Simply an amazing race today! As we heard the horn that started the race at 7:30 am this morning, it was still dark, but soon the sun (Son) was shining over the entire morning. We actually started out a bit further back due to the sheer number of runners today (11,500), in fact it took us 9 minutes just to get to the start line for our time to begin, but because of this, we became intentional about zigging and zagging and working our way up to a comfortable pace. At the 13 mile mark, we realized just how fast the Lord allowed our pace to become (Yikes!) To put it this way, our time was faster than any 1/2 marathon time I’ve run as a race in itself! Whew!
Well, we felt so good that we decided to keep pluggin away, enjoying the sights and sounds of some great music and supporters lining the streets for pretty much the entire way. As we made our way up to mile 17, I started to notice how our pace was affecting my hamstring muscles. In other words, they were screaming… OUCH! In my attempt to willfully persue our amazing pace, I decided to press on, taking one mile at a time. I also found myself praying, “Lord, would you mind taking this pain away? I would really love to continue to endure for you in this way today? How bout it?” Know what he did? He answered, about mile 19 I could feel the affects melting away. I was simply so thankful, to run with less pain is SO less taxing on you mentally. I have to admit that I really wasn’t expecting an answer, but that he chose to answer it just touched me so deeply. Why do we doubt?
As we popped some advil at our next water station, I could no longer deny what else was transpiring in my body. My old high school injury began to start naggin – shin splints. I’ve had them before, yet this time, the pain ran down to my ankles and I noticed my toes and arches were numb and/or tingling. What to do? Can’t really tell you how, but there came a moment when I just knew that I needed to attend to this matter and simply encouraged Amanda to keep going as I pulled over to stretch. (She, by the way, finished in an amazing time – so proud of her!) Several people actually asked if I was okay, so touched how the “running body” looks out for one another. I stretched, felt my muscles loosen, and was re-energized to start again. That was until I took that first step – ouch.
Over the next 6 miles, the Lord gave me such a peace and calmness about his good and perfect plan for me in the last part of this amazing event. I had a goal time, yet he allowed me to see the importance of letting my plan go and simply trusting. I know that if I pushed my body past it’s limits of the moment, recovering and/or injury could have been long and hard. Instead, I simply enjoyed my time with him, I enjoyed the race. His creation seemed that much more brilliant, the faces and stories of his children running by was that much more evident, his strength that carried me through when mine was gone was unbelievable. He simply allowed me to finish, AND I crossed the line with my fastest time yet – His complete miracle.
I can’t say thank you enough for those people who followed his leading with prayer this morning, I felt each and every one of them. I can’t thank my family and my husband enough for their amazing encouragement and sacrifice in watching this journey unfold. If I can encourage you today, know that you are running a marathon of your own today. Through it may look different than mine, it’s a marathon through a through. If you have small children, if you are asked to serve a loved one, if you have a physical struggle, if you are a single parent, if you are working two jobs, juggling school, or simply walking a lonely road today, God is asked you to look to him. Look to him for strength, for guidance, for comfort, and for peace. This is not something the world can offer. Your Father in Heaven longs to run with you today. Will you ask? Have a wonderful day!