I opened my closet this morning and noticed several pairs of my old worn down running shoes…neatly lined up next to one another. Each pair of shoes represents certain time periods in my life and as I looked down at them, soon my mind filled with memories. Instead of throwing my old worn shoes away, I’ve held onto them…because they represent me…where I’ve walked…where I’ve been…my old shoes have helped define the person I’ve become today. So…today…I thought I would share what I’ve learned walking in my shoes…Alyssa Chambers’ shoes…
My old Nike’s – “Stand up and Stand Out”
I have an old pair of Nike shoes I wore back in high school. I remember going to the Park City outlet mall with my Mom to pick them out. I’d spent most of the afternoon shopping for shoes with no luck…but when I tried these shoes on…I instantly knew they were the perfect fit. They felt good…they looked good…
These shoes stuck with me through hot afternoons running the mile, tiring mornings of soccer, and rigorous moments of playing basketball in gym class. They walked with me down the halls of Weber High School. They went hiking with me to Girl’s Camp and to Youth Conference.
My old Nikes taught me a lot during my formative years of high school. In these shoes… I learned to be myself and to stand up for myself. In these shoes…I learned to stand out. In these shoes…I walked down the cement steps in front of the school to seminary every day. In these shoes…I gained a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ while sitting in Brother Godfrey’s seminary class.
My Timberlands – “Bravery is challenging some of your deepest fears”
These shoes’ souls are definitely broken in…the heels are worn and shoe laces stained with mud. My Timberlands challenged some of my deepest fears…like my fear of heights and my fear of falling. They hiked with me up some of Utah’s steepest mountains. They trudged with me through muddy puddles and rivers. They traveled with me down winding bike trails and have scaled small hillsides with me.
In these shoes…I hiked Angels Landing. In these shoes…I crashed on Wheeler Creek trail head. In these shoes…I found courage to try new things. In these shoes…I learned to have faith and trust in my abilities.
My Salomons – “Love is sacrifice”
My Salomons aren’t as bright as they used to be. The laces are chewed through and the mesh fabric is now a dark dirty looking grey. I was with Ryan when I bought these shoes. I hadn’t planned on buying them…since we were looking for him…but Ryan insisted I get them…
“These are great shoes Lyss,” he said “Plus they’re on sale…just get them.”
He didn’t have to twist my arm too hard…
“Oh alright,” I grinned back at him “I guess you’ve talked me into it.” (It’s never hard talking me into buying shoes).
Ryan bought me these shoes out of love and in these shoes…I helped him stake tents and dig holes. In these shoes…I encouraged my girls to keep hiking…keep going…”You guys are doing great!”
In these shoes…I discovered the joy in sacrifice…I surrendered my comfort to ease a four year old’s tired legs. In these shoes…I gave piggy back rides and shoulder rides. In these shoes…I spent many summer nights out under the open sky looking for shooting stars with my family. In these shoes…I loved passionately and cared deeply.
My Hokas – “Never give up…endurance is finding joy in the journey”
My Hokas are new. The heels aren’t worn down and the rubber is still white. The laces aren’t frayed and the fabric is a bright pretty purple. It is only a matter of time before these shoes resemble the older ones in my closet. Yet… isn’t that life…isn’t life filled with ups and downs…ebbs and flows…rights and lefts? Isn’t life trying to find joy in the journey? My hokas are new to me now…but through the ‘walks’ of life they will become worn, dirty, and old.
In these shoes…I wake early in the morning to see the sunrise. In these shoes…I run…wanting to give up…but…in these shoes…I find courage to endure. I these shoes….I look to heaven for light and help. In these shoes…my burdens are made light through the love of my Savior. In these shoes…I can find joy in the journey…if I choose to look for it. In these shoes…I’m fighting every day to do my best. In these shoes…I’m a mother…a daughter of God…a friend…and wife.
I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter what shoes I’m wearing or what shoes I’ve worn… as long as I can look back and find joy in the journey….love in serving others…courage in challenging myself …and determination to stand up and stand out for what’s right.
Where have your shoes taken you? What have you learned from where you’ve been? We’re all on a journey and we’re all fighting to cross the finish line where we’ll find everlasting joy in our heavenly home….
Now is the time to start running!