In March, running a mile seemed daunting to me. A 5k seemed impossible. And here it is the end of July and I just registered for a half marathon in 12 weeks.
I told myself I was not going to do races or chase medals spending my hard earned money and time away from my family. And I may never again. But to symbolize all my accomplishments and positive changes in my life, running a half before I turn 35 just seemed like the thing to do. A celebration of what my body is able to do.
I eat the right things. I’m going to train like I have been. I need to build an awesome playlist (suggestions welcome). And I’ll pray for no injuries and good weather as I run in our beautiful city in my favorite fall month and time of year. Completion will be my goal because I’m not very fast. But forward is forward. And God’s mighty grace will get me there just as it has through all my struggles. There have been many things I thought I could not do or get through, but I did. Many things in life I thought were hard at the time and I overcame it. Running is not hard when I think back to the tough things in my life.
I used to watch other people run long distances and I thought I could never do anything like that. Well, never say never.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James 1:2-5 NIV
I can look back on my life and reflect on the trials I have faced. Most of them since I embarked on motherhood. God knew what He was doing to mold me into the mother, wife & servant He wanted me to be. In those trials, one by one, He tested and grew my faith. Thank you Lord for that. Thank you! So while I’m choosing to create this trial of running 13 miles on purpose myself, it’s just a reflection of what He has already done. This time I know about the test in advance and will train for it. Building my endurance and perseverance just as He did with every trial I’ve ever faced. I could have chose to wallow in self pity and not consider it pure joy that God tested me in these ways. Not acknowledging what He was doing. The work He was doing in me and through me. The people He sent to encourage me, pray for me, teach me, and just cheer for me. That was all God. So with every step, every mile, every week will be leading up to me crossing that finish line to make me more mature and complete. I’m not just discussing running anymore. He tested me to build my endurance and faith to what I needed it to be. And I have every faith He will lead me through it time and time again. No matter how big or small. It’s amazing when a trial comes, your hindsight allows a peace within you. God’s purpose and plan is at work. And He is already there.
Brothers and sisters I urge you to consider your perspective in your current struggle or trial. Do you see God there? Have you looked for Him? Have you prayed to Him? Have you thanked Him for allowing the experience to make you closer to Him and build your faith? Have you realized the testimony or empathy you can give to someone else as a result of this trial? Consider it pure joy when you face trials. He’s molding you to be His light and His disciple so others can see Him working in you and that may be the only picture of God they ever see. Consider it.
When I think about crossing the finish line after all I have been through, tears form in my eyes. God will be there just has He always has been.