This past March, I found myself in a rare moment, attending a Church service without my Family. Deep in prayer and reflection, I felt God calling me to tackle a task that I REALLY didn’t want to tackle. He was calling me to spend more time with him, and to really LISTEN to Him. I knew just what He wanted me to do.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been running 3-4 days a week. I typically run around 5 miles in the dark of the morning before the rest of my family rises. It’s during this time that I pray. I pray for EVERYTHING; big things, little things, and personal things. I pray for myself, family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers. If you can think of it, I’ve probably prayed for it as I jog. It’s just how I process things, and it’s just how I DEAL with this crazy world.
The days that I run are always my best days. I’m kinder, I’m happier, and I’m just all around more the person that God intended me to be. Knowing this, you’d think I would get out of bed every day to spend time in His presence, but I don’t. The only exception to this is when I am training for a race. I like to run half-marathons. It pushes me to run one more day a week, and just a few more miles.
Sitting alone in that Church in March though, I knew another half-marathon wasn’t going to cut it. God was asking for MORE. MORE time with Him, MORE time in prayer, and MORE time listening to Him. He was calling me to complete another full marathon: all 26.2 miles of it. I needed to do this, because I needed MORE of Him.
I was NOT excited about this. I’ve run 2 full marathons before, and the training was tough, and the actual race was even tougher. In fact, the word tough isn’t even strong enough to describe it. Grueling is a more accurate descriptor. When I went home that evening (crying) I shared with my husband Ryan that God was calling me to run another full marathon. He just smiled and hugged me. Over the next few weeks, he gently continued to nudge me, asking me if I’d registered for a race yet.
Like a child called to clean their room, I grudgingly drug my feet. I prayed to God asking if another half-marathon would be enough. I REALLY didn’t want to train for a full marathon. I continued to hear God calling me though, so I decided to look for a race that would fit our busy schedule.
With 2 boys playing football, I literally had one Fall weekend open to work with. Within minutes of beginning my online search, I quickly realized that the Chicago marathon was on this open weekend, and I could register if I would be willing to raise funds for a charity. AND one of my favorite charities needed runners. AND It also happened to be ON my 40th Birthday. It was obvious that God had opened this door, so I quickly registered, and the very next day I began training.
This Sunday October 7th, 2018, I will run the Chicago Marathon after logging more than 500 miles “training” with God. During this time, He has “winked” at me on more than one occasion, sending me signs that I’m on the right path. One of the moments that stands out most vividly to me involves the loss of my IPod.
I pray while running, but I also like to listen to an IPod when my runs are long. Around week 5 of training though, my IPod mysteriously disappeared. I looked everywhere. I tore the house apart, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I finally resolved that God wanted me to listen to Him, and not my IPod, so I trained for the next 5 weeks without it. One morning was particularly tough. As I finished up a 17 mile run, I pleaded and prayed to God to help me find my IPod. I assured Him that I would still focus my runs on prayer and listening to Him, but I could really use my IPod to get through the last few miles of my long runs.
To my amazement, the very next morning I threw on a sweatshirt that I wear frequently, and in the pocket of the sweatshirt was my lost IPod! I think I laughed out loud when I found it!
It was like God was saying, “I’m Listening.”
As I approach the marathon this weekend, I will take my IPod with me, but God knows my ears, heart, and soul will be focused first on Him. I’ll be listening to His directions every step of the way.
These last few months have been awesome, and I can truly say that I more closely resemble who He wants me to be. I just pray that I continue to keep my heart and ears open. As I run 26.2 miles this weekend, I will also pray for you, and that whatever path and message God has for you, that you hear it clearly, and follow it.
If you need a friend along the way, I invite you to contact me. I’m Listening.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28