Safe To Trust {final cross-country thoughts}

Safe To Trust {final cross-country thoughts}

Whew! What a great cross-country season it’s been! I know I’ve been negligent on this blog, but I’m here to finally – for real this time – update my blog and keep it updated. When I left off, in this post, I had raced three cross-country meets and was optimistic about our last three meets. 

There was about two weeks in between our third meet and our fourth meet. During this period, my dear friend, Lauren, had knee/shin problems that were getting progressively worse, putting her on injured reserve for the rest of the season. I can’t talk about the rest of my season without taking this time and this space to honor her.

Lauren, me, and Petra.

Lauren, me, and Petra.

This was Lauren’s fifth and final season of cross-country, this being her senior year. Her junior year of cross-country didn’t go as well as she’d planned, due to sickness and other issues. Try to imagine the disappointment of only racing two meets at your hardest, during your last year of cross-country. Would you have a good attitude, knowing that God has allowed a storm of injury to come into your life? Would you choose to trust Him through all of it?

I don’t know about you, but I have a tough time doing that. Yet Lauren, through her faith in Jesus and His grace, demonstrated not only a positive attitude, but a true trust in the Lord through this situation. She encouraged team FCA, stood by us in pain and in joy, and has been such a Christ-like example to us this season. Thank you, Lauren, for choosing to let God use you, even through injury. You have shown such courage, and it means the world to me.

All this was coming together, and I was mentally preparing myself for our fourth meet. It was hard to not get discouraged about it early on . . . for whatever reason, this particular meet has given me gloomy thoughts and emotions both years I’ve raced it. As with all of my meets, I prayed over it and handed it over to the Lord. After all of the prayer and anticipation, the meet was postponed a couple of days because of rain (the meet was to be held on a golf course, and cross-country spikes don’t take too kindly to soggy grass 😉 ). When the day finally rolled around, I felt prepared. The night before, this verse was on my mind:

“But You, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come . . . let this be written for a future generation that a people not yet created may praise the Lord. So the Name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem.” Psalm 102:12-13; 18; 21

This race was a time for God to be glorified. Glorifying God doesn’t mean I get what I want in every situation. It doesn’t mean that these meets would always say, “My favor is on Aliyah!” Glorifying God means doing all things as if you were doing them solely for the Lord. No regrets. A mindset like this has gotten me through the season. This fourth meet didn’t produce a PR, but it produced character. It reminded me of the faithfulness of God.

Fifth meet. I’d never raced this course before, since last year, I got carsick on the way to the meet. I wasn’t prepared for it physically or mentally. Anyways, I was ready to completely have a fresh start at meet #5, despite it being just six days after the tough race #4. After all was said and done, I PR’d on that difficult course, which was the extra dose of encouragement I needed. Still, the looming truth that there was just one meet left hung over us all.

During the period before our last meet, I wrote this post. As you can tell, it wasn’t a top-of-the-mountain, burst-into-song moment of faith that sometimes happens on this blog. It was a down-to-earth, struggling-with-God kind of moment. My family was having (and are still having) lots of vehicle issues and various repair/finance issues. There is a lot that goes into our story and these situations, but suffice it to say that these problems didn’t help my faith any. My verse going into that last meet?

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion on the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6

And . . . *drumroll* I had a great last meet!! I will, for the first time, post my times for a 5k. My first 5k was a 33:03. That was last summer, when I had never run in my life and had only been training for a little over a month. I’ve run a lot of miles and have put a lot of time into running, stretching, icing, massaging/rolling on PVC, and resting haha! After 18 months of this, I have had a nearly 9 minute improvement, going to a 24:12 for a 5k. This is fast for me, but I am well aware that it isn’t the finest example of speed. 😉 I plan on getting in the 23s before next cross-country season begins.

This season has taught me to declare, once and for all, that it is safe to trust Jesus. I know that not all seasons end in favor, or in PRs, or in things we want. But I believe Jesus uses both the good and the bad to give Him glory, and I will say with a whole heart and with open hands: He gave me this season, and brought me to this place. Were I doing this on my own, this story would have a much different tune. Through the emotional ups and downs – He is Lord, and to Him alone be all glory for this season.

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Our team, with Coach Kayla leading us out. 🙂