“I want to run a marathon… someday.” I found myself telling my new neighbor (who had run a marathon) that it was on my bucket list. I spoke those words to him before my son spent almost a year in the hospital fighting cancer; it was 4 years before I knew I could run a mile, then 2, then 5, and after a lot of work -- 20 miles. It was years before I was aware that I might have a capacity far beyond what I had ever recognized. I had no clue how, or when, I was going to run a marathon; I knew nothing about training, or if I was even capable. At that moment, I was far from that goal. But I knew I wanted to.
Faith was something spoken about (a lot) in church while I was growing up, and even now in the new church I go to. But the concept of ‘faith’ is something I am just starting to get. I am not completely sure if it was faith that brought me to the finish line that October morning. But I’m growing more certain it was my introduction into what ‘faith’ means.
After a year battling my son’s cancer, I was helping to set up for a Moms to Moms sale with some of my friends who had been my pillars of strength. As we talked about my desire to play soccer again, one of them encouraged me and said she would help me start a woman’s over 30 team. She had never played, but she said she would try. Shortly after, we both started telling almost every woman we knew that we were starting a team and looking for players. A friend of a friend told this girl, Jen. Jen joined our team, and a few months into it Jen and I started meeting at the gym to work out. One early morning, we started talking about running a marathon. I still did not run at this point anything more than a 3 minute warm up before doing weights or short sprints on the soccer field. We decided that morning to run a marathon together. We started training for the training that week. It was February and we had to June to get into running shape to start the rigorous training running a marathon takes. She encouraged me, kept me going when I wanted to quit. She motivated me to get up early when I really didn’t want to. She forgave me when I couldn’t make it for one reason or another. We kept going. We crossed the finish line, holding hands. Looking back now, I have faith a higher power – along with Jen’s love and help, and a little of my own determination – got me to and across that finish line.
It takes faith to believe in the good in people, especially when I find disappointment and have to look past it. It takes faith to be patient and wait for what I have been longing for. It takes faith to love people who aren’t that certain about love, including myself. It takes faith that if I try to do something good in this world, it will actually make a difference.
Sometimes my ability to keep faith fails me, and I don’t have faith in people who I should. And I fail them. And those times, I so appreciate my good friends and family who forgive me. But, I have also have tried to have faith in people who I shouldn't, and those were huge lessons that it still is taking time to heal from.
It is a huge walk in faith that I will be able to do more than just provide for my children and myself while I pick up the pieces of my life after the last 5 years. I didn’t have this faith in myself, nor God, when I was younger. This time I have faith it will somehow get done.