A friend recently convinced me to train for a half marathon. At first I was reluctant, but since I ran one in 2006 I figured I could do it again. I set out for a run the other morning. After dropping my phone in the toilet, that’s a whole different blog post, I had no music or way to track my distance so I decided God’s gift of a beautiful March day would get me through. And it did…until the end of my first mile.
I was running my regular very slow pace and apparently my foot did not come off the ground enough to clear the crease in the sidewalk and down I went. Boom, I hit the concrete hard. I got up, dusted myself off, after many curse words I decided to head home, that was enough for one day. But then I said to myself, “Seriously? Is that all you’re made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice?” My answer was a strong NO! “I’m more than that, I have grit, courage, strength and stamina!” As I picked up my pace and began to jog again I thought about Katie and all the “falls” she’s had in life. She fights through pain, frustration, and so much more every day. I thought about all the other people in the world born with special needs who struggle through life and always find the courage to get up and go. I reflected on all the inspiring stories I know, like my friend’s daughter who is fighting her second cancer battle at only 12 years old. Then I thought about Jesus Christ.
Consider, this first fall of Jesus under His cross. His flesh was torn by the scourges, His head crowned with thorns, and He had lost great quantities of blood. He was so weakened that He could scarcely walk, and yet He had to carry this great load upon His shoulders. The soldiers struck Him rudely, and thus He fell several times in His journey. The Way of The Cross
With my sweet girl in my heart and those amazing images on my mind I finished my 4 mile run. I know that was no impressive agony of defeat, but I do get points for not stopping. This whole scenario made me think about my own journey with Katie. The first few years of her life I laid on the ground and refused to get up and fight. There was so much pain, so much anger, the unknown was all consuming. I literally did not have the ability to keep going. And you know what? That is okay…when we go through struggles it is perfectly normal to take the time to absorb the pain, to just sit and let it all soak in.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, Say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.” God will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague, Will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge. Pslams 91:1-4
Because when we are halted by pain, when we just can’t do it on our own, we hand ourselves over to God and He takes over. When I finally waved the white flag and realized I did not have the grit, courage, strength and stamina on my own I started the race by getting up and dusting myself off. Now I’m easily on the 26th mile and going strong. Once all of these things became clear, I never looked back.
I witness this process over and over again in the world around me. A little over a year ago, my dear friend’s husband left her and her children. At first, all we could do was sob and endure the pain. I worried so much about her. How was she going to recover from this? But she recently purchased her own home, she works hard every day to provide the best life for her boys and guess what? She is truly happier now than I have seen her in a very long time. When we submit to the Lord and trust that He will guide us ALWAYS, we don’t have to fight, we just live.
The scars are plentiful, but they are also beautiful. It’s in each and every fall that we discover THE TRUTH. We cannot run the race on our own, we cannot pick up the million pieces of our shattered world by ourselves. God is our only source of strength and courage, why fight when we can wrap ourselves in His love.