3/17/12

the race marked out for ME


I DID IT!!

I ran my FIRST 5K this morning!

3.2 miles . . . my goal was to finish in less than 30 minutes - which was a challenging goal.  A couple of years ago, I was running a mile a day and attempted 3 miles on my own and NEVER came in under 30 minutes - it's less than a 10 minute mile - which for me is GOOD!! :)

Today, my time was 28.17! :)

Yes, I was a LITTLE excited!! :) 

And, it didn't hit me until the finish line was in sight . . . 

. . . Nobody was waiting for me at the finish line. 

 Nobody was there "cheering" me on.  

No, that's not what I really mean.  

RICK wasn't there at the finish line.  RICK wasn't cheering me on.  

Grief hits at the strangest times.  

There is such a thing as a "runner's high" . . . I was feeling it, and right along with it, was sorrow mingled with the joy . . . THANKFULLY, I have wonderful friends and an awesome GOD!  Fred & Renee came and did the 5K walk - so while waiting for the race to start, I wasn't alone - they were there, we chatted, and they calmed my nerves (YES, I was nervous!).  When I was done and got to the car, I called some friends . . . friends full of encouragement . . . one with a "see, I told you that you could do it, it wasn't that bad, was it?", another with "I'm proud of you, and so is Rick", and another who screamed with excitement!  

Just the right people at just the right time - AGAIN! ♥

As I was looking for a picture to add tonight, I re-read this verse that I've heard SO MANY times . . . 

"...Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  Hebrews 12:1

THE RACE MARKED OUT FOR US

Today, the race organizers had the course marked out for the participants.  There were orange cones, police men directing runners and traffic, mile markers and water stations . . . they had the race marked out for us.  All we runners and walkers had to do was come and run/walk following the route they had prepared for us.

Well, then.  If the organizers of a 5K race had taken the time to mark out the race for us, how much more does GOD mark out the race of life for ME?

"RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE" . . . toady, I had to keep on running if I wanted to finish in less than 30 minutes (and if I wanted to beat that really tall guy off to my left - and I did!).  I had to persevere, even though it was very warm (for March in the U.P.), even though my legs were tired and quitting would have been "easier".  I had to persevere and follow the path that was marked out ahead of time.   As is life.  I have to persevere.  The race is MARKED OUT FOR ME.  The verse doesn't say anything about me getting to choose the path of the race.  It doesn't even say that I get to like every step on the path.  It just says to run MY race with perseverance!  It goes on to say "fixing my eyes on JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of faith".

I am pleased that I ran this race today.  I am pleased that at 45 years old, I'm probably in the best "physical" shape that I've ever been in.  I am pleased that I met my goal in finishing in under 30 minutes.  I am THRILLED that even in THIS, God met me.  God spoke to me.  God reminded me that though I may NOT like my "path" at times, HE has marked out this race for me.  And just like the race organizers today, God planned it AHEAD OF TIME!    The race He has "marked out for me" may surprise, shock, scare, or even paralyze me with fear at times, yet, HE marked out the race for me . . . it may take ME off guard, but it never takes HIM off guard!  

I do NOT understand the curve this path in my race took on November 5, 2011.  I do NOT know why my race seems to be on such rugged terrain right now.  I do NOT know why God chose this path for me.  BUT, I do know that HE has prepared the path.  HE was with us on November 5, HE was with me crossing that finish line today, and HE is in my tomorrow.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know Who holds the future
And I know Who holds my hand!

As another REMINDER, my "Jesus Calling" devotional today said, ". . . no detail of your life is hidden from Me . . . I will never leave you or forsake you!"

Maybe because it was a SATURDAY, maybe because I did something I've never done before, maybe because I had to go to the funeral home today for my Great Aunt's visitation.  I'm not sure why, but today was filled more than usual with missing Rick. 

It was a beautiful sunny day here in Michigan - a record breaking day for warm temperatures.  I spent part of the afternoon reading and resting in the sun . . . while I was laying with my eyes closed, I could hear cars driving by.  As I heard them coming up the road, my mind wandered . . . one of them was going to be that RED TRUCK . . . Rick was going to pull into the yard, his jeans dusty from work and his back already tanned from the sunshine this week . . . he was going to pull me into a hug and comfort me for the agony that has been my reality for the last 4 months, I would cry and he'd tell me it was o.k., it was just a bad dream . . . then, I opened my eyes.

The sun was still shining brightly, but . . . no red truck.  No Rickey pulling into the driveway.  No bad dream that I was waking up from . . . no, none of those things.  

This is the race that has been marked out for me.  I MUST CHOOSE to keep my eyes on JESUS, the author and perfecter of my faith.  I have to remember that no detail of my life is hidden from Him and that HE will NEVER leave me or forsake me.  Again today, the CHOICE was mine.  And despite the pain, despite the loneliness, there was joy sprinkled throughout the day.  Despite the pain, despite the loneliness, I WILL choose to trust Him and continue with perseverance this "race" He has marked out for me.

"Now it is God who makes you stand firm in Christ . . . He set his seal of ownership on us . . . "  2 Corinthians 1:21 & 22

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