Today I came very close to weeping with the overwhelming knowledge that God is there, carrying me through my challenges.
In January I started a Couch to 5K program using an Indy Christian Podcast to talk me through each week’s series of walks/runs. I got through Weeks 1 and 2 before we went to Florida for our vacation. It was impossible to fit in a run while we were in Disney (did manage to run at one of the hotels on the way there), so I fell behind. I fell even more behind when I got sick and was coughing too much to run.
I started back at Week 1 at the beginning of March. Because of N’s schedule I can’t always run every other day, as the program suggests, but I try to run on the days he is home if at all possible. I finished Weeks 1 and 2 once again and today it was time to move on to Week 3.
I knew that this one consisted of a 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk, repeat. It terrified me.
For those who have been following from the beginning (not many of you) you know I am a heart patient and have been my entire life. I was exempt from PE all through school, including college. I’ve had 4 pacemakers, 3 ICDs, 2 open heart surgeries, 1 closed heart, and a partridge in a pear tree. 😉 I have never been able to run. Ever. But since getting my bi-v ICD in 2007 my heart has gotten stronger. And the kids have definitely made me stronger. But mostly, God is continuing to make me stronger every day.
So when I got to the Rec Center where I run on their indoor track (way too cold today to run outside!) I started to pray. I prayed through the entire 5 minute warm up walk. Please, God, help me get through this run. Help me have the strength. Help me. I repeated my prayer over and over for that 5 minutes.
And you know what? He was there. He was listening. And He showed Himself in a more tangible way than I would have imagined.
As I started my first 90 second run I got caught behind a group of other exercising members. Some were attempting to get around the slower walkers, which meant that the way was blocked. So I was forced to jog slowly. N has reminded me that the “run” should be a slow jog, not an all out run. I thought of his words and realized that God was reminding me as well. I slowly jogged behind the fast walkers until they were out of the way, but continued my slower jog as I passed them. Before I knew it, the 90 seconds was over and I wasn’t out of breath.
I thought to myself Thanks for the reminder, God. And when the 3 minute run began, I had confidence that He was with me. Sure enough, He put road blocks in front of me once again to help me keep a steady pace. Not only did I make it through that 3 minute run, but my confidence started to build. I can do this. God is with me.
At the end of the last 3 minute run I was close to tears. I had done it. And I was even a little disappointed that the run part was over. Because I had so much energy and confidence following that run that I could have gone even longer. I spent the 5 minute cool down walk praising Him and thanking Him for giving me strength, a husband that believes in me, doctors that have the wisdom to get me where I am today. I thanked Him with my whole being. And if I hadn’t been in public, I would have been weeping with the joy I felt in His love.
He does love me. He wants me to succeed. He wants to give me strength. All I have to do is ask. So now I am asking Him for the strength to meet the Orange Rhino Challenge. I know He is there for me. And with His help, I can succeed.