We have been training for about 5 months, meeting 3 saturdays a month. Sometimes my girls showed up, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes I walked in to learn a girl (or 2) had left the recovery program altogether, most likely to go back to the streets, back to using drugs, and/or back to a toxic relationship. Once I drove out to the house and (stood up) I ran all by myself in the basement. And
Not one single meeting in 5 months went according to my plans. Not one.
I started to be happy those mornings when Basho the dog didn't corner me and my co-leader in the hallway growling.
That's how well it was going.
But there were also encouraging times. I did love talking with the girls. I loved to see them succeed - even though that was not every week. And we found a volunteer for childcare - oh that was a glorious thing!
And in the midst of the chaos that swept in and out of our team, I prayed.
"Lord, I need you to move a mountain. I need you to get us across the finish line."And I just kept praying it - until I walked into the house this morning and found childcare and transportation sorted and three girls, ready to go. All was well - except for Basho, who stood between me and the bathroom. I decided I could hold it for a few minutes, and as I backed into the cafeteria I suddenly heard the music playing:
"Savior, He can move the mountains,-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save."
I can't show pictures of the girls here but 2 quarter marathoners and a half marathoner from Shepherd's door made it across the finish line. The Gorge Marathon was a tough course but also over the top beautiful. It was the first race any of them had ever finished.
When one of the girls heard she would get a medal this morning her mouth hung in an open smile and she grew quiet and looked out the van window for a minute. She turned back around and said softly, " I can't believe we get medals." And this is a woman who I have never heard speak softly.
So I have to say, there were a lot of ups and downs during this journey, but, as I lay it all in God's hands I am happy with it. I can see a lot more finish lines in the future for each girl, whether they ever run again or not. And I learned so much training them and hearing their stories. This was the most rewarding half marathon I've run so far (number 4) and that's not even including the fabulous taco bar at the finish line.
|trainers - Amanda and I before the race|
|somewhere in the middle - and then it super rained and my hand chilled to the shape of a claw so I stopped taking photos and texting|