Oct 072014

“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”  Phil 2:15-16

The alarm clock went off at 4:40am.  Which didn’t seem to matter since the sleep had been hit and miss up to this point.  I couldn’t believe today.  was.  THE.  day.

It had been four months of big time reliance on Jesus.  To get my booty out of bed in the morning and run.  To meet and speak to me on each run without music or other media filling the time.  To strengthen my body, heart, and mind to persevere when my body was in pain and my mind told me I couldn’t do it.  To provide me with prayer running buddies along the journey (I was amazed at the 20 different sister’s in Christ God brought to my side when originally my plan was to have just one running buddy-His ways are not my ways, but they are always better!)  To get me to this very day.

Race day.

It was surreal.  As I pulled on my most slim looking, tummy hiding, zipper including, lack of chaffing, favorite pants.  As I lubed up all areas to avoid potential pain.  As I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth and thought to myself, “Is there any way I can get out of this?”  I realized something.  Just as Jesus had gotten me all the way up to this point, He also would get me through the now.

I can trust Him. 

It was five and a half hours of physical, mental, and spiritual battles as I ran my first marathon.  But Jesus met me on the run.  And there were three “JP tears” (Tears mixed with joy and pain) moments that pushed me to finish.  the.  race.

JP Tears Moment #1-I was only two miles in.  My mind went to crazy town thinking of all the ways I was inadequate.  Unable to go the distance.  Feeling tired already and knowing I had 24.2 more miles to go.  Things looked bleak.  I asked God for His peace to cover my mind, body, and Spirit.  And He gave it to me.  I looked up, fixing my eyes towards heaven for help, and what do you know was around the corner?  A gigantic George Fox University billboard ( my husband is a professor at George Fox University) and it said, “It’s your time to shine!”.  I cried.  Right there.  At mile two.  JP tears flowed because I knew God had whispered a little of His love to me in that very moment.  Confirming I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And that I could do this with Him.  And through the tears I said a offered up a one second prayer, “Thank you God for your graciousness to me”.

JP Tears Moment #2-The cool breeze of the morning was no longer.  The sun was beating down with an upcoming long stretch of hill and no shade.  There was a sign which pointed the half marathoner’s to the left and the full marathoner’s to the right.  The half marathoner’s were one mile away from the finish line and the rest of us were, well, how do I say, not.  (I highly considered jumping over to join the relieved face crew of runner’s going left.)  It was a moment of need.   As I passed the depressing “this way to finishing the half marathon sign” I heard someone yell, “You can do it Jillian!  You are strong, you got this!”  I felt a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to trudge on.  As I scanned the bystander’s to see who had so been so timely to call out my name on my bib, another stranger yelled, “You are lookin’ good Jillian, way to go!”  Then came the JP tears.  There was something so special about hearing my specific name called outloud.  Who cares whether it was a random stranger-It was a gift from God.  It was healing.  It was inspiring.  It got my feet to keep moving when everything else in me screamed “Quit!”.  It was a turning point of pushing through pain and doubt.

JP Tears Moment #3-I saw my family four times on the run.  I was anticipating their smiling faces as I grew closer and closer to each of their designated viewing spots.  Time seemed to stop as I caught a glimpse of them.  (Of course my glimpse didn’t start until I almost could touch them since my vision is quite hilarious without my glasses on.)  Then came the JP tears.  I had loved ones supporting me.  I had loved ones taking time away from all of what they could be doing to be present with me.  I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for each of them.

I was overcome this day.  With pain.  Unexpected joy.  Gifts and strength from above.  But most of all-I was overcome with the fulfillment of finishing. the. race. 

Knowing my training and hard work was not in vain.  Seeing the faithfulness of my God, once again.  And recognizing whether on a literal run or running the race of life, I wouldn’t have it any other way:  Looking to.  Giving glory to.  Including.  Listening to.  Loving-Jesus on the run is the only way to live!

So my friends- “Arise, shine, for YOUR light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

Persevere in obedience and faith in Jesus as you “run your race of life” today!  Remember your work and obedience to Jesus is not in vain.  You will not regret bringing glory to Him in every word you say, job you do, and person you serve.  Enjoy the journey filled with “JP tears”, unknowns, and acting in weakness and faith.  Because He see’s you and is shouting out your personal name as we speak-In an effort to love on you, strengthen you, comfort you, and inspire you to overcome all trials, pain and obstacles-enabling you to finish your race strong!




© 2012 Standing on Peace

Oct 012014

“Not so fast.  You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works.  Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.”  James 2:18-19 (the Message)

It was a typical Wednesday.  Making my girls’ bagel and cream cheese lunch, cleaning up from the last night’s impulse nacho makings, and separating out the piles of keep versus trash mail.

I realized I hadn’t told my girl’s about my upcoming race.   I told them Mommy was going on a long run this weekend.  My youngest asked, “How far are you going Mama?”  I said confidently and proudly, “26 miles”.  My oldest daughter said, “Is that far?”  I said, “Yes.  Very, very, very far.  Many people never run that far….” and as the words were coming out of my mouth my eyes filled with tears.

The tears came like a wave.  A wave of overwhelm.  The wave that only comes when you are jolted into the reality that you are completely out of your element.  Out of answers.  Out of options.  Out of control.  Feeling absolutely-out.  of.  your.  mind.  (Atleast that is what everyone else keeps telling you and you are beginning to wonder if you should heed their warning.)

My thoughts, accompanied by the tears, went something like this- “I can’t believe I signed up to go this far, it is far-too far.  What was I thinking, I am NO runner!”  As much as I know God lead me to do this run, doubt was setting in.  Big Time.

Because it was only four.  days.  away.  The race was so soon I could taste the sweat mixed with disgusting tasting energy gels.  It was go time-race time.  Conflicting feelings continued on as I contemplated my soon to be fate.  Thoughts which seemed unable to coexist:

  • Excitement in participating in this new adventure-then terror for what this “new” would be like. 
  • Confidence in the training so far-then doubt to make it to the finish on race day. 
  • Content in the tampering down in miles this week-then only to know the contentment will end in days with the biggest run thus far. 
  • Dreading the distance which is ahead of me-then looking forward to the distance because this is what will be an accomplishment. 
  • Feeling I want to speed up my normal pace to get done quicker-then not wanting to go too fast and be too tired/sore to finish. 
  • A little anxious about the pain that is ahead-then a reality check that no pain means no gain. 
  • Doubting my ability and mental toughness-then standing firmly on my God’s ability to equip me for the path ahead. 
  • Curious about all the conversations I will have with God on this lengthy run-then at the same time a little nervous about the length of time to “pray and listen” with no I-pod.

After my wave of overwhelming thoughts had run its course my oldest daughter brought me a sign.  It was a sign she said she was going to hold up for me on race day.

It. was. a. brightly. colored. rainbow.

Underneath the rainbow it said, “I love you Mamy” (it was supposed to say “Mommy”, but the Kindergarten writing factor was too cute not to include it).  My tears welled up again.  This time it was not because of the “wave of overwhelm” as it had just minutes before.

Instead it was because I was reminded I was loved by my daughter.  I was reminded of the beauty of the rainbow promise that I was not alone in what lay ahead.

And the Lord so does this for us.  Every.  time.  we step out in faith.  He reminds us of His love.  He reminds us we are not alone in it.

So I am embracing the bittersweet thoughts in these next days when I think about the run.  And I will embrace the bittersweet of the actual run when race day comes.  Because I am reminded of His rainbow sign He holds for me when I feel I can’t do it anymore.  The sign of love.  Sign of strength.  Sign of hope.  Sign that He is with me.  Sign that He is faithful in keeping His promises.

You and I are exactly where we am supposed to be in saying “Yes” to Jesus-completely out. of. our. minds.-by the world’s opinion and ways.   But completely acting in. one. mind.  with our heavenly Father-which is a life of peace, joy and purpose.

So in the season we are in right now.  Let’s look to Him.  Holding up the rainbow sign for us as we run our race.   Let us rest in His intense love for us.  Joyfully persevere in our weakness.  Rely on Him for comfort and strength.  Ask Him for that next step.  And trust Him to equip us for the work He has called us to do.  Because we know He is faithful.  And He will take us to the finish line.  Victorious.

Would you join me in prayer for  “The Run Fast” this week and this Sunday as I am abstaining from personal comfort (putting my body through 5 plus hours of non stop running)?  Would you be willing to pray for God to do a work/break bondage in me, my family, friends, our country and world in regards to anxiety and addiction?  Thank you friends for you support and prayers-I am expectant for our God to bring healing and freedom on the run.





© 2012 Standing on Peace