect my life, and the life of my sweet babies, for the rest of forever.
So I just kept repeating to myself. “Don’t decide now, decide when you’re healthy.”
Almost every bad choice I’ve ever made was done during a time when I wasn’t in a healthy place.
They say you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Welp, I think you shouldn’t give up on love when you’re heartbroken.
Just wait. Wait until you’re healthy.