This is part 22
start from the beginning HERE
Several months had passed and my knee slowly began to loosen up and seemed to be getting stronger. Then I was presented with an opportunity to sign up for a marathon, with my mom. My sister-in-law would also be training for it in another state and running it with us.
My mom and my relationship was slowly improving and I saw this as a full circle opportunity. Running had always been a source of contention for me with my mom. Even after I ran my first marathon I still know I was doing to prove something, so to have this opportunity to do this together seemed like a God opportunity. A part of a redemption story. I had no idea, however if I could run on that knee.
So I just tried. I started trying to accomplish at least three miles, at the end of that run I knew I could do that at least. And this process became a huge lesson in faith for me that has stuck with me ever since. That this day by day, this moment by moment stepping in faith really practical example. I didn't know if I could run 26.2 miles in 3 months, but I knew today I could run three, and that was all I needed to know.
I wrote a couple months into that training....
July 16, 2014
"I have found God is so faithful to me and although I am not learning probably nearly as much as I could be He is still speaking to me so clearly, I know it because it's the same message every where I go.
This idea that faith is activated as we move into it, not as something we sit around and wait for.
It's really a practical thing that God is ingraining in my heart that is not lost on me in my training for a marathon. I started training for this thing on faith completely. I dislocated my knee twice at the beginning of this year and honestly, it never would have entered my head to even THINK about training for a marathon while I was sitting in that ER room or in those physical therapy sessions.
Many things shot up in the beginning, my knee was really very sore for the first few weeks, but I just ran through it hoping I wasn't making it worse. My husband applied for a job in California which meant we might not be here for the race, but I paid for it anyway. I remember on one of my earliest runs just talking to the Lord, like, "OK here we are, you and me, and I need you to get me through one small run at a time" the word "Audacious" was brought to my attention. The AUDACITY to believe that I am under a year from having my second son by c-section, running on a recovering dislocated knee, well over weight seems illogical, but isn't that what faith is all about?
And so, one foot in front of the other, one run at a time, I finished them. My knee stopped hurting, training worked out, we didn't get the job in California, and last weekend I prayed again that I would be strong to the end, and I was.
Not to sound cocky, as you all know I don't perceive myself to be some elite runner, but it's like I have this confidence in the back of my mind. To put it in a phrase, "it ain't no thang". HA! But I really know it's God, how else could it not be? And here we are working on me, again. Him showing me things, prodding me, encouraging me, teaching me.
This idea that He already has everything I am asking from Him, but I have to step out.
I couldn't train for a marathon if I hoped God would just instill the ability in me as I walked up to the race on August 17th. I have to try, start in the little runs and work up to the bigger runs.
He is trying to take these same principles and ask me to trust Him in other ways, in other areas of freedom that look impossible, in dreams that I am afraid to step out in because I don't want to fail.
I think one of my greatest fears is being wrong about myself, that I am not capable, but God doesn't ask me to be capable, He asks me to step and trust. So whatever I know to do next, do that thing.
Waiting is active. I am waiting to be ready to run a marathon, but I don't just stand around to do that, I get my butt on the trail and do my part and expect God to meet me there with his power, and He has.
"Taking a step of faith" is an old phrase we like to throw around but it's true, sometimes we just have to step out. And most the time, it's not about these big career changes or life altering events, it's the little mundane things that God wants our whole hearts in that we hold onto certain we can never change them, that it's just "who we are". But God is not satisfied with that. The Holy Spirit is here to sanctify us, change us, and ultimately give us the freedom Jesus died for us to have.
I can say with all certainty that I am changed because of God's work in my life. I have a freedom now that I didn't have before, but here is the thing, I believe I have had it for some time, I just didn't walk in it. I instead listened to all the lies that filled my head constantly. I became their slave bowing before them like they were my task master, believing the accusations against myself and others, that in fact no one was coming to save me, there was no freedom to be had.
But then, I chose to step, I got UP.
I told that bully that I allowed to live in there to shut up and start literally taking those thoughts captive, I mean lock them down. They weren't going to run my mind, and therefore my life, anymore.
I didn't know it was going to get better, I just knew I couldn't stay in that place, and so I stepped.
This is what God is showing me again. There are some things that we don't know for sure in life will work out the way we dream or envision. We don't know how it will get worked out, smoothed out, put in place, and we can not know any of the ending without having a beginning.
Faith is stepping out not knowing where you are going, where it leads, what happens next, but it's trusting He is good and He wants to show up for us!"
And sure enough, when that day came, I was able to run that 26.2 miles, my mom and I had done nearly all our long training runs together and things were healing more and more between us. In the middle of storms God always provides small glimmers of progress, of hope, of where His hand is moving amidst all the ways He has yet to move. We just have to look around and acknowledge them.
, by Ashley Jackson