Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Running my race

We ran a 5K today. We both beat our personal record.

One of us did so by finishing in 23:56.70 with a 12th place finish out of 1,069 girls ages 12 and under (33rd overall). The other did so by running her first 5K ever.

Never mind her time or place.

Okay, it was 30:07.73 and 15th out of 111 old ladies.

For one of us, it was just another day, another run. Doing what she loves best.

For the other one, it was so much more.

It sounded like a good idea back in April when I signed us both up for this race. For one of us, it would be her 5th 5K. No big deal. For me, it would be my first. Remember, there is no athletic bone in my body. My brother got all of those genes. But for our 40th birthdays, my best friend decided that we should start the C25K program (Couch to 5K for those of you who are too athletic to need such motivational programs) with the goal of actually running a 5K. So we did. The program, that is. And then the next summer I did it again. And again the next summer. But we never did the actual 5K. And that was 6 years ago. That's a lot of starting over with no 5K to celebrate and finish this thing.

I decided enough was enough. It was time to "do vis fing" (translation: Do this thing) as Victor would say.

But a month ago it seemed like a lot better idea than it did today. Traveling home from Indiana last weekend it occurred to me that the race was only a week away and the last two weeks of rain meant that this fair weather runner didn't get out. Uh oh...

But I had to do it. Through the past several months of preparing, I realized that this meant more to me than just finishing a 5K. I had three simple physical goals:

1. Finish.
2. Finish somewhere other than last.
3. No walking.

But I had psychological, spiritual, and emotional goals, too. Running today, and finishing the race, was a means of symbolically ending some significant lies that ruled my life for a long time and of replacing them with truth.

For too long I believed the lie that I was worthless and had nothing to offer. My middle school and high school experiences led me to believe that I didn't have the right gifts and talents and that I had nothing to offer this world. I now see that as the false humility that it is. Who am I to tell God that He didn't give me the right gifts? That I don't have the talents to do the job He has asked me to do? No one in my past would have ever expected me to attempt a 5K let alone finish. By finishing, I solidified for myself that I can do what I have been purposed to do.

Life is not easy. Mine included. It was not meant to be easy. And that's okay. Sometimes there is no way to finish than through hard work and trials. I can carry on.

I can do hard things. Not being told that growing up, and never attempting anything out of my comfort zone until I was in my 30s, I lacked the confidence to try new things. Who knew that I could face the anger of a hurting, traumatized young man, keep potential run-aways from escaping with just a pen and a brownie (that's a great story - ask me sometime), and wake up each morning to the uncertainty of raising a behaviorally challenged (always growing) toddler? My 18 year old self would never have believed it.

And yet, I can't do any of this on my own power. I couldn't and I wouldn't want to do so. When I was running, the only things that kept me going was the image of Christ at my side, cheering me on, and the words of truth running through my iPod.

It's no surprise that these are the verses that I pray over my exceedingly fast daughter who also cheered me along the last half mile, even running with me for part of it (after finishing her own race, mind you):

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40: 30 - 31

Someone is proud of me. Today it was the Good Doctor. But at the end of this journey, it will be my Savior who won't care what my time is, how I compared to others, or what I look like. He doesn't expect me to be successful, only faithful.

And as an added bonus, while I watched the other 2,411 runners, at least half of whom were children, I was reminded of the vision I had while we debated over saying yes to that 1 lb. 13 oz. micro preemie. On that day, I saw Jesus approaching me with a baby in his arms. But there were more. Children kept coming to join Him and pretty soon there was a crowd of children surrounding Him. This was confirmed several months later when, after learning that Victor was totally blind, we took him to Heidi Baker for healing prayer. She prayed over him, saying that his healing would be gradual (which it has been!), and then focused her eyes and her prayers on the Good Doctor and me. She prophesied that we would be pioneers in the orphan care movement. Those were the children that I saw as I was running today. No longer orphans, but in loving families committed to the hard work of loving traumatized children.

Let's do vis fing!

Just call to me. I guarantee I will answer you. I will make you strong and brave. (Psalm 138:3 MSG)