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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Spa 10K Tomorrow

Janice and I will be Running with Amanda in Hot Springs tomorrow. I'll be running the 10K and she will run the 5K. We ran this race last year and it was great. It's a beautiful route with quite a bit of spectator participation. But for us it will be much different than it was a year ago.

Last November, our family was whole. Amanda was still alive. This will be the first race we will participate in after her death that we also ran when she was alive. That's something that had not crossed my mind until I sat down to write this.

Now I'm not sure how it will affect me tomorrow. Will it inspire me to run harder than ever? Will sadness overcome me and weigh me down? Or will it just be an omnipresent feeling that has no net effect on my pace at all? I just don't know.

It's strange these thoughts have never come up before. So many visions, thoughts, and dreams have haunted me these past 10 months that I thought all the bases had been covered. The day Amanda was murdered we ran a race, and we've both had thoughts that we'll never run that one again. But that's a different case altogether.

To have coincided with the date of our daughter's death makes the connection in our mind between that race and our tragedy not surprising at all. But tomorrow's race had no connection with Amanda or her murder, so I never expected it to bring these thoughts. I thought it would be just another race.

But a year ago, we could talk to Amanda after the race. We could hug her, kiss her, and converse with her. This year, she's gone and a hole in our hearts occupies the space that she vacated. It's a vast empty, gaping wound that never ceases to ache, but a wound that we have largely learned to keep hidden from the outside world most of the time. Ten months later, many think we're over it, that we're healed.

But sometimes...some things come out of nowhere like a big easterly wind gust that rips the cover off and exposes the entire ugly sore. Yes. It's still there, never healing, always hurting. And tomorrow it will be heavy on my mind.

"37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."--John 6:37-40

Thank God I have the knowledge, and the peace that come with it, that I will one day see my beautiful Amanda again. The promise that there will be no more grief, and no more sorrow in that place allows me to keep going. In this life, that peace and knowledge doesn't take away the pain of losing my daughter, but it assures me that when I'm called home there will be no more pain, that we'll be together again for eternity.

The world is full of evil and none of us are guaranteed another day on this side of the veil. If you don't have the peace of which I write, if the pain in this life often seems too much to bear, you too can find the hope that a better life exists, a life without pain and suffering, trials and troubles. If you want that, if you need that, or if you just want to learn more about it, read below and follow the link.

I promise you won't regret it when you make the decision to allow Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord of your life.

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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