Athletically, this was not the senior year I had dreamed of or worked so hard for. It was not what I clung to and prayed about as the days went on. Knowing it would be worth it, I kept getting back up and putting my heart into everything I did, and yet: here I am, and it doesn't feel "worth it."
All year, I have told myself it's in God's hands. I believe he has given me the talent and the passion of running. It seemed to make sense that he would allow me to access those things which he had given me. So I kept clinging to hope and proclaiming that God knew what he was doing. I assure you however, sitting in church this morning, I was not overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and love for God's wisdom in my life. I was angry. I soon realized that as hard as I'd tried to hand my running over to God, there was always a part of me that wanted it back in my control. I firmly believe that running was not my idol-- I merely love it because I love the way God moves in me when I am truly running-- but did I really give it over to God completely?
I think in the end, it lies in trust. Both where I am and where I've been elicit the question in my mind: Does God really seek to bless me? I know his Word says that, but after spending so much time and effort building my running career and being a day away from it crashing down on me, things aren't so clear. In reality, I struggle with believing that God wants what's best for me. I catch myself thinking that he must be punishing me or he must be watching idly while I make a fool out of myself by believing he was going to rescue me. But that's not my God.
I'm not quite sure what comes next, but I do not it's not time to give up. I'll never give up. I love to run, but I also know that it's time I see God and feel him outside of the racing and outside of what he's done for me. Though painful, this year has taught me that God can turn things to good. It didn't happen for me in running this year, but I did see it in every other area of my life. I saw it through my opportunity to minister to a younger friend with an eating disorder. I saw it through my ability to start a Bible study and share what I've been through and my heart for God. I saw it through my growth as a leader who does not mope and give up when things don't go her way. And aside from all that, I know I still love to run-- really run, not what I've had lately. See, all these things God has taught me this year aren't an excuse for why it's all okay. They aren't a "copout for God." That's because he is doing much more, more than I know right now. Perhaps I won't see it till next year, perhaps I won't see it till eternity. But I do know that God wants me to run, so I will run collegiately next year and I will have an amazing freshman year with his grace. Bigger than all that though, I know God wants me to know is love. His love doesn't come from good things or good results. Rather, it comes from a solid conviction that circumstances in life do not define who I am or what he has made me capable of. It comes from a solid conviction that I have a daddy in Heaven who will never stop interceding on my behalf and showering me with unimaginable blessings.
When I get to the end of it all, I'll most likely just be an old lady trotting down the street in mismatched running shoes and a sweatsuit. It's only running. Now to me, its a lot more. It's something I have dedicated myself to, worked for, and put all of my effort into. I know it's okay to be upset and sad about running, but not without hope. There is hope in the fact that God is working for me and that the difficult seasons in life serve to make us stronger and bring us closer to him. Some people draw away from God when they have hard times, but if we do not shrink back, God takes great pleasure in us. That is who I want to be. Right now, I'm darn sick of being disappointed and disappointing, but I know this season will end. The pain will subside and life will move on. Isn't that what running is all about: just keeping your stride and finishing the race? While running isn't what life is all about, the focus is no different: keep going and do not lose focus on the prize. While all my flesh wants is to shock the world with an amazing collegiate career starting in the fall, I know that seeking God is the number one way to be the runner, and the young woman he has created me to be. It's been a disappointing season and a disappointing year, but I'm not done. God has great plans for his children, and he turns all things for good.