“I ran a mile today without stopping.”
This simple statement can mean so many different things to different people. To some it is an everyday occurrence, to others it is a huge accomplishment. Others would be disappointed to have just run one mile, or it would only matter if they improved their time. For me, this statement is more about the grace of God than the actual accomplishment of running.
When I was eighteen I had a doctor tell me that I should never run again for fear of permanently damaging my joints. As a cross country runner I was devastated. For years I struggled with joint problems and chronic pain, moving from doctor to doctor trying to discover what the source of the problem was. At twenty-one, I was diagnosed with a tear in the cartilage surrounding my hip socket and finally had an answer to years of chronic pain. Over a year of physical therapy and one surgery later, I could finally begin to run again.
It was an extremely slow process of working towards actually running. I spent months simply walking, and then slowly began to add short bursts of jogging. It is still a process of increase my endurance and joint strength, but I can finally say “I ran a mile without stopping.” This accomplishment is something I delight in, because I see the Lord’s hand in my life every time I am able to run.
As I run I think of the journey God took me through over the years. A journey of trusting in God, trusting that God would show me a solution and give me patience to endure the pain. As I run I think about the people in my life who have supported me. The friends and family who walked with me through physical therapy, surgery and a long year of recovery. As I run I am reminded of the love that was shown to me, I am reminded of the grace and power of God, and I am reminded that being able to run a mile without stopping is something to be celebrated.
Last week, for the first time since I moved home to Texas, the weather was near perfect to run outside. As I went and enjoyed the beautiful weather, knowing it would only last a day or two, I was overwhelmed with how far God has brought me in the journey of my physical health. I ran my mile praising God for all that I have learned over the years, and all that He has done for my life. To run a mile is somewhat of a small accomplishment, but it serves as a beautiful reminder of the love and faithfulness of God.