Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When the day comes

Everyone one of us will encounter one of those days. Its the kind of day that shapes your life, you remember the most odd details from that day.  I remember where I was when the space shuttle challenger blew up.  I remember what I was doing, what I was wearing, and who first told me about the attack on the Twin Towers.  From my own personal life I also have a vivid recall of the blue shiny jammies I wore at age 5 when my dad moved out.  I clearly remember the date 1/26/09, the day my whole life as it was started crumbling.  And on 11/24/2010 when I got "the call" at 5:15 in the morning that my husband had an accident and was in the ER.  Its days like that which impact your life in such tremendous ways.  You almost never see them coming, and it seems as though there is no time to prepare.

One of the great lessons God showed me this weekend was the importance of training.  Come along on a journey with me, and you'll see how it all fits together to those days described above.  I had a "big day" this past weekend, it was the day I ran my first half marathon.  Thats 13.1 miles for you non-runners.  I'd say that's a major life shaping event which I will never forget.  But it didn't start on Saturday.  It started 2 months prior, when I went out and took my first run in preparation.  I was preparing for the big day- even though I didn't even know when or where I was racing.  I went out for 3 strengthening runs each week, starting at 3 miles and increasing up to 5 miles.  I even worked harder by taking my son along with me in the jogging stroller.  During these runs I built capacity, strength, and determination.  Every Saturday I went out for a long run, starting at 4 miles and ending at 9.  I built endurance, I saw my speed increase without effort, I learned to encourage myself when I got tired, I broke every personal record, and I built my ability with a few hills.

This training period lasted for 7 weeks.  It slowly built up my body and muscles to handle a 13.1 mile run.  It got my heart in shape, where I could run over 2 hours, and not lose my breath.  It helped me build confidence and more importantly endurance.  I learned how to work with my body to go the distance.  I was able to try out different methods: pacing, what to eat, what to drink, etc.  When race day came, I was ready.  I was confident.  I knew I was prepared, and that I was going to cross that finish line.  I knew my running well enough that I was able to set and meet a reasonable goal of under 3 hours.

As I ran, I knew the impact my training had on me.  When I passed the 9 mile marker, and I wasn't out of breath or even remotely tired, I knew it was the training kicking it.  When other people started slowing down, and taking more walk breaks, I kept going steady as can be.  I actually had a slightly faster pace the last half of the race, than the first.  I knew when to drink and when not too.  I was completely sure I was going to make it.  And to be honest, while it wasn't "easy", its wasn't a struggle either.  Don't get me wrong, running 13.1 was hard, but because I trained for 2 months and my body was ready I never had a moment of "I can't do it", "I have to walk", or "I just wanna die!".  That didn't happen to me.  After 9 miles I started counting down miles and encouraging myself. I knew I could do it, and mentally it was a very easy sell, because of the training.

Life is exactly the same way.  Remember those days we mentioned before? We are all gonna have them.  Maybe its the day a loved one dies, or you or your spouse lose a job.  Maybe its the day that someone you love receives a horrible diagnosis, or you have a break in a close relationship.  Life is hard, and it happens to everyone.  It seems like it happens out of no where, and you feel unprepared.  But that is not the truth.

We all have a "training" season in life.  Its the good times.  Its when everything is going well.  And how we "train" determines how the event effects us.  I trained for the half marathon and when the day came I conquered.  I was a victor.  I came through it without injury or harm. I came out stronger!  Imagine if I hadn't trained, how different that day would have been.  I wouldn't have finished.  I could've been injured or even died.  I would have left feeling like a failure and a defeat.  I would have said that a half marathon is just too big of an obstacle for me.

So the day my world fell apart, when my husband confessed his secret life to me, or the day he died, I was prepared.  I had been training.  I have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Everyday I spend time with Him.  I read the Bible, I pray, and I worship Him.  Training. When I encounter challenges, even the small ones, I seek Him.  When I read the Bible, it shows me how to live, and I choose to follow those ways.  Training. I sing praise and worship songs to Him, and I thank Him for what He has done in my life.  I attend a church that teaches me how to live, and gives me a personal encounter with His presence.  Its all training.

People would tell me through the funeral process, and even now, "You are so strong".  And I respond, "I'm not.  I'm a girl who knows how to connect with God."  And its true.  Because of my "training" time, I am able to walk through this season knowing I can do it, knowing I won't fail, breathing comfortably because I've set my pace right.  I know I'll cross the finish line, and I'm counting down the miles.  I'm not in a state of despair, or  injured beyond repair.  I'm putting one foot in front of the other saying, "Go on Jenn, 3 more miles.  You can do this!"  I'm not saying its been easy and it hasn't hurt.  It has hurt, more than I hope any of you will ever experience.  But when the day came,  I was prepared.

These days, difficult life events, will come.  But its the training you do now which will determine how you come through this: victor or victim.  I've decided I'm crossing the finish line and I'm gonna receive my medal. I'm gonna let this experience make me stronger,  How about you?


  1. Bff- yes, two years before my "Beloved" entered God's presence God spoke to me and I pulled into that quiet place with Him so deeply......changed my life as a home schooling Mom, shut myself in with Him.
    Little did I know then that it was a deeper "trust" in Him He was anointing and preparing my heart for. It was that 2 years of pulling away and diving "deep" into Him that allowed me to speak out "all is well" to the multitudes at my "beloved's" home going. Only God truly sees tomorrow and if we stay "hidden away in His presence", He will take care of His Daughters in all situations.....forever.

    Keep preparing bff- the world needs the message He puts in you daily. You are so loved.

  2. Love this post, so true, if only everyone would see this and believe it. God Bless!!

  3. I loved this post. You are an inspiration to us all. We all come across hard times, but we have to keep moving forward. Obviously we sometimes feel like quitting, but stories like yours gives us inspiration to continue to move forward. Thanks for sharing Jenn.
    - Jeff E. (Fort Myers)

  4. To all the friends who have commented above, Thank you for reading! I knew this was a good post when I cried reading it during proofreading. ;) Its not me, God has a way of flowing His heart through me. I pray that people will find this truth out, and develop a relationship with him in that training season, so they walk through those hard days in a way that inspires others. I thank God for using my life to touch all of yours!