Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 77...

One prayer that I've prayed frequently throughout this whole thing has been for protection against pride. It's something that I've struggled with all my life, and it would be SO easy for me to be all like, "Look at me! Boston Marathoner who is running for a cause. Aren't I great?"
Well, as we all have seen, God is faithful. He DOES answer prayers. Especially ones like that, which line up with His will for us.
I had a little bit of a meltdown yesterday. After the cross-training session, my right foot pain made it's presence known in a pretty significant way. And, after doing activity that should have helped it, and instead, hurt it, I lost it. My thoughts just went crazy as to what was wrong and how I should fix it and why God would let this happen.
All day, I stewed about it. I cried to several friends. I sent out e-mails for prayer. I prayed, obviously. I quoted as many verses as I could--not just about healing or anything, but ones about anxiety and fear in a sincere effort to get my mind focused on what was true.
One of my favorite sisters in Christ stopped by the office to have lunch for me, and the minute she asked me how I was, I started bawling. "Anna, I just don't konw what to do!" I sobbed. Now, friends, my girl Anna is one of the most spiritually amazing women I know. She's still in college, yet, she's someone I'd go to without hesitation for spiritual advice. She's just THAT solid. (Love you, Anna!) Bless her heart. She listened and comforted me, and then she spoke some very encouraging truth: God is still faithful. "Jill, maybe His glory is going to look different than what you thought," she said.
To be honest, I'd not really considered that. Everything had been lining up in a certain way that I just figured everything would work out the way I thought. We'd raise the funds, I'd do the training, we'd take Military Ministry to the streets of Boston in celebration. Well, what if that's not God's best in this situation? What if He's got glory planned in "defeat"? I hadn't considered that as even an option. Now, the question became, how would I react to that.
Not well.
After lunch with Anna, I did feel a little better. Yes, God was still faithful. I enjoyed revisiting that truth with her. But after a while, the enemy began to creep in again. By the time I was driving home from work, I was asking God why He hated me. Seriously. I was really just convinced that this whole thing was over and that all the work that had been done was for nothing.
My Papa Bear (pictured on the left) called me just as I was getting ready to get out of my car and go into my apartment. I have to tell you, he's one of the most positive, encouraging people on the face of the planet. He can put a silver lining on a case of poison ivy. And he will, too. It just annoys the crap out of people if they're in a really bad mood. haha! :) Well, he let me cry for a while, but then he started spinning his positive words.
Truthfully, I wanted to smack him. hahaha! :) But what he spoke really hit home. I couldn't deny the truth of it. And while my flesh wanted to wallow in misery, my spirit wanted to keep it's faith.
I walked into my apartment pretty exhausted. I glanced at my running shoes at the side of the door and a sudden thought popped into my head, "Orthodics."
Explanation: Back when I'd trained for the Lincoln Marathon in 2008, I'd had some custom orthodic inserts made for my running shoes. I have UNBELIEVABLY high arches, so the support really helped when I packed on the mileage. After I got my IT Band syndrome, I didn't wear running shoes for so long that I forgot I had them. When I returned to the road, I might have casually thought about it in my head, but I thought I was so much stronger in my core muscles that I didn't need them anymore. I tossed them in a drawer and went about my running as normal.

Pretty desperate to do anything to help the injury, I went upstairs to try and find the orthodics. I looked inside old shoes and didn't see them. Then I went to the back of my closet and the bottom drawer of a storeage piece I have. There they were. Tucked away under some unused gloves and scarves.

I pulled them out and went back downstairs to put them in my shoes. They fit perfectly, even with a new brand. (They'd been created for Mizunos. I'm running in Sauconys now.) "Well, it can't hurt," I thought. And I left it at that.
Now, for everyone who isn't familiar with orthodics and running shoes, this move is really not generally a good idea. Messing with your running shoes before a 12-mile tempo run is kind of risky. But I kind of felt like this was the answer to my prayers, so I decided to take that risk.

It worked.
12 miles this morning. Minimal pain during the run. None after. The only glitch (and I kind of expected this to happen) is a near blister on the arch of my left foot where the orthodic rubbed. Other than that, my legs and feet feel great. It even really helped the plantar fascitis in the right arch, as well. Thank You, Lord.

Yesterday, one of the verses that I read while I was on the elliptical was Isaiah 54:17. I have a collection of cards from Beth Moore's Breaking Free study that are very handy to transport. This verse says, " weapon forged against you will prevail." While those weren't God's promises to us in general, but to a specific group at the time, I fully believe that's true when it comes to spiritual warfare. Then, when I e-mailed out my prayer request yesterday to a group of ladies, my sweet sister Brenda wrote back and included that very verse.

So, here's where we're at: God is faithful. God is obviously at work. God is still God. I believe that He is a way-maker and that He will see this through. I am believing that no weapon--whatever that looks like--forged against this will prevail and that God will carry us through to victory. I'm praying that victory ends with my Military Ministry race jersey crossing the finish line in Boston with the confidence that we've raised funds, awareness and prayers for our military. I'm praying that the marathon itself is nothing more than a 26.2-mile victory lap in celebration of all that God did during the 16 weeks leading up to the race. Would you join me in that prayer today?

I know this is long, but today there was a lot to share. Thanks so much for reading. And I do pray that if this moves you--if you have ever felt or are currently feeling despair and hopelessness, or if you feel like God is against you--hold on. Please hold on. Even if you can't fully understand, just believe. Just trust. As Brenda told me yesterday, God is a God of movement. He won't leave circumstances the same for long. Just hold on and trust Him until He moves. And trust me. He will.

Prayer requests:
-For the right foot and the continued divine grace on my body.
-For Military Ministry and the fundraising efforts. If anyone has thoughts on how to raise more, I'd love to hear them! :)
-For our troops as they serve us and protect our freedoms. '
-For healing on those with PTSD.
-For the recovery run tomorrow.
-For rest. (I'm a little emotionally and spiritually dry. Need a jolt of Jesus!) :)

Thanks, all. You guys are amazing!

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