Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hoping in the One Who Renews My Strength

A year ago, I could not run half a mile without feeling like I was going to die.  I know it was a year ago, because I just looked it up.  I posted this blog on March 10, 2011, in which I stated, and I quote, "I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to physically run a 5K."

That reminds me of all those times when I told people that I didn't want to even bother trying to lose weight because with my body structure, I'd never be able to fit in anything smaller than a size ten.  I currently wear a size six.

And I have run a 5K.  Two of them (actual races, not just the distance...I've run that distance LOTS of times).

I've also run a 10K.

Yesterday, I ran 8.1 miles.  I'm 5 miles away from running a half-marathon.  And today I bit the bullet and finally registered for one in mid-to-late May.  The race is taking place where my sister lives, which means I can visit family and run my legs off all in one fun-filled weekend! 

Anyway, I'm not saying any of that to brag on myself.  I was happy being a speed-walker who thought running was for the crazies.  Now, I am one of the crazies!   My introduction for running was seemingly (but not at all) by random coincidence.  I just wanted to run a 5K that my boss was sponsoring (meaning I had free registration).  I never meant to actually become a runner.  I never meant to actually enjoy running.  If you had told me a year and a half ago that I would be training for a half-marathon, I'd have laughed at you.  Now, I'm the one who's laughing.

I'm laughing because God has the greatest sense of humor, and because He's very gracious to me.  Just as I was starting to get really into running, a sports ministry ( was starting up through some triathletes at my church.  I, Ruth Campbell, the most uncoordinated, non-athletic person alive (a bit of an exaggeration, but not that much of one), found myself involved in a SPORTS ministry.  It's hilarious.  It's a hilarious, wonderful, awesome, beautiful, crazy example of how God proves me wrong all the time.  I don't think I'll ever be a fast runner (but I'm learning to never say never), but the fact that God has brought me from where I was to where I am now is extraordinary.  My God is extraordinary!

Yesterday, as I was running my 8(.1) miles, there were several moments where I just lifted my head up towards the blue, blue sky and raised my hands in the air.  I was at a public park, but I didn't care who saw me.  Yesterday was more than just a workout, and it was more than just training.  It was worship.  My hope was in the Lord, and He was renewing my strength.  And I don't know how well I'll do in this half-marathon I've signed up for, but I plan on finishing with my heart and lips full of praise for the God who is able to do more than I could ever ask or imagine through me. 

It kind of makes me bold enough to try to do other things that are difficult or even, from my perception, impossible for me to do.  I'm not strong.  I'm not wise.  I'm not all the things the world says I'm going to have to be if I'm to accomplish my dreams.  "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up with wings as eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31  All things are possible with God.

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