I am currently engaged in what is likely the most difficult thing I've ever challenged myself to. It's hard, grueling even. It's rewarding, yet takes more of me than I ever imagined possible. It's fulfilling, yet has stripped away much of the wall I had built around myself. It's beautiful and ugly all at once.
I am training for a mini marathon that will be held on April 24, 2010.
I am not a runner by nature. I am nowhere near it, if truth be told. Sadly, I've spent the past years (lots of them) sitting on the sidelines, feeling as though I wasn't worth being in the race at all... any kind of race.
But no more.
In the past couple of years, God has healed so many hurts in my heart and my life. He has truly renewed in me a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51). He has taken hurts from my past and allowed them to be used for good now. He has restored me. He has placed people in my life that have taught me that it's okay to be real, and that I can risk being vulnerable. It's been slow and painful, yet it's been beautiful. I feel whole.
Many of you know that in my past is sexual assault/abuse. I've never talked about it here, but I feel the need to do so now. Some of you may have walked that road as well. If so, know that you are not alone. Know that healing is possible and worth the work! Part of my journey has caused me to doubt myself, and that's one of the greatest parts of healing. I'm learning again the worth that God gives me through His Son. WOW... I'm amazed at how much He loves me!
This April marks 20 years since I was assaulted. In the years since that time, April has been hard to face. It brings back memories that are hard to handle sometimes, even after all of these years. A few years I have been sad, disconnected, defeated.
BUT NOT THIS YEAR!
This year, I am whole, content, connected, ready to face the memories, knowing that they are just that.. memories. And memories cannot hurt me! So, I will run. I will run for the joy that God has restored in me. I will run for the freedom I feel in Christ. I will run to celebrate the pure joy that my family gives to me each and every day. I will run to show all other survivors that God heals all, and you are not the abuse you have endured. You are more than that. I will run to celebrate the fact that I am beautifully made in the image of the Creator of all that is and is to come.
I will run as a praise to God. Each step of that 13 miles will be a worship experience. I will run what I can, walk when I need to. And I will smile, knowing that God has brought about more healing and restoration in me than I ever dreamed possible.
Pray for me. I'm afraid. I doubt my ability to finish, yet I will persevere.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hunders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God". Hebrews 12:1-2