Every runner is on a journey and has a story to tell. My story is not the best and it is not even the worst, but it is my own. You see my journey is so much more than running. It’s the combination of physical, mental, and spiritual growth that has developed within me over the past year while running on faith. “Running on faith” is a phrase that has stuck with me throughout the beginning of this commitment to running towards God as well as my commitment to running my first marathon. I truly believe that my faith in God is the only reason I have been able to escape a dark life of depression and shame and enter a life of beauty, love, and running.
It was four years ago when God revealed himself to me in the midst of one of the hardest times of my life. I was unhappy and felt more alone than ever before. I had made so many mistakes and I had no idea how to start mending my broken life. Depression, weight gain, a broken relationship, revelations from my childhood, rejection, medical emergencies, career changes, financial hardships, and a sexual assault would soon follow. I felt hopeless, angry, sad, and most of all an enormous amount of guilt. I lived a life of solitude and shame for a few years. How had I let things get this bad? What could I have done differently? Where was God? If He loved me so much, then why don’t I love myself?
My faith in God remained but NOTHING was happening.
I think in our world today we are looking for instant results and in my case I was asking for an instant answer to prayer and change in my life. I just wanted to be healthy and happy right away. I was so focused on the destination that I didn’t realize the journey would be the ultimate healing process. Without any self-confidence or motivation, all I could really do was pray. And so I prayed. I mostly asked God to help me reenter society and regain my life back, but I needed it to be more specific and short term. So my prayers went something like this:
“Please help me get out of the bed today and spend time outside before work?”
“God, bring people into my life that will help me on my journey physically and spiritually?”
“Lord, let me stop comparing my life to others and allow me to truly love all those around me as well as myself”
“Help me to become a better daughter, sister, friend, and follower of you”
“Lord, I pray, please let me be Kristin again….the version of her that will glorify you”
Ok so you get the point. So instead of waiting around for an instant answer, I started to actually live a little bit more every day but this time it was all FOR GOD. Food was my emotional crutch no more but a gift from God that would be enjoyed and not abused. My body was designed by Him so I am never ashamed of it but only work to make it healthier so I can glorify Him more. My friends and family were gifts from God that would be cherished and not taken for granted. Nothing was about me anymore. While I remained focused on God’s plans for my life, He was busy helping me to become the woman I was meant to be. He answered my prayers. I was healing, I was living, I was happy.
Running was an answer to prayer. It would become a steadfast physical commitment that would ultimately change my physical, mental, and spiritual life. I talk to God so much while I’m running and I am so thankful for all of his work in my life. Each and every stride is because of him and for him. Every run is a blessing because not only am I still alive, but I am living! Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it is hot, sometimes it is cold, sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours, sometimes it is dark, sometimes you even fall and get hurt, but you learn to keep going. With God, I have learned to keep running on faith.