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.