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!

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 142014
 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6

Okay, so I was minding my own business on my typical 45 min training run. All beauty of God’s tree’s, birds singing, slight wind with a hint of sun surrounded me. And then it happened.

I heard a vehicle approaching and so I did my typical move over on the edge of the road as far as possible. As I am awkwardly running on half grass, half hard dirt and rocks, the loud roar of the engine seems right next to me. I turned to look and this monster truck zooms past like he was in a Nascar race. And he didn’t even have the courtesy to give a runner some space by moving over to the middle of the road. He sure nestled that white line right beside me. The nerve I tell ya!

But this was not the worst of it. Oh no. Not only was a freaked by the speed and proximity, because it was a gravel road, the air all around became dust. It was as if Tinkerbell had paid me a little visit. Except being able to fly was in no way part of the deal. Dirty dust literally filled all crevices in my body. I couldn’t see a thing in front of me, and I coughed to reject some of what I had already taken in. I was left in the dust. Literally.

Not fun. But as I took time to recover, I noticed my feet never stopped moving. In the mess of it all. Even when I couldn’t see where I was going. And I continued to rub my eyes to get the particles out. One foot went after the other. My feet kept doing what they knew to do in midst of this all consuming, unforeseen circumstance.

Similarly, as we venture into each day with God as our Shepherd to lead us, we are faced with “messy” situations. Troubles. Trials. Fears. And this circumstance or fear has surrounded us, as the dust surrounded me. Challenging and impacting our mind, heart, and spirit. We are left unable to see-What is in store for the future. The reason for it. How we are to continue on in freedom and peace.

But thankfully our feet know what to do. They keep moving one step at a time. Forward. In trust. In faith. In hope. In Jesus. When we are “left in the dust” by the world, we keep running with Jesus. We do not stop. Because we know He will get us through the dust cloud. We are never alone in it. And we can trust He will use it for good if we let Him.

Maybe you are in a troubling dust storm right now and you can’t see anything up ahead and you are overwhelmed. Cling to Jesus. He helps us when we don’t know which way to go. We do not have to be afraid. We do not have to live in anxiety. We do not have to go through trials alone.

May the God of peace settle us when the dust storms of life hit. May He strengthen us to continue moving forward in Him. May He clean us up in mind, heart and spirit, enabling us to bring Him glory and share our testimony. That He is faithful. Good. And provides for us in our times of need.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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