I volunteered today as a course sentry at the Sam Costa Quarter and Half Marathon. I really had a lot of fun - I think I might prefer course sentry to water station, since I got to see and cheer on the runners a lot more than I would if I was filling and setting out water cups. I'm sure I'll continue to volunteer wherever I'm needed most, though, whenever I'm not running. I really believe in it as a great way to support this sport that has meant so much to me, and it's also a fun way to stay involved since I can't afford to run every race. It's also a great way to get to know other runners. I always make new friends when I volunteer and today was no exception. I'm super-jealous of my new friend Vince, though, since he's running the Star Wars Half at Disney next month. Someday....
Actually, most runners hate being told "You're almost there." To quote my friend Megan who also ran Carmel last year: "I wanted to throat-punch someone who told me "almost there" at mile 20 of the marathon." If we can't see the finish line, we aren't almost there. If we can see the finish line, you don't need to tell us.
We don't want to be told it's almost time to stop and rest when instead it is time to dig deep and work hard to keep going. And so instead of tossing my sign in the recycle bin after the race, I brought it home and put it up at the top of the stairs. Because as much as I wish I was almost there, I'm not.
Every day I still come home and cry because Kevin isn't here. It hurts, and I'm so tired of hurting. There are days when it feels hopeless, as if it's always going to be like this and never get any better. Much like that wall I sometimes hit when running, and I don't feel like I can go any farther. But if I want to get to the day when it doesn't hurt so much all the time, I have to keep going. I can't stop here. I can't see the finish line, but I know it exists.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4
As Christians we know the ultimate finish line is going home to be with God in Heaven. We also know that there will be peace and joy here on Earth as well. This season of my life contains a lot of pain and sadness, but it's just a season. I will always miss Kevin and feel the loss of the life we planned together, but the pain will not always be this intense. God alone knows how long it will last, but there will be and end to this and a new season of joy for me if I don't stop here, if I keep going in faith.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalms 30:11
Sometimes I get anxious for that to come quickly. I want to know what the rest of my life holds now, and I want something else to focus on. But I'm not almost there since I can't see it yet. And yes, I do sometimes want to throat-punch people who say that I am, or that I should be, almost there. Please don't tell me that. Just tell me to keep going. Run alongside me for a little while if you have time. I have a lot of friends who've done that, both literally and figuratively, and they make it so much easier to keep going. And make funny signs for me too, if you're so inclined.
|Ha-ha! Get it?|