Saturday, January 13, 2018

Strong Again

That was my theme for last year. I’d had a GREAT 2016 of running and racing, and while I wanted more, my body said it was time to rest. I found myself inwardly panicked, wondering what I would do with myself, what would I fill the running void with, and I even found myself wondering what would be good or interesting about me if I couldn’t run…

The fact that I was asking these questions showed me it wasn’t only my body that needed healing and renewal. My faith needed it as well.

So my theme of “Strong Again” became all encompassing. Sure, I wanted my body to heal so I could chase after those running goals again, but I wanted to strengthen my faith and relationship with God as well. I’d had a lot of fear and worry about many things in 2016 - the state of our country being one of them. But I knew I wasn’t created to live that way.

Looking back at 2017, I can’t say I always stayed the course. There were times I looked to my own devices to satiate my desire for whatever I was no longer getting from running. I think that’s why diving came into the picture. It started as a whim, a way to return to me something I’d lost. But once I entered that underwater world, it became a passion, a way to experience a part of God’s creation I’d never seen before. And it, in turn, drew me closer to Him.

By the end of 2017, I was stronger in many ways. I’d allowed myself to recover, and I gradually began running and training again. I felt so very grateful to God, for gently, gracefully turning my eyes back to Him, even when they’d begun to look elsewhere. A year that started with tears and disappointment, frustration and doubt, became a truly amazing, wonderful, life-changing year.

Which brings me to 2018. Another new year. And I wanted another theme. It came to me immediately. “Push your limits.” It applies to everything once again. Running pursuits, diving experiences, continuing to grow closer to my Lord and Savior who continues to do His work in me. I also want to continue writing - pushing my limits there, stretching and moving those writing muscles I've let atrophy in recent years.

I’d love another PR - but I’m really happy to just be running and feeling good again. I received a new underwater camera for Christmas, and my hope is to work on my photography skills, and to capture moments of sea life that show why I have fallen so in love with that world. I’d love to grow my skills as a diver, experiencing new things and expanding my knowledge.

I’m excited about this new year. I praise God for what He has done in my life, for His grace and mercy on my ever wandering heart, and I ask Him to continue the work He’s doing. I don’t make that request makes me a little nervous, but I’m still trying to live without fear, focusing instead on faith so I press on.

I’m pushing limits in 2018. Here goes...

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