Sunday, February 10, 2013

Step by Step

I've just completed week four of my half-marathon training. I've had some great runs and some really, really difficult runs and run farther than I've ever run before. Much to my surprise, it is my shorter runs that are more difficult and my longer runs that are easier and more enjoyable. When I run, I take flashcards with Bible verses on them and memorize Scripture at every mile. The first four verses I've got down! The verses for miles 5 through 7 I'm still working on. Before I registered for the OC Half-Marathon, I was really excited to challenge myself in a new way. Once I actually committed and signed up for it, I felt crazy. I've never really been a runner, I have no business being registered for a HALF-MARATHON! When I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions and what I felt God calling me to in this year, a half marathon kept coming up. I had found one I was interested in over Christmas break and talked with friends about doing it but wasn't sure if I was actually going to follow through. My goal was to run at least one half-marathon before I graduate from Biola. So now I have myself committed to running and enjoying it for the most part. Every run feels and looks different for me. Last semester I did not run much. So when I came back to school in January and started running again, it felt like the hardest thing I had ever done. This also contributed to me feeling like an idiot signing up to do a half marathon. I knew that this was something I was not doing alone though, God would be with every step, every mile, and every day as I prepared for the race. I knew two miles was not much and I could probably do it with no problem. Much to my surprise, some two mile days have been extremely difficult for me! The days I head out thinking I can conquer a run with ease and it's no big deal and I can rely on my own strength, those are the days that God tells me, "you need Me everyday". Long runs I know there is no chance in the world I can finish without the grace and strength of God helping me every step of the way.
Today I got to surprise my best friend Ari and go to her church to hear her perform my favorite song she has written called Quiet Streams. Last night I did my homework and laundry so I could spend the day in Laguna with her and her family after church. Since I was in an eight hour class yesterday (yes it was Saturday, yes it was awful, and yes I hated every moment of it), I did not have time to go my long run. The training schedule I am following has me running 2-5 miles on the week days and longer runs on the weekends. Saturday I was supposed to run 8 miles. Sadly I did not get to. I was kind of dreading having to run that far because I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish after some disappointing shorter runs this week. Today when I came down to Ari's house I brought my shoes because there is a beautiful path to the beach and great places to run by her house! So I started my run trusting that the Lord would help get through the next 8 miles. IT WAS AN AMAZING RUN! I enjoyed every second of it and trusted that God would help me fight the pain, keep going, and conquer the hills!
As I was running on the sand, I saw lots of foot prints. Some were bare feet, some were running shoes, some were big, some were small, and I even saw some animal foot prints. As I was running and praying along the shore, I heard God tell me, "Child, I am with you every step of the way. Step by step I will guide you and lead you on the path I have for you." This brought me extreme peace knowing that I didn't have to think about how much farther I had to go, or what I had to face this week, but that I could enjoy and trust God each step of the way as I finished my run and as I go about my daily life learning what it means to be His disciple. God is revealing Himself to me in new ways this semester and I am so excited that each step of the way on my journey through Biola, He has been there guiding me exactly where He wants me. He lead me to Biola, called me to be an elementary ed major, and has allowed me to serve in various leadership roles during my time here. I have full faith that as I continue to grow and learn at Biola, He will guide me along the path He has designed for me.
Putting one foot in front of the other,

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