The thing that really, really got me through the week was a dependence on the Lord. Never have I EVER had to depend on the Lord for that much strength. On days that I stayed up until midnight, I woke up in the morning and pleaded for help in getting throughout the day. I found the promise in Isaiah to be true
"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Although I didn't feel fantastic all the time, I certainly felt BETTER than I would have without my reliance on the Lord. Like I said, I don't think there has ever been a week that I have felt the need to WAIT upon the Lord. It's kind of a great feeling.
I had another learning experience this weekend when I ran in my very first 5K. This was such an interesting thing for me. I've always wanted to run a 5K, but I've never had the follow through. I was committed this time, however, because I used the commitment pattern to get my friend, Thomas, to run it with me. I don't know what I was expecting when I showed up at 7:30 in the morning, but I don't think I was really ready for what happened.
At the beginning, I felt pretty stinkin' good. I sprinted like crazy and I didn't feel like running the next three miles would be that hard. And then, about thirty seconds into the race, we hit a hill. I wasn't really focused on the people around me, but I could sense them passing me by person by person. I tried to keep pace, but I was falling behind. Hill after hill after hill. I mustn't have gotten enough water that morning because my vision started to become hazy a mile or so in. It was a lot harder than I expected, and for part of the race, I was completely alone.
Luckily, a couple minutes before the halfway point, I was able to speed up a bit and catch up with Thomas. Together, we slowed down a little bit and encouraged each other. It was so much easier at that point. Although we didn't talk a lot, it was comforting to hear Thomas's footsteps next to mine. I was actually surprised at how easy the race became after we caught up with each other (it helped that there was a water break). The course went right by my Nandy's house and that was another comforting milestone to pass. Brother Fower's and Peter were way ahead of us, but they were able to encourage Thomas and I to finish strong. In the end, we finished at about 33-34 minutes, which wasn't as bad as I thought we were doing. In fact, Thomas got second in his age group and I got first! It was a lovely way to start off the morning, especially when I recognized that it was my first race with little water and preparation I could ALWAYS improve.
In a way, I guess this was another experience that helped me to realize the power of Isaiah's words. I feel like we are kind of in a race for life. We keep plodding forward and it might feel like other people are passing us by and that we can't make it any further. There may be circumstances, such as the hills, that are beyond our control but part of the path. We may feel completely and utterly alone, but we keep moving forward hoping that relief will come somewhere soon. Luckily, I have the knowledge that in my race, I am never EVER alone. I always have the help and encouragement of a Heavenly Father who has promised that if I depend on him, he will direct my paths. He will help me to run and not be weary. He will place his angels around me to bear me up. He sent his perfect son to atone for my sins and to know of my troubles so that I would never have to feel alone.
When the weeks are rough and the race is difficult, I am SO grateful for that knowledge. Today while listening to the annual General Conference of the church, I felt really inspired to share my testimony of the Savior on my blog. I hope that you, my dear lovely reader, know that I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that I talk about religion a lot (some feel privileged to be mentioned on my blog in ways that aren't religious), but I really do know that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me beyond all comprehension. It is weeks when I feel like I can't do it anymore, when my backpack is JUST TOO HEAVY, that I know this more than ever. I have literally been able to feel that weight taken from my shoulders. I have been blessed in times of trouble with an overcompensation of blessings that I sometimes feel I don't deserve. When you are mounted up on the wings on eagles, you HAVE to be grateful to the Ones that made you soar. How can I not talk about how much I owe and love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?