Thursday, June 20, 2013

On Why I'm Running a Triathalon

So, in three days I run my first triathlon sprint.  I don't want to lie, so I'll be honest with you.  This week has been hard.  Training for this tri has been hard.  My body has felt wrecked at times.  I've wanted to quit too many times to count.

The swimming part of the tri has really stressed me out.  Up until yesterday, I didn't even know what my approximate swim time would be.  I have been afraid my time would be double what I said it would be when I signed up.  And I'm a rule follower so that stressed me out.  I swam late last week and felt so discouraged, I wanted to quite the tri all together.

The other morning I remembered a verse that has been very precious to me the last four months.
"Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10
This verse says it perfectly.  I decided then and there that I would pray this verse over and over in my head during this swim portion.  Especially, the part about Him upholding me :)  I'm not doing this race alone, even better I'm not living my life alone.  My Savior is right there with me giving me strength.  What a promise!

Then on Monday night when my sister and I were heading out for our bike ride, I fell.  My foot got stuck in my toe clip and over I went in my driveway.  (I was moving by the way :)  When the adult body hits the ground, it hurts.  I skinned my elbow and my knee and I am bruised up and down the right side of my body.  As I lay on the ground, half laughing and half crying, I thought "this is my out.  I won't be able to do the tri now."  But, no.  It wasn't that bad, thankfully.  I needed to press on.  I got on my bike and we rode our 13 mi and it was good.

After sharing my fears of the tri over and over again with Steve, he recommended I sit down and write out why I am doing the tri.  I've shared briefly in a previous post.  So, why am I doing this triathlon?  I am doing it because it is a way I can bring Him glory.  I am doing it because He was crushed for my sins.  He was beaten for me.  He was willing to lay down His life so I could have eternal life.  It brings tears to my eyes as I write this.  If He was willing to do all this for me, than the least I can do is swim, bike and run for Him!  My body may feel broken and weak, but His body was truly broken for me...better even yet...for you...for all of mankind.  Wow!  He is so worthy!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."  Hebrews 12:1-3

So, even though my life has been hard these past four months and I never would have chosen this path, God is good!  He has been faithful every step of the way.  I can only trust that He will continue to be faithful.  As for Saturday, I will run with perseverance the race before me.  I run for Charlotte, so she will know that even though I still long to have her here with me, I love Jesus more.  She understands.  She is standing in His awesome presence right now.  One day I will be right there with her and we will be praising Him together.  But for now, while I am still here on this earth...I will run with His strength to bring Him glory.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Making My Burden Lighter

For the past four months, I have had this huge burden hanging over my head.  This burden is writing thank you notes to all the many, many people who have blessed us in countless ways since we've lost Charlotte.  Beginning just days after we lost her, I had my mom buy me a journal and I began writing down the names of people and the ways they blessed us.   These blessings range from meals, gift cards, flowers, gifts, notes, laundry, to memorials.  It had been my greatest intention and desire to sit down and write to each and every person how very touched we were at their thoughtfulness and support.  But, here I sit almost five months after losing Charlotte and I still have a list of names too long and overwhelming to count.  As I sit today and try to scratch out a few more "thank you" notes, I cry.  This isn't what I want to be doing.  I do long for everyone who has blessed us to know how much their thoughtfulness has meant to us, but I don't want to write it.  I still want to hold my baby and writing thank you notes is just another reminder she is not here with me.  

A few months ago at my small group, I mentioned to my small group ladies how burdened writing thank you notes was to me.  They told me I should be exempt from writing thank you notes under the circumstances.  They all told me not to write one to them.  I poured out my heart to them, thanking them for the way they carried us with actions and prayers through the most difficult time we have ever faced.  I cannot even explain the burden I felt lifted from me that night, knowing I didn't have to write them.  

Alas, this blog.  I know I have already written to some of you, but to others the notes haven't come.  I want to seriously apologize.  I will not be writing more thank you notes.  We are so blessed to have such an excellent group of friends and family.  We have been completely humbled that so many would chose to love us in our darkest hours.  I realize that writing thank you notes is probably just a burden I have placed on myself, but in the earlier days it felt like the thing I should do.  But now, I am giving myself grace to just say THANK YOU now and let the notes slide.  This doesn't mean we don't appreciate everything you have done, it just means I still need to heal.  I need to protect myself from making obligations on myself that drain me.  

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  --- Galatians 6:2

I only pray that in the future that I would love others well in the same way that others have loved us so well.