Here I go again

365 Project: Day 64

I registered for my third Twin Cities Marathon last week. Yippee! I think I’m addicted.

Actually, it seems that the running journey that I began last year at this time has changed me in more ways than I could have predicted or expected. I’ve learned so much about myself and how much I really am capable of doing, both physically and mentally. One year ago, when I started my training, I remember not even being able to run even half a mile without stopping to catch my breath.

After a knee injury during my first marathon, I took a ten-year hiatus from any serious running. During that time, I experienced the healing power of God in my knees. I am so grateful. I knew in my heart I wanted to run again. So, in 2011, I was back! It was one of the most memorable and eye-opening journeys, and life-changing experiences of my life.

My confidence was waning in some areas of my life recently, and I was having trouble getting my mind off of some of my insecurities. My husband Jon asked me, “How many people do you know who’ve run a marathon? How many people in the United States or the world have even attempted to do what you’ve done twice already?” Well, it made me think. I have a few friends who’ve run one or more marathons, but I was so curious about the stats on marathoners, so I looked it up. The general consensus is that roughly .1% of the U.S. population have run at least one marathon.

Jon then asked me, “Have you EVER been in the top .1% of anything good? 🙂 That’s one in one thousand people.” I laughed a little, and then said, “Of course not.” I know it’s an accomplishment, but when he worded it that way, I immediately felt a new sense of confidence rise up. I was like, ‘Yeah! You’re right. I can do anything.’ I know that God has done amazing things in me—spirit, soul, and body—and I couldn’t have ever done it without His help. I also know that I had to give God something to work with, which meant I had to put one foot in front of the other and keep up with the training for all those months to be able to accomplish the goals set before me. God would help me, but He couldn’t do it for me.

If you’ve ever challenged yourself physically in some way, you know that you’ve put yourself smack dab in a mental battle that is, more often than not, more difficult to overcome than the physical challenge itself. If you’ve never done this, you’ll find out quickly that exercising your mind in this way and pressing through the toiling makes you grow and become a stronger person. Your faith in God is strengthened because you see things happening you couldn’t have imagined yourself doing before.

I am very competitive with myself, so I’m very excited for the challenges in the coming days, weeks, and months as I increase my speed and intensity this time around. I sometimes wonder why I feel such a draw to keep doing this. In part, my personal goals help keep my mind healthy, active, and focused… and out of oppression and depression (which I’m sure I’ll talk about another time).

The other part is this. The Lord is the one who puts dreams, goals, and aspirations in our hearts, so when we ask Him to help us walk them out—and He does—we feel fulfilled and good about ourselves. When we feel fulfilled and good about ourselves, we contribute good things to the world we live in and make it a better place. When we contribute good things to the world we live in and make it a better place, God is glorified in and through us. There’s nothing like seeing God work in your life and being able to give Him all the glory for something–from start to finish.

Psalm 108: 3-4 ~ I will thank You, Lord, among all the people. I will sing Your praises among the nations. For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Proverbs 16:9 ~ In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

2 Comments

  1. Deborah Johnson
    Feb 11, 2012

    wow Julie!! what an awesome message,once again it speaks right to my heart!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Thank you for that, Deborah. Glory to God! <3

    [Reply]

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