One mile can be harder to walk than twenty.

On a night when I would rather have been out and about in Tilaran town in Costa Rica, the Lord prompted me to rewatch one of my favorite movies Redeeming Love. “Pay close attention to the marriage scenes,” the Lord whispered. After tears upon tears, I finished the movie with a new understanding of marriage and the grace and patience it takes to serve a broken or healing partner, like me. And the blessings to be found on the other side of intentionally taking the short but difficult steps to healing.

Redeeming Love tells the story of a prostitute named Angel and a farmer named Michael Hosea during the mid-1800’s California Gold Rush. Angel, sold into prostitution as a child and living in a brothel in Pair-A-Dice, catches the attention of Michael, who owns a farm twenty miles outside of town and is determined to marry her. She is broken by her past and totally devoid of faith but is recklessly pursued by Michael’s unconditional love time and time again. The story is loosely based on the first three chapters of Hosea, where God calls Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer as a metaphor for how He loves and pursues the people of Israel despite their repetitive spiritual prostitution.

One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Angel abandoned Michael for the first time. She left on foot, getting tangled in briers and weeds and falling over tree roots, unsure of the path back to Pair-A-Dice. Michael chases after her and gives her two options: walk a mile back home with him where she will be safe, respected, and free from harm, or continue on her twenty-mile route to the brothel where she will be used, enslaved, and objectified. She ultimately decides to return home with Michael, and when she sits down to rest, Michael begins washing her dirty, blood-stained feet. She is dumbfounded by the love and care he shows her and asks him why, to which he responds, “One mile can be harder to walk than twenty.”” – Katelyn Condrey

I cannot relate to Michael and Angel’s story. But as I watched that scene, I imagined Angel’s internal dialogue after Michael gave her the two options and left. I can imagine her weighing the pros and cons of either leaving her husband or going home to him. All her life, she saw and experienced one story: “Men used women, and if you gave them your heart, they will tear it to shreds because none of them care about you.” That’s what her father did to her mother. That’s what her nanny told her happened in the world. That’s what happened to her since she was sold into prostitution as a child. After years of knowing and experiencing that “truth”, it would have been incredibly difficult for her to trust a man, no matter how kind he seemed. Heck, instead of leaning into him and then having the other shoe drop, it would have been easier for her to walk the 20 miles to return to the life she knew. She knew what to expect and had already developed coping mechanisms around.

As I pondered Angel’s situation, I realized that we all have 20-mile or one-mile choices we make daily. It is incredibly terrifying to be a healing person who lived most of her life unhealthily in the service of others. As a recovering people-pleaser, some of my hardest choices have been between choosing to: take the 20-mile back to the behaviours and way of life that is comfortable but destroys me from the inside out… or having the courage to walk the one mile to step into the unknown that can potentially heal me and give me a life of ease with thriving relationships.

There are days when it feels much safer and easier to take the 20-mile journey, especially when there are hidden narratives that drive my actions that I have no clue about. There are days when I would rather make assumptions about certain situations and then shut down or keep silent, rather than have the difficult conversation, express my feelings and run the risk of them being dismissed or having to deal with conflict. Some days, it would be easier for me not to ask for help rather than run the risk of asking and then have my friends disappoint me or not show up. Some days, it is easier for me to not accept help or kindness rather than accept the help and find out that someone I trusted had an ulterior motive for helping. Some days, it would be way easier to close off my heart and look at all the reasons why not than to open my heart up to possible disappointment. See the one-mile choices are way harder and less certain that the 20-mile back to cyclical choices we have taken a thousand times.

But, continuing to take the 20-mile choices is never the answer, if we are really serious about leaning into God’s promise of a life that surpasses anything we could ever imagine. It is time to embrace the one-mile journey into unknown territory that leads to beautiful destinations. That’s the constant theme in Angel and Michael’s story. They both have to embrace obedience, trust, leadership and submissiveness in a way that honors God, themselves and each other. I think those qualities are the keys to navigating those one-mile or 20-mile choices whether with God or with others.

Michael had to obey, trust and submit to God when he felt led to marry Angel, a prostitute. Can you imagine that, a good Christian boy feeling led to marry a prostitute who wanted nothing to do with him? It would have been easy for him to say no and take the 20-mile journey to wait, however long, for the “right type of wife” that traditional culture expected him to have. Instead, he trusted that God has his best interest at heart and took that one-mile step forward. It changed his life forever.

And when it came to his relationship with Angel? Everything he does honors that one-mile step forward. He does it in a way that again honors him, her and God. He sets out to win her trust even before He marries her. That’s probably the only reason she says yes to him after she gets beaten up and he proposes for the umpteenth time.

After he marries her, he continues to try to win her trust. He continues to lead her in a way that honors him, her and God. He shows her that she is safe with him, that he is dependable, that he can be trusted to provide, protect and love her. Even when she lashes out at him, from a place of hurt. Even when she leaves him or demands/tempts that he do things that would take him out of alignment with God, he shows her him. He shows her God through him. He leads her in a way that honors him, her and God. And eventually something beautiful happens, she grows to trust him. She grows to love him. She grows to submit to him. A desire blossoms in her to truly honor him. She becomes a woman who wants to honor him, honor God and honor herself. She grows to love him.

And do you know what she does? She eventually sacrifices her desire for a life with him to give him a chance at a future she felt she couldn’t give him. She leaves him and walks away from their marriage as a way to protect him. To show her love for him. And though Michael longs to chase after her, he obeys the Lord when He tells him to stay. That decision changes Angel’s life. Her relationship with God changes and she gets the healing that she needs. When the time is right, she is presented with one final one-mile choice…to correct self-sacrificing decision that she made to leave Michael. She returns to Michael a new creature, someone who is fully open to him and their life together.

Michael’s one-mile choices of obedience, trust, leadership and submissiveness led him to the wife he desired and a love he could never have imagined. It led to Angel’s healing and deliverance and a husband, love and life she never allowed herself to imagine. It led to her developing a relationship with God and starting to dream again. It led to the redeeming and deliverance of his brother-in-law. It led to a family that neither of them thought possible.

My friend, that’s the miracle of the one-mile choices that is given to you by God. They may be incredibly hard to commit to and walk, especially for the first couple of times but they lead straight to the exceedingly abundant life you desire…way better than you could ever imagine. So lean into the discomfort, reject the 20-mile journey. Take the one mile walk that God shows you. I promise you, it is worth it.

Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. What is the hardest one-mile choice you’ve ever made and what was the outcome? I’d love to hear your story in the comments. 🙂

If you feel stuck and dissatisfied because you have been wearing a mask all your life and striving to be what everyone expects of you? My book “In Search of the Pink Flamingo” is perfect for you. I’m blessed to share my journey and give you the keys you can use so the Lord can free you from the weight of everyone’s expectations and give you the confidence to ditch timidity and own your voice. The book is available on all online platforms, and whereever books are solid in your local community (just pop into your local bookstore and ask them to source it). Join the Pink Flamingo Movement here.

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“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26


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Chañel Robe View All →

As a 2x burnout survivor & former people-pleaser, I am a speaker, author & passionate advocate for serving others while honoring yourself. I’m the owner of The Robe Way & an authority on achieving customer success with less work. I help business owners run profitable, impactful businesses & maintain client relationships without sacrificing personal boundaries or quality of life. On a regular day, you’ll find me traveling, belting out random songs, smiling contagiously, or lifting others up.

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