I survived a half marathon a few weeks ago. That’s right. SURVIVED.
I trained for it for MONTHS. Really! Since July, a friend and I had been diligently setting our alarm clocks and waking long before the sun rose to hit the pavement.
The morning of the race dawned warm and sticky. November in South Texas is notoriously fickle; the weather often see-saws between extremes within hours.
During the race, a cold front blew in. And when I say “blew in” I mean, “it almost blew me over”.
This was the third half marathon I have run, and it was by far the most challenging. It was also the most rewarding.
I spent about six of my miles allowing the Lord to talk to me. I wonder now if He had been waiting to answer the questions I had been desperately flinging at the heavens… waiting for a moment when I had nothing but the open road in front on me and silence all around me. No place to go but the finish line. No chores to bury myself in. No books to read, no children to tend.
Just Him & me.
He was gentle in answering my pleas – so gentle in the way He addressed the turmoil that had been boiling over in my heart. A good many of the things He talked about were related to adoption, but not everything. Most of what He whispered is for my heart alone, but there is one thing that I feel the need to share…
“Stay in the middle of the road, beloved.”
The middle of a country road is where it is the flattest. It’s where you can run the most easily without having to fight the almost imperceptible slope downward on either side. It might not seem like a mountain of a slope, but when you’re on that slope for 13.1 miles, it can hurt your form in surprising ways.
The middle of the road is where He is speaking, where we are hearing, where our deepest desires are to know Him more. I don’t have all of the answers to the “whys” I struggle with. I won’t have all of the answers to the “whys” my daughter will one day have.
But He does have the answers. While I may never be privy to the details, when I am in the middle of the road I trust… trust that I don’t NEED the answers. I just need HIM.
Coming home with our daughter has been the weather front blowing through our lives that has threatened to knock my off my feet at times. There are moments when the wind pushes me backwards and I want to cry. My weary body shudders to think I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
But I do, because I’m in the middle of the road. There are moments when the wind seems to propel me forward with force as if it has something to tell me, and that something is often that I need to find my way back to the middle, that I have become distracted by the sites around me and have slipped away from where I feel most at home.
At the end of the race, I heard the cheers of family and friends and saw the pink-icing, donut-covered face of my sweet girl, and I exhale.
Our race is never finished while we parent these precious gifts we have been given. There may be sunshine-y beautiful days when we reach a new Personal Best.
There may be days when we collapse; our only solace knowing that we have a new chance to lace up our shoes tomorrow.
Run your race well today, friend, and stick to the middle of the road.