Friday, September 11, 2015

Fitness Friday-My friend's Marathon

I'm not sure where to begin.
This actually has nothing to do with physical fitness but the word marathon applies to the situation.

Two weeks ago my friend, my sister in Christ, a fantastic mommy to three children who are the same ages as my own, who attend the same school and same church we do .....two weeks ago her world was rocked with a health problem that she never knew existed until she went into the ER.

Two weeks ago our mutual friend, who is also my sole sister (we run every run together), a woman that I can't find one ounce of weakness in, a fellow sister in Christ....two weeks ago the loss of her mother at age 10 was brought to the forefront of her mind as she walked through this health scare with our friend.

Two weeks ago I was reminded that our time here on Earth is fleeting, a mist, a vapor. That my children are so precious, so much a part of what makes me work hard, so enjoyable even when they are not.

BUT, this school year which started almost 5 weeks ago God began to pave the way for all three of us.

Five weeks ago, I saw that my teaching schedule would allow me to attend Moms in Prayer at our school for the first time in my 6 years there. I went and immediately caught their vision of begging the Lord on the behalf of our school, our students, our parents, our teachers.

Three weeks ago, I heard a sermon on how the Lord's word is always good to our hears. It satisfies us like nothing else can. I was reminded that the Lord has provided everything we could ever want...even when I don't know what to pray He has sent the Holy Spirit to groan and utter on my behalf. The Holy Spirit has had to stand in my place a lot lately as all I know to pray is "please God, please".

Last week, our pastor finished his sermon series on Community....something that I have a desperate passion for. I was in tears when the pastor reminded us that we are made in God's image and so this deep longing I have to be a part of a community, to form deep bonds come from Him. I am not a weak human who is selfishly craving something that I can't have. I am craving a deep rooted community where I can suffer with the saints, praise God for our blessings and trials, love and grow together.

Last night I went and prayed over my friend with the health issues as she underwent a life changing surgery today. I watched my friend beg God for healing, to allow her to wake up after surgery (a very real issue), to allow her to raise her kids. I watched my other friend sob as she remembered losing her mother but praise God for the lessons she has learned and the memories she has of her. I felt deep roots among us as we held hands, hugged, held, laughed and cried.

Today, my friend is in recovery. Her operation was a success, in fact it turned out to be the best case scenario they played out before her yesterday as she was told every scenario possible. She will be able to raise her children, testify to our God's faithfulness again, love her husband, fellowship with her sisters.

As I prepare for a 20K, 1/2 marathon and full marathon I have to visualize this whole ordeal as a race. There are times in our lives when we have to step into our friends sufferings, into their marathon. I don't know any other metaphor that applies so well.

Its long, excruciating, its mental, physical, requires grit, sucks for most of the way, you only see the end when its right upon you, there are thousands of others running past you but not with you, you are passing up others but not stopping to engage them. There are times in my life when I am going to have stop my life, my marathon....turn around..step into anothers pace, anothers life and carry them, support them.

Stopping my race and entering theirs means I lose my pace, I lose my routine, I back track, I become uncomfortable as I step into a race that I didn't train for....but I go back none the less and I make sure that both my friend and I finish strong. I make sure that they are loved on, feel supported, are being ministered to, are able to get back into their own pace and we all cross the finish line together.

So many people have stepped out of their race and into mine countless times. Jesus stepped down from the throne and entered the human race, lowering himself to the form of man, to show how to be a true servant leader.

For those of you who have never run a race I don't know any other way to describe crossing the finish line other than a feeling of being "complete". You have trained, you have endured, you have backtracked to pick up a friend, you have encouraged other runners, you have grabbed nutrition along the way, you have mentally told yourself that you can finish time and time again. This feeling of real completeness will be so much sweeter as we cross into eternity and look back on our marathon of life. As believers I hope we can look back and see how we stopped at mile 17 and re-grouped, praying and begging God for our lives. I pray we can look back at mile 20 and remember all the times he was faithful to sustain us through the hard times and hills and always kept his promises. I pray that at mile 25 (whenever that happens for us all) that we can look ahead and sprint towards the finish line, reaching out to grasp God and hear him say "Well done thy good and faithful servant". I pray that we run the race with endurance and in community.

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