Sometimes it’s hard to believe it happened again… this ol’ body carried me 13.1 miles to the finish line, for the 14th time. It never ceases to amaze me. There’s usually a critical point in each race where I find myself seriously doubting my ability to finish, yet somehow, from some depth, I find the thought that convinces me to take one more step, to reach one more shorter marker, to run to the next mile marker, to look back at what I was able to finish and to keep going just a little bit further. Somehow…
In all honesty, that somehow is a someOne. In those times of borderline desperation, I realize how little strength I do possess, and I find myself calling on the One who has ALL the strength. He really does, I can’t explain it any other way. Running is very much mental, then again, life is very much mental. Daring to challenge ourselves, daring to do the next thing, straining forward, hoping, praying, trusting, believing.
My take away from this race is so much more than the “I” I just typed several times up to this point. Running is also sharing. The picture above includes two neighbors, one who ran her first race today, daring to believe she could finish. The other lady has run several races prior, but was trusting that her current injury would be able to withstand the milage. The other two ladies I have run several races with together. Each one holds a very special place in my heart, holds a marker along this journey with me and for me.
And yet there was more… before the race began, I heard my name being called. When I turned to look, the beautiful smile of a previous co-worker met my eyes. A sweet, amazing teacher who just happens to be deaf. I LOVED catching up with her. THEN, I had heard a childhood friend was running as well and prayed that if it be His will, I would “run” into her. Just past mile 1, I saw a girl in pink, I knew right away it was her. I came along side of her, wrapped my arm in a side hug and said, “Hello my friend.” God is good.
You see, this is not JUST a childhood friend. We actually ran cross-country in 7th and 8th grade together… and here we are again. My Dad coached us in running, her Dad coached us in swimming, we spent many summers working at the community pool together, went to the same college, both became teachers, shared in each other’s weddings, ended up living in the same community, and even birthed our first children only 24 hours apart. I still am in awe that we could meet up together again… all because of running. And it all began with saying “Yes” to God.
I began by saying that in the hard, some thought convinces me to take that next step. These thoughts are usually not brand new, they’ve come through experiencing the “hard” in the training. I’ve felt the whispers across my heart, I’ve grown closer in my relationship with Him as we’ve done the “hard” together. He is faithful, always. He’s never left me. He’s opened my heart to believe that the impossible is actually possible – IN Him, THROUGH Him, and WITH Him. I simply share this as a dare. A dare to believe, a dare to experience joy in a fresh way, a dare to make the most of the life we’ve been given. Ask yourself this… Why not? What if?
Happy Mother’s Day to you all!