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Weeks 7 & 8 Marathon Training: Losing Myself

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I am realizing that my blogs are less about running and more about God. And I think that is how it should be, when one goes on a journey with the sole intent to become closer to Him, that the result is exactly that. I just honestly didn't expect it. When I answered that voice that said I should run a marathon, secretly I didn't think it was God talking to me. Maybe it was my secret wish, to run a marathon. That was a thought, that I was just spinning it I to thinking it was God's plan, not my own, to perhaps feel a little less selfish. And as a Christian I want to follow God. And I sometimes feel a little (ok, a lot) undeserving...I am still building my relationship with Him, how do I "really" know that it is his words I hear? Who am I to think I can hear Him? It Is called faith, my friends, and it's true what they say, you don't need a boatload of it, just a tiny mustard seed, like the bible says.

So...part of me felt that during this journey I wouldn't hear him speak, that my footsteps wouldn't walk with His, that this whole marathon thing would really just be about running.

But it is anything but.

Yes, I am training, and getting stronger physically, but spiritually and in my relationship with Christ I am growing by leaps and bounds. Like my Faith. And yes, I am trying new fueling methods (I like cliff shots), and have learned ways to recover from sore muscles (foam roller), and I a building endurance, but it is the race to salvation that concerns me.

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
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.

I am reading a book called "Anything" by Jennie Allen. This book is nothing short of amazing, and is exactly what I needed right now at this point in my journey. A spark friend, Rachel, (RUNNERRACHEL) recommended it to me and I am so glad she did. This book is about one simple word, "anything" it challenges the reader to make a promise to God. Promising to do anything He asks. Go wherever He may lead us. Not questioning, but having a faith as large as this world that God created. I want that.

Last week I talked about running from God. I didn't want to be a runaway bride, I wanted to get closer to God, and in fact, would do anything to do that. This marathon is my anything. Letting go of my past and people in it that don't serve me, or even more importantly, enable me serve GOD as I should, is my anything.

In the book, Jennie says that "little deaths always feel like big deaths until you let go. After you let go you wonder, what was the big deal?" Let go. This is something I've been wrestling with. Letting go of people and things, ideas I don't need and most of all, letting go of my fear.

In the book she also says that at the root of all sin is unbelief. I believe that is true. We look for other things to fulfill and sustain us other than our God. But nothing else can ever fill us up like He can. It's like going to the gas station for fuel for your car, and filling up the car with water - it just won't work.

Another quote from the book, "he'll always feel far away, drowned out by other louder rivers, until every other thing fades away and He becomes the only thing."

I'm finding that my love for Jesus is outweighing my love of the material things and people of this world. That I want to follow him. It's not a "have to" anymore.

I also love this:

”But God often seems unconcerned with helping us maintain same, simple lives where everything fits and works. I don’t know what God’s plans are for you, but I do know that we don’t hear from him until certain things die. He doesn’t compete. And when he does speak, it typically costs something.”

There are things in this world that are going to be hard to give up. But I am renewing my vows and will release those things that take up space inside my head and heart. I'm going to make room for Him.

And I've found that even when we are running from god, he is always faithful, and is running towards us. Our past doesn't matter. Who we are doesn't matter. God weighs our hearts and sees what is on the inside, he redeems us. And we are NEW.

"No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of his presence."

-- C.S. Lewis

This week I was out of town in Michigan for my long run. I have always wanted to run the Kal Haven trail --the closest I got was walking it once n the winter for about 5 minutes. I wanted to run 8 miles to prepare for my upcoming half marathon. But I didn't want to do it alone on the trail. So I asked my dad if he would come with me and ride beside me on his bike. My dad has bad knees, and his feet are pretty messed up. The bike was too short for him, but he rode along with me, every step of the way, encouraging me.

A photo of my dad ahead of me on the trail

My dad

After the run

It reminds me of how God is always there with us, directing our steps. Of how much Jesus sacrificed for us up on that cross. It was amazing. I had reverted back to listening to hip hop and rap for running, but it didn't inspire me anymore. So this past week I turned back to the Christian music and it made me feel so light on my feet, like I was flying. Reminded me that I am running for those women and children who don't have water.

The prayer for this week is simple to get closer to god, no other demands that make my heart heavy.

Plan for this week:

Mon: 3 miles
Tues: 3 miles
Wed: strength and core
Thurs: 3 miles (hard)
Fri: rest
Sat : 5 miles long
Sun: cross training

Power Verses:
Joel 2:12-13, "'Yet even now,' declares the LORD, 'Return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.' Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil." (NAS)

Galatians 5:7
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

Colossians 1:9-14
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am so proud of you honey. I love you
    1828 days ago
    I love your recent blogs especially, as you talk of your spiritual journey. I've been a Christian for a long time but recently have had kind of a revival I guess inside with wanting to draw closer to Him. You talked about how not being sure in the beginning if you were hearing God or not about this, and how to know if it is God talking to you. Obviously you've found the answer to that question about the marathon training! But one thing that always helps me when I'm not sure and kind of floundering about which direction to go with something and which way is God directing me is something I heard a pastor say many years ago that has stuck with me. He said that it's easier for God to direct a ship in motion than a ship standing still. Meaning in your walk, when you seem to be just kind of spinning in a circle wondering what God is wanting you to do, start moving in a direction you feel led to do, even if you aren't sure it's God speaking to you. If it's the right direction, doors will open for you and God will guide and bless you. But if it's the wrong direction have no fear. God with gently guide you back the way He wants. Doors will close or it won't feel write or something else will open or whatever. But if you just sit in one place confused and uncertain and waiting for some kind of sign you just spin your wheels. Once you start moving in some direction then the signs will come whether it's the wrong or right one. God doesn't get upset with us if we start going in the wrong direction, unless it's a willful knowing it's a wrong direction or that it involves doing things you know are sin. This has always helped me so much not to just sit and worry about what direction I should go. If the marathon training had not turned out to be the awesome spiritual journey it has been for you, and it was not what He wanted for you, He would have let you know soon enough because if we honestly want to be led, He will lead, even if we start going in a wrong direction but with a heart that really wants to know what is the right one.
    Have a great day!
    1828 days ago
    Great blog! Isn't it amazing how God works! Running is so challenging in every way. I am happy to see how your journey is moving you forward as a runner and as a woman of God! Inspiring.

    The book & study is so amazing. I feel so blessed by it. I am glad you are growing from it as well. God is awesome!

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    1829 days ago
    What a beautiful blog. I am struggling right now, and your blog touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing.
    1829 days ago
    Beautiful blog & love the pics of your Dad - happy for U & your journey :)
    1829 days ago
    That is a wonderful blog. Life is amazing isn't it?
    1830 days ago
    What a beautiful blog! God is doing amazing things right now. He is teaching you so much through your training process, and you are definitely being obedient. It reminds me of a sponge- you are soaking up everything He is showing you. Love the pictures of your run. So sweet of your dad to be beside you every step of the way, just like our Heavenly Father is always by our side! Beautiful quotes, too. So proud of you- you are an amazing woman of God! emoticon emoticon
    1830 days ago
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