Monday, May 19, 2014

Run Brave. Run Strong.

Can I just share with y'all a little about how my jogging/work outs go down?

This is how it goes: 
Me: "Hey, Tim! I am gonna jog 24 miles today."
Tim: snort
Me: "WHAT? I can do that. I can run a long ways. It'll be great. It'll be invigorating"
Me: "Tim, where's the joggy iphone case? Where's my headphones. I cant find them. Maybe I shouldn't jog."
Tim hands them to me.
Me: "Oh, thanks. OK, i guess I could jog.... but it's kinda warm out there...."

30 minutes later:
Tim: "You better start on those twenty-four miles."
Me: "Well, 24 miles aren't good for my knees. Maybe I'll do 10. Or 2 miles. Yeah, 2 miles is great cardio."
Me: "OK, here I go. I need to get in at least a mile today. That'll work off those 8 pepperoni rolls, right?"
Me: "DON'T MAKE ME JOG! I CAN'T JOG! UGH IT'S SO HARD. OK fine. I'm going."

Then I head out the door in a panic but I shove that screaming voice down and I jog. 

Friends, what must it be like to me married to me??! This charade happens everyday.

Here's Tim's pre-jog dialogue:

Tim in a sing-song voice: "I'm going jogging today!! Oh I can't wait! I'm gonna do a half marathon for fun. Maybe I will skip a few miles of it! Oh boy! I feel so freeeeeeeeeeee when I run!"
Me: "shut. up."

So recently when Tim was very excited about jogging with a friend I barely paid any attention.

But one day as he geared up he said, "I'm going to meet Justin to jog. Be back soon!"

I stopped. I said, "Justin? our drummer, Justin?" 

Tim grinned ear-to-ear. "YEP! He wants to run a 5k and I am gonna help him. I will lead and he will hold on to me."

You see, Justin is completely blind. I've never once considered Justin incapable of accomplishing anything but jogging gave me pause. Not that he couldn't do it. But because it's SO HARD and that's when I can see where my every step will be.

I panic when someone turns the lights out on me. I have huge fears of breaking my toes on something. How did Justin find the courage to run in a race? on the sidewalks? on and off curbs? up and down inclines?? 

When Tim got back from jogging with Justin he said it was great and they'd be practicing alot to get ready for a 5k. Inwardly I marveled at Justin.

Then, they signed up for their very first 5k. They were going to run a 5k in the Aggie Mile Race.

I was excited. and nervous. 

This past Saturday they did it. Justin knocked down a limit many people would've placed on him. He paid no attention to others who said it couldn't be done.

They lined up at the starting line.

I was there as the gun went off and Tim and Justin began running. I still just marveled at the courage and strength and bravery it took on Justin's part. 
I got into my air-conditioned, DVD equipped suburban and drove to the finish line. 'Cause yeah

I got to the finish line and waited. I was so anxious and nervous and excited. I was a hot mess. 

As they got close, I was waiting several hundred yards up from the finish line. I saw them round the corner and my heart jumped into my chest.

Can I just say, that I am not a crier. I don't cry at sunsets. I don't cry at sappy love stories. I am just not a public crier. I have found myself OFTEN sitting between Aaron and Tim with both of them bawling their eyes out and I am just not. I look like I have a heart of stone, but I just don't cry in front of people very often.

There are a couple of exceptions. Since my dad died, I cry during worship. It's beyond my control. My gratefulness just streams out of my eyeballs for some reason.

And extreme generosity makes me cry. alot. (mom and ashley- never stop being generous but stop making me cry all the time.)

And I found a new exception.

When Justin and Tim rounded the corner and I raised my hands in the air and expected a shout of cheer or encouragement to come out, but instead a choking jumble of nonsense flew out of my mouth. I was shocked to find I was weeping.

I heard Tim as they passed me say to Justin, "We are almost there. We are almost home. 100 more yards. 70 more yards. We can do this. 50 more yards, Justin. I see the finish line. Almost home."

And then as I watched them, and was scream/choking out my cheers, I saw everything change. 

I saw me and Christ. I saw me, blind, not able to see where I was going, what I was doing, not knowing my next steps, not knowing the WHYs in life. 

Not knowing why my father died. Not knowing why my friend's baby died. 

Not knowing anything about where I am going or what I am doing. And I saw me clinging on to Christ and just fully and completely relying on Him to guide my steps.

I heard Christ tell me, "We are almost home, Tara. 100 more yards. 70 more yards. We are almost there."

Then I saw Tim and Justin approach and cross the finish line. And I heard the shouting and cheering. And I heard heaven. I heard the people of heaven cheering as we cross that finish line.

And I just lost it. 

Later as we recapped and I continued to bawl like a baby all. day. long. Tim told me alittle about the run.

He told me he warned Justin that he'd probably hit a wall after a mile or so and want to walk. But Justin's goal was to NOT walk at all but to run the entire course. And Tim told him, "When we hit that wall, we are just gonna kick it down."

And Justin kicked it down. 

When he had finished the race I asked him, "Justin, did you like it??"

Justin said, "It was SO hard. and I want to do it again, and again, and again."

Those words will stay with me forever. 

Friends, this race we are running is hard. SO HARD. But we have Christ guiding our steps. We can trust Him. Cling to Him. Press into Him.

Run brave. Run Strong.

Here's a video Tim made of their run. Turn up the volume and watch it on full screen.

KBTX- our local news channel- covered Tim and Justin's story. Check it out here:
Thanks Kessler for covering the story!