I was called to run.
It may sound odd and you may not understand. But the real truth is that God placed a calling on my heart to place one foot in front of the other. To chase something I have always dreamed of doing but was too fearful to try.
I believe this calling came after a frightening experience in Nepal in 2016. While flying across the small country, one of the propellers on the plane stopped working shortly after we had taken off. Most people will rationalize being able to fly with one propeller, but when you are in a third world country on planes that are well past their expected life, this is not a good thing. And we all knew it. You could hear a pin drop as the flight began its descent for an emergency landing. By Gods grace, we made a perfect landing, in a wind storm that shut down the airport moments after we landed.
I have never been so afraid in my life. The closer we got to the ground, the more fear walked up in me, not knowing if I would make it through the landing. I started thinking of my life and if I had lived it to the fullest. And though I had done many things, I realized that I let fear hold me back from the things I really wanted to do.
I truly believe that this is where God got ahold of my heart. I realized I couldn’t live my life in a state of fear. If I wanted to do something, I needed to try. Regardless of failing, looking dumb, or getting hurt. The first thing I did after we made it safely back to Kathmandu was pierce my noise. And shortly after I returned home I started running again, pushing through the fear of re-injury.
Within a month, I had a thought of doing a half marathon. Honestly, I think god placed this on my heart. I started telling people I wanted to do it and within a week decided I was going to make it happen. With some support and a community of encouragers behind me, I trained and ran my first half in October of last year. And from there things took off. My love of running and sharing it with others were the things that kept me going.
In November of last year I read an article about why you should throw your name into the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. Though I had just put my name in the lottery for the New York City Half Marathon a week prior, I decided to throw my name in the Chicago lottery. 15 minutes before it closed and not even giving a thought to what training and running a marathon would mean.
A few weeks later I received notice that I would get to run the NYC Half and the Chicago Marathon. I hadn’t even been running consistently for a year. But I knew I couldn’t let fear hold me back. I started training for NYC on Christmas morning and decided I would only focus on the race ahead, instead of the one almost a year away. God knew what he was doing. And I decided to put my faith and trust in the process, knowing that everything would work out for His glory.
Today I boarded my flight to Chicago filled with excitement, joy, and gratitude. The things that have happened, the places I’ve been, and the community around me are part of this journey and have helped keep me going. God has been faithful to provide for everything I have needed and has continued to reinforce that this is what He has called me to do. It is by faith and through His grace that on Sunday I will complete my first marathon, just one year after completing my first half marathon. I could have never imagined this for my life, but He knew it was going to happen. He called me to live out my faith through running and I could not be happier for this calling and the path He has placed me on.