Friday, June 25, 2010

Running For Jenny

One of my goals this summer is that I am training for a 5K. My goal is to run a 5K in the fall. If you are close to me, you know that I am not a runner. I really can't emphasize that enough. I'm really not a runner! I took track my freshman year in high school, and after the first week, I did everything I could do to NOT have to run! Haha! I became very good friends with our SRO (School Resource Officer) so that I could do work for him to get out of track. Looking back on it, obviously my track coach agreed that I was not a runner, because she didn't seem to mind that I had other things I'd rather do. Anyway, this is something that I feel like God is challenging me to do, and so I've accepted the challenge, and I'm doing everything I can.

Here's the story of how God placed this on my heart. Early February, a family friend, Jenny Ross Bizaillion , got very sick, very fast. My family has been close to the Ross' for a while now. Rick (Jenny's dad) was the preacher at our church in Mesquite when I was growing up. Beverly (Jenny's mom) helped my family when my parents were going through a divorce. And Josh and Jonathan (Jenny's brothers) both went to ACU, so they had an impact on my life pretty regularly. I've always looked up to them. So, when Jenny became very sick, I followed her story (along with over 12,000 other members) on CarePages. Jenny died 3 weeks later. It was a challenge watching a family I loved so dearly, hurt so severely. Jenny had thousands of people praying for her healing, and unfortunately, we didn't get the result we had all hoped for. However, this is not a story about suffering, though there has been tremendous amounts of that. This is a story about how she's changed me.

One of Jenny's best friends, Paige, has shown me what it is to truly love a friend. She has taken her sorrow and pain and turned it into a ministry. I don't know Paige personally, but what she has shared about her journey through her blog and the facebook running page (more about that later) that she has created, has inspired me to challenge myself (physically and spiritually). Paige and Jenny had a dream to run together. Their husbands are runners, and they wanted to run with them. They were going to train together. They were going to grow together. Unfortunately, they didn't get a chance to do that. Paige has instead decided to take her sorrow and turn it into inspiration. She runs for Jenny, and she's inspiring people daily to do the same thing. Paige created a facebook group called "Running for Jenny", where members post how far they run each day, and share a piece of their spiritual journey in the running. It's awesome! Everyone should check it out, and join if you want a place to feel encouraged and supported. That's definitely what it's done for me.

I knew that I would be able to reach this goal if I had a specific plan laid out, so I have begun the Couch to 5K program (C25K). There's also an awesome iPhone app that I got to help me keep track of the workouts. I'm in Week 2, and things are going really well. I use my running time to talk to God, think about the Ross/Bizaillion families (and other families that have lost loved ones), and allow God to speak to me through each step. It's been a pretty neat journey so far, and I'm really looking forward to where God is leading me.

Moral of the day: Challenge yourself to do something new. Something you wouldn't normally try. God can do some incredible things when you give it all over to him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Beginning

For some reason, in the last few weeks, I've had the urge to start a blog. I can't promise how exciting it will be, but I think I mostly need a place to post my thoughts. So, this is mainly a project for me. I'm not sure who will end up reading this, but I guess I just like the idea of having some place to talk about my life story. Somewhere to leave a mark. So, we'll see how it goes.

I have several things I plan on writing about on here, but I'm going to start with the inspiration for the title of this blog. I have just started reading a book called The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg. It is a fabulous book so far. The goal of the book is to discover what God wants for your life and to become the best version of yourself that you can. Here is a quote that really stood out to me and ultimately encouraged me to begin this online journey.

"Every once in a while, you do something that surprises you and catch a glimpse of the person you were made to be [...] As you do, you glimpse for a moment why God made you. Only God knows your full potential, and he is guiding you toward that best version of yourself all the time. He has many tools and is never in a hurry. This can be frustrating for us, but even in our frustration, God is at work to produce patience in us [...] You are not your handiwork; your life is not your project. Your life is God's project. God thought you up, and he knows what you were intended to be."

Isn't that so powerful?? To think that God has a specific plan laid out for my life, and yours. He's working every day to form you into the best version of you that's out there. Ortberg talks a lot about never comparing yourself to others (which I definitely struggle with) and to look at your life through God's eyes. That He is constantly, and purposefully, molding you into exactly what He wants you to be!

So that's where my story begins. I'm on a journey to become the best version of me.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart"
- Jeremiah 29:11-13