Sunday, February 17, 2013

Running the Race

This weekend has been insanely busy, but incredibly good. Yesterday morning I had a the privilege of attending the much-anticipated "Birmingham Area Ethiopia Adoptive Moms" breakfast at the home of one of our adoptive mom right here in the city. I have been looking forward to this for several weeks, and I was right to do so, because it was amazing. I was able to catch up with two ladies I had met our agency's open house back in September of last year and meet several new friends who all share the same heart for adoption from Ethiopia. We spent a whole lot of time talking and praying, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet together with other women who are on the same path. Sometimes it is just refreshing to know that you are not running this race alone. There are other people out there (some very nearby) who get you and get what you are going through and how you feel without you having to explain it. We were all in various stages of the process, so it was cool to learn from those ahead of us and encourage those behind us. We also had one mother there who just brought home her son about four months ago. She was so great at answering our questions and offering encouragement. And I have to say, it was such a blessing to be encouraged by someone who has done exactly what we are doing. To have someone who has been there tell us that it is a long and unbelievably challenging road, but that it is completely worth it. And even just to see physical evidence that it really does happen. People really do bring home their children from Ethiopia. We won't have to be on this waiting list forever. We just have to be on it now. This is what God has called us to, this incredibly long race. It is testing our endurance, but we know that He is here with us.

Here we are! 

That wonderful event was quickly followed by a surprise birthday party for one of my sweetest friends, Caroline. And we pulled off the surprise. I mean, really, how often does that happen? Hats off to her husband, Steven. He did a great job putting everything together. Sadly, we had to leave a little early to get to sleep, because (like crazy people) we signed up to run in the Mercedes Half Marathon here in Birmingham today. 

We woke up just before 5 this morning, got dressed and headed into downtown B'ham. Now, I am from Ft. Lauderdale, a Florida girl through and through. I love warm weather, and winter, in my opinion, should hit about 55 degrees at the coldest. However, when we parked our car for the race this morning, the thermostat read 26 degrees. Yes, 26. It was SO cold. But we stuck it out, and I am so glad we did. 

I was nervous about the race, because we never actually ran 13.1 miles during our training. Our longest run was 10 miles, and our goal for the day was to finish in under 2 & 1/2 hours and to not stop running. We were golden for about the first 10 miles. And we especially appreciated the cheers from our good friends, Bob and LC. But around mile 11, my head started telling me that I was done. I told Adam that I needed him to tell me I could keep going. You see, I am a very decisive person. Once I decide what I want to do, I want to do it right then (You see why adopting has been such a stretch for me? All this waiting around!) And at that moment, my mind decided that my body was done. So my dear, sweet husband started telling me that I could keep going, that we were so close, that we were not going to let the fact that we were running a long race keep us from finishing. 

And at that point I don't think he was only talking about running. Mainly because he cut his eyes at me and smiled. But also because he knows how much I have been struggling with the wait, especially this past month. So once again, I was reminded of God's faithfulness to me in giving me such a fantastic man for a husband, but also of His sovereign goodness. He does not set us on a purposeless path. The race He asks us to run might be long, but it is a race worth running. I wanted to stop running today (stop waiting for our child to come home). I was tired (we have been waiting for so long)! It was hard (impossible). But I did not stop. God used my husband to remind me of His goodness. 

And we finished. We finished in 2 hours and 14 minutes and we did not stop a single time. And it was sooooooooo worth it. Hearing our names called when we crossed that finish line. Yeah. It was worth it. 

We did it!! 
Treasures for finishing. 

After we got home and showered, we headed out to a baby dedication for Steven and Caroline's sweet daughter, Ella Kate. It was a beautiful time of prayer over Ella Kate's life. She is a precious girl! After a quick stop for dinner, we got back home for the night. 

The aftermath. Yeah, I'm in pajamas at 6 P.M. 
Don't judge. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3


P.S. Another super cool thing happened today. Remember the woman we met during the Red Nose Run who asked about our adoption? She had also adopted through Lifeline. Well, we were beside her again today for a little while. She asked us how everything was going and even remember our January waiting list number. She told us she was still praying for us. How crazy/cool/awesome is that? 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! You are so sweet to come to BOTH of our functions this weekend!! What sweet friends y'all are to us!! Thank you! Love hearing about the race and proud you finished! Glad you had such a wonderful time at the adoption breakfast. P.S. I was in my P.J.'s by 6 as well!! haha!! Long weekend for sure!


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