Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. I was so nervous about this race. It started yesterday afternoon. I just kept thinking, "Am I really going to be able to do it? I have only run 6 miles one time in the past week. One time. This is 7.456 miles. Can I, Lord?" I slept, which was a blessing. I woke up at 6:30 and got ready to go. I read a few Psalms and headed out. It was raining. Drizzling and cool. But, I was ready. I had my Ipod all set up with some new tunes and I was ready. Pretty confident actually.
We started off running a pretty big hill and it was painful. Then downhill. Then uphill. I tried to keep a pretty consistent pace. Then it leveled off for a while. I was able to just run and enjoy it. Then I turn on this road and I see my car. Then I see Leighton, Mac and Lawson way up in front cheering for me. I gasped I think. It just took my breathe away. To see this beautiful family there cheering me on. My family. Cheering for me. Loving me. Encouraging me. Priceless.
Tears stream down my face right now because of the overwhelming gratitude that I have for my Lord. He has done every single one of those questions. He has provided a way for me. He has guided me and never left me on this entire 2 year journey. He has changed me in a way that I never thought was possible. Two years ago I didn't want to go on. I was miserable. I hated myself. I hurt all over. Pain is an understatement. I just wanted it to go away. But, I somehow found hope. I know that that hope was from Him. He has known all along what His plans were for me, so it has been no surprise for Him. I can just seeing Him smiling right now:)
For the first time in 2 years I feel complete. I feel totally hopeful and confident in who He created me to be. I give Him all the Glory, because Only He can do these things. He changed me from being someone that wanted it to end the race, to someone who wants to endure the race for Him. With Him. Not looking back in a negative way, but to give Him the Glory and never forget what He did for me on that cross. This race is so worth it and I can't wait until I get There and see His face and feel His arms wrapped around me. Eternal life is worth the race:)
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (New International Version)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
God Disciplines His SonsTherefore, 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."[a]
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
2 Timothy 4:7 (New International Version)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I will continue to fight the good fight. I will continue in the race. And I will always keep the faith. Thank you, Lord. Thank you.