It has been about 5 years since I ran my last 5k race, so I really had to train for the Free Them 5K. In the weeks leading up to the big day, I was in the gym running up a storm to make sure I was prepared for the race.
Come race day, the run itself was fine, just what I expected. I was ready physically, however I was not ready mentally. That's the thing about running; you have to set in your mind to just keep going, to push through the negative thoughts until it feels like second nature, like you could go on forever.
At first I was doing great but about 3/4 of a mile in, some negative thoughts crept in. I then started to entertain them. "I have got to stop." "I'm going to walk because it's too hard." "I'm not good enough to finish this race." As I ran, I noticed another gal keeping pace with me. As best I could, I then set in my mind that she was my 'running partner', my way of gauging how I was doing. The battle in my mind continued as I raced on.
As we neared the end of the race I told her she was keeping me motivated. She told me that I was doing the same for her! But even with my new found friend's support, my desire to stop became too strong. I said I wanted to stop and start walking but she reminded me that the end was so close. I knew she was right. So instead of giving in, we completed the race together. Crossing that finish line felt so good!
I am reminded of the verse that says, 'As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.' My 'running partner' stood by me and encouraged me to keep going, even when it felt tough. She reminded me that the end was just around the corner and so was the victory. As it is in running, so it is in life. This world can be a hard place to get along in. The daily struggles can sometimes feel like too much. What a blessing to have a godly friend to encourage us and help us along. I know in my own life I have had plenty of times when I just wanted to stop and give up, but thank goodness for those dear friends who have been my support. God made us humans to be relational, to grow friendships and to encourage and love others. What a sweet reminder of the great blessing God has given us. What about you? Who are you encouraging today?
*To read more about the results of all the fundraising and what World Concern is doing to prevent human trafficking, follow this link.*