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I am thankful for those of you I prayed for on Sunday during the marathon. My week is finally slowing down a tiny bit and I get to reflect on the race a little bit.
First, RUN A MARATHON WITH SOMEONE. I cannot tell you how much greater 26.2 miles is when you have a buddy than alone. I loved being Ehrin's cheerleader for this race and even though the pace was much too easy for me, it was such a sweet time. The metaphors for running a race with someone are endless. It is better live life at a slower, less impressive pace, if you are doing with and for people you love. Isn't that what the body of Christ is? A community who waits on each other and together waits on God all while pushing through trials and pains and miles and miles of unforeseen obstacles?
[Ehrin just loves Jesus so tremendously and it was incredible to just cry out to God for endurance and strength and give him glory mile-by-mile. She is such a testament to a life transformed by grace and willing to GO THE DISTANCE for Jesus (will be praying for her deployment to Afghanistan soon)]
Second, Ehrin, the most amazing U.S. Air Force Officer in the world, bossed her first marathon despite a tight IT band and GI pain. AND at mile 15, while she stopped to pee, I was able to pilfer a Krispy Kreme doughnut from some middle school race volunteers. My first KK since you-know-when. Yum!
Third, the Shamrock Marathon was such an awesome venue and there were so many water stops, so many happy fans, and so much GU. Good times. I'd do it again. Who can complain about a race where they give you free beer, a sweat shirt, and a quality running hat at the end? Not I.
Fourth, have my Dad. My Dad is incredible and because I had my phone, when Ehrin needed Advil at mile 15, I "called ahead" and Dad went and bought some so when we met him at mile 19 he had the Advil AND diet coke, snicker's marathon bars, and GU blocks as fuel. Nom. He was the greatest support in the world and even cheered us at the end during our 1.5 mile sprint (in which I yelled at Ehrin to run hard so we could pass 100+ runners the last 2 miles).
The funny thing about this race that for me it was EASY. The running part was easy. I got to eat gummy bears, doughnuts, and drink diet coke. I barely felt pain and it just seemed ironic that the hardest part of the race was knowing I might fail my two tests I had during the week. Oh, I did, but I still completed a marathon! Grades are grades; they don't matter. It showed me that even in community we have anxieties that supersede the task at hand, and can steal joy.
So this week has been a TEST in every way from every part of my emotional, physical, and spiritual reserves. Actually, my reserves ran out this week. They ran out. All I have is the blood of Jesus.
Sometimes we run out of reserves in a marathon; sometimes in most trying week as a graduate student. Whenever or wherever, His love is an ocean, greater even than the Atlantic I ran next to in Virginia Beach.
Where does his love for us end? Where does his strength for us diminish? Where does His perfect plan for our race cease to come to pass? Show me, and I will show you a God who loves each individual with perfection, who wants to bring every sinner home, and who wants NO MOTHER and NO FATHER to even have to think about killing their child. Our world has enough love for new children.
My endless King came to bring LIFE to weary runners and HOPE to the anxious. Here's to praying that more preborns survive so they can learn a little about this great marathon we enter into when we first breathe earth's air at birth.