Monday, December 7, 2009

My Half Marathon Experience

Wow - what a day yesterday was! I've written an article inspired by the run and I can tell you Our Lord was SO faithful. I felt like I was running with a detail of angels in front, to the sides and behind. I'm sure in the pictures Dave took you can see them. ;) No matter how I felt, He was there, The Holy Spirit pushing me onward when my body refused to go. And there were several times I broke down into tears because I hurt so bad. I was even to the point, around mile 11 - just 2 miles from the finish - when I would not have been ashamed to ask for a ride back - had the opportunity presented itself. But The Lord made sure it didn't. The biggest issue were the hills - this course was just up and down the whole way - less than 1/2 a mile of flat ground. I was not used to it to say the least - nothing in Houston could have prepared me!

I'm sure everyone thought I was nuts. The first 4 1/2 miles I was praising and worshiping Him the whole time - lip syncing to all the music on my iPod & hands outstretched. I didn't feel the rain, the cold, my body was functioning great. After mile 7 though - my body started to rebel. I couldn't stay in my "God zone." By mile 8, I had to start walking & running, even with my goal of running the whole time. I had to surrender my pride in finishing in the time I wanted to just focus on getting to the finish line. There were several times when my legs refused to run, much less walk. Even as I cried out (literally and breathlessly) "Lord, I can't do this without You!, He just kept pushing. I was even off & on walking until I turned the corner to the finish line. Dave has a picture - he said "You looked happy!" I was only happy because I could see the finish!

Isn't that the way it is when The Lord presents us with missions? The first few hills feel like nothing - we are worshiping and praising Him - totally focused. Then we grow weary and our bodies tire and we just want to hitch a ride to the end, often as the hills get bigger or just seem bigger. In my devotional study this morning He made it clear to me that this race was NOT about me - but Him. It was about His love, the faith HE has given me and the hope HE presents through His Son. I had a hard time holding on to that at mile marker 8 & beyond but He does encourage us to walk sometimes.

Isaiah 40:30-31 ring in my ears: Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

In the world's eyes, I am a NOBODY. But The Lord of all Creation crowns me a SOMEBODY and He proved it today. One Half Marathon matters to no one but me, nor did I finish at my goal time, so He gave me 8 more minutes out in the field to think about His love for me. I'll take it. He brought me there, I knew He would bring me home. I just hope it will somehow bring glory to Him.

All the prayers kept me going. I also kept thinking about how I would run into my husband's waiting arms and my children would be cheering. Neither happened - I was soaked to the skin so I couldn't touch Dave and the girls didn't even notice I showed up, so busy were they playing with their cousins in the car! My eternal thanks to all those who prayed for me. Seems like I am treating this like they prayed me through a death or something but it almost feels like that - it was a major event so I wonder what He will do with it!

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