Well…. in reality I used to be a 1/2 marathoner.
I LOVED how hard it was to run a lot.
I LOVED feeling like I was pushing myself to the max.
I would run at the end of the day, and when I would lay down in bed at night and feel like I could not move, when there wasn’t one ounce of energy left, I LOVED that feeling. The feeling of: "I did it today. I did all I could do. I homeschooled, cleaned, cooked, and I ran." I would be proud and think "I have given every thing I could to this day!” Nowadays, I don’t run. I miss it so much, and my waistline misses it!
I have a new kind of marathon in my life now, and I don’t find the hard of it or the challenge of it as much fun. When I have given my all, and I lay down in bed and don’t have an ounce of energy left, I don’t find my self thinking: “I did it! I have given everything I have to this day.” And I don't feel happy and proud of myself. I am not finding the same joy in this exhaustion, in having used up all my energy in this new marathon I am running. It doesn’t take a supper sleuth to figure out what I am referring to. My new life: my post adoption, mommy of 8, special needs advocate, oncologist visiting, new marathon. I realize I used to brag (in a way) about running races, but there is no bragging in this race. Who wants to say, "My every day, even MY REALLY GOOD days, are so hard I would crumple up in a ball and quit if I didn’t believe in a sovereign God who foreordained this and knew I could do it." Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." ESV
Early on in this journey, another adoptive mom said to me, ”Slow down girl! It's a marathon, not a race!” and I thought then that I knew what she was talking about, that it was going to take a long time. Point taken. Check. It will take a long time. I will “run”, we will move down this path, it is going to be a long, slow road. What I didn’t realize is it’s not a straight path, it’s not even a curvy path, and it has loops in it. You will run with all you have only to find yourself back where you were three years ago. Yes, my friend, the marathon can be a loop! Just when you think you are getting somewhere, you will realize, “I have run up this hill before. I thought it was going to kill me the first time, and now I have to do it again when I am exausted!” I don’t lay my head down at night and say, “I did it. I gave everything I had to this day!” Instead I think, “Really?!?! We are still here? After three years, I am still running this race? I don’t get to finish and start a new race? i just get to keep looping around running up this Pike's Peak sized mountain over and over again?!?!"
So I'd say, it isn't really a marathon, it's an ultra marathon or maybe even an Iron Man! My training was NOOOOOO where adequate for this, but the aid stations are amazing and they are all that can sustain me: "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40: 31 ESV