Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Training for MCM: 1 Week to Go!

One week to go and I can't sleep. I wonder if it will be the same the night before the big race?

It's so hard to believe it's finally here. Eight months ago, when I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon, it seemed so far away. Now the eight months have passed and I'm standing on the threshold of the greatest physical challenge I've ever faced...and I feel...ready.

I'm not nervous in the least. That may change in the upcoming week, but for now I have complete and total faith in my ability to finish. Or...more God's ability to get me to the finish line. For I have no doubt that my success in training for this marathon is all due to Him.

I have no doubt it is Jesus who has kept me on the road, for all the many miles, safe and without injury. It was Him who motivated me to climb out of bed at 4 AM every morning so I could get my runs in before work. He is the one who linked me to my running friends who accompanied me, pushed me, pulled me, and helped me through those long runs in the heat and humidity all summer.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." -- Colossians 3:17

It wasn't so long ago that I was telling people I would never run a marathon. I still remember telling myself that during my first half marathon when, just after mile 10, we split with those running the full 26.2. "I'm so glad I don't have 16 miles left to run," said the voice inside my head as I watched them turn left while I went straight.

But while I was training for that race, I began to hear a calling that I knew was from God. He began to tell me that I needed to use my running for His glory. It confused me for a long time, not really understanding how. I did give it a half-hearted effort after an injury when I decided to try to choose races that benefited charities. Deep down though, I knew that wasn't what He wanted.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." -- Romans 12:2

After a second injury, shortly before my second half-marathon, I knew God was telling me I hadn't answered His call. When my knee blew up at the end of a 5K race, it was clear as day to me that I was not in His will. I still wasn't sure how to answer that call, but I became a little more serious in trying to find the way, His way.

"in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -- Proverbs 3:6

"In all your ways submit to Him." Eventually I realized that had been my problem all along. That was why I couldn't seem to find a way to glorify Jesus through my running, because I had not submitted to Him. That didn't happen until after Amanda died.

I've heard it said that "you don't know God is all you need until you reach the point where He's all you have." When Amanda was murdered, I reached that point. Though I had my friends and family around me, they weren't enough to keep me going, or to keep me from doing something really stupid. I had landed in a place so dark that I had to seek His light, so deep that I had to reach for His hand, so frightening that I had to ask for His protection.

That's when I truly submitted to Him, and that's when the idea for this ministry came to me.

And now I'm one week from running my first marathon, feeling ready, willing, and able. Without a doubt, I know I wouldn't be at this point in my life or in my training had I not turned to Jesus and asked for His help. Forty miles a week seemed impossible before, now it's routine. A ten mile run seemed agonizing back then, now I'm just getting warmed up at 10.

Training Week: Oct 17 - Oct 23

Monday6 miles
Tuesday6 miles
Wednesday6 miles
Thursday6 miles
Friday6 miles
Saturday10 miles
Total40 miles

If you're struggling in life, or even just feeling like you're treading water and not going anywhere, try to fully submit to God. Turn to Him when you're angry, confused, or depressed. He can, and will, do amazing things in your life.

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" -- Matthew 19:26

About this time last year I ran my second half marathon and told people I would never run a full. Now, one year later, I'm one week away from doing what I then thought was impossible.

Nothing's impossible with Jesus! MCM, here we come!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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