The Achilles Heal

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This morning, I made breakfast and lunches to the sound of a unicorn galloping throughout the house.  I can’t make this stuff up.  With sound effects, she made laps around the first floor for a good hour… in full character.  She stopped only to hug Daddy goodbye as he left for work, and to eat “unicorn’s” favorite breakfast…a Pop Tart.  This is why she is the most difficult child to discipline.

I appreciated her funny little antics, and let her buckle up and walk up to pre-school as “Lo the Unicorn.”  I didn’t want her to be distracting to her class…but man…I had to seize the opportunity to spread the laughter on this cold, foggy, spring morning in Northern Ohio.

In the midst of dealing with dashed marathon hopes due to injury, and going through withdrawel on my fourth day off of running, little Lo rescued my day before it even began.

“As runners we understand the importance of our bodies,

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because without them we would lose a piece of who we are.” 

-Jolee Paden, “Spiritual Runner.”

That’s a truth packed statement, and a photo full of a swollen achilles.  Goodbye, piece.  It sure looks likes, it, right?  I sure looks like the end of my marathon goal…12 days before the race.  It looks like failure, heartbreak, lack of discipline, and lost hope.

I had made it through the training…celebrated my 20 mile long run, and was looking forward to taper…but I failed to rest, and launched a minor injury into a possible major.  Out for an 8-miler a few days ago, I could sense it was over. Amidst the pain, anguish, and heartbreak lumping up in my throat, echoing in my ears was the Elevation Church sermon “It’s Yours for the Taking” I had chosen for my long run.  As the inevitible began to confront me, I heard something about holding on your life verse.  Mine is 1Thes5:16, “Be joyful always,” but I didn’t feel very joyful.  In fact, I remember exactly what I was thinking…”That’s too hard right now.”

A few moments later I made it down to the end of my old street to enjoy what I knew could be my last run to the sunrise.  Comforted by the sound of His word and the sight of his presence, I took a deep breath…and ran the half mile back home.  IMG_2017Tears streamed down my cheeks and sobs overcame me as I walked up my sidewalk and into my house.  It was over.  I could feel it.  I believe no one but other runners knows how that feels, so I was thankful to find comfort in these words Jolee Paden’s devotional.

“As runners we understand the importance of our bodies,

because without them we would lose a piece of who we are.” 

“Be joyful always.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances.”  1Thes. 5:16-18   It was super easy for me to be joyful and thankful when I finished my 20 mile run.  For the first time, I felt confident I could race the marathon.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could run 20 miles at 8:29 average pace.  But God knew it.  And I felt Him every stride out there that day, running along the lakeshore at sunrise.  Felt His presence every step…even smiled up the hills.

It’s not so easy to be joyful right now.  But I will be… and I will keep praying.  I will be thankful in all circumstances.  Turn my focus towards my funny Lo who always makes me laugh, and my sweet Brianne who has such a compassionate little soul.

IMG_2180When I told my her that I might not make it to my big race, she replied immediately.

“You just can’t focus on that.  Instead, focus on how far you’ve come.”

Remarkable words coming from a 7 year old.

“Thank you so much, Brianne!  You’re right.  Where did you hear that?” I asked.

“From my sweet Momma,” she replied.

“Be joyful always.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances.”

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God has healed me before, and I have complete faith He will again.  Exodus 14:14 assures me, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

I can’t control God’s timing, but I will not lose hope.  After all, miracles do happen.  Little ones, and big…fat…ginormous..huge ones that change your life forever.  Keep facing the sunshine, and lift your head high.

“For those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  Isaiah 40:31

Happy Strides,

Megs

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