In September 2010, I ran the Fox Cities Marathon, placing 3rd Masters and 18th female. It was my third marathon, but the first I would run after having six children.
I ran it in memory of my mother who had passed away a year before. My qualifying time was 3:33:23. My mother’s birthdate was 3-23-33! So ironic. I hoped to improve at Boston 2011 by ten minutes and get the numbers in the correct order!
The following spring, at the age of 46, I did even better than that, finishing in 3:19.
I ran the Boston Marathon with two Bible verses pressing on my heart: Nehemiah 8:10 “The Joy of the LORD is my strength!” and Psalm 18:33 “He gives me feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to tread on the heights.” I ran a PR race that day – and I was praying for 26.2 people or ministries along the way.
Two weeks after the race, I faced a difficult trial, which was another of many I was enduring at that time. I was quite weary and wondered if I’d get through it all. Beaten by this new attack, I became distraught. I was praying, “LORD, will I get through this?” I was so very tired of dealing with multiple accusations that were coming against me.
While praying, the director of the ministry I’d been accused of being negligent in called and interrupted my prayer. She asked if I was free that morning to meet. I told her I’d check my email to see if my morning was free and call her back.
The first email in my inbox that morning was a devotional by James MacDonald, entitled, “Will I Get Through This?” Can you believe it? The very words I’d just cried out in my prayer, Will. I. Get. Through. This?
The devotional was about Habakkuk. Habakkuk cried out, “How long, O Lord, will you let these injustices go on?” I wept. His words echoed my prayer of just that morning!! Then at the end, MacDonald cited Habakkuk 3: 19 (I noticed right away it was my Boston Marathon time.) Habbakuk 3:19 says, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength.” I thought, Hmmm…sounds a lot like Nehemiah 8:10, so I looked up Hab. 3:19, and I was blown away. Habakkuk 3:19 says: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He gives me feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to tread on the heights!”
WOW! God took my two marathon verses and put them into one verse, and marked them with my marathon time!
See…this is why I am a Christian. The God and Father of Jesus Christ has spoken to me through His Word many times, showing me that He is real, near, dear, and incredibly loving. I am humbled. I am awed. I am blessed!
I will run this race of faith; I will not grow weary or lose heart.
(By the way, the meeting I had with the director of the ministry was sweet. She heard my heart, and my story, understood, and said she’d been through a similar trial and it marked the most significant growth period for her and her faith. AMEN! Sweetness!) We have to believe and always remember this:
What the enemy means for evil, God means for good! Genesis 50:20
I write about spiritual endurance on my blog at spiritualendurancetraining.wordpress.com.
I enjoy teaching, coaching, writing to inspire others, and cheering people on toward wellness and wholeness. I feel most fulfilled when I am encouraging others. I have learned that we can do far more than we ever imagined once we come to know, love, and trust the One who created us. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Phil 4:13) “Apart from God I have no good thing – and I can do nothing.” (Psalm 16:2, John 15:5)
I have re-qualified at Grandma’s Marathon in June 2013, and I plan to return to Boston in 2014. I want to be there to celebrate overcoming evil.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
For more personal accounts of the 2011 Boston marathon, click here.
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