This year I became an aunt for the first time to a beautiful little girl, Daniella. She came to Minnesota to visit over Christmas and I fell in love with her. I can’t imagine what I am going to do when I am a parent of my own children, because I am so in love with her… Maybe when I am sleep deprived with my own, my joy will be quelled! When I was with her, there was nothing she could have done that would have made me love her more or less (she could have giggled at my stupid songs or pooped all over and it wouldn’t matter). It gave me but a mere squinting glimpse of how God looks at me; there is nothing I can do to be more or less loved by my creator.
I believe it is a lifelong process to truly discover and believe with my heart that nothing I can do can change the love that God has for me. I can say that I believe with my mind, but when I see that I approach many of my endeavors with a fear of not meeting expectations, I know my heart has not fully embraced this truth. I consider myself so blessed to have the opportunity to use my sport as a means to grow and learn that my performance has nothing to do with how well I am loved. This weekend I am running a half marathon in Houston, and I look forward to running a longer race that will give me many opportunities to be courageous and trust in the Lord’s strength. I want to be clear that I am not striving to use the Lord as a tool to make me run fast, but the point is that if I believe that my performance doesn’t change how much God loves me, then taking a risk and potentially dying, but leaning a little more into the dependence of God is well worth it. I am overwhelmed with this freeing idea, but it is incredibly scary. I feel weak even admitting this.
I am overjoyed and very eager when I consider this sense of freedom, but I know that the idea is far easier to entertain than to actually put it into practice! I would love prayer for courage. This week I was reading in the Gospel about Peter walking on water. Jesus approaches the disciples in a storm and they were very afraid. They think Jesus is a ghost and Peter says, "Jesus if it is really you, let me come out to you." Peter gets out of the boat and starts to walk towards him on the water, but gets scared and loses faith for but a moment and starts to sink. He calls out to Jesus and says, “Jesus, save me,” and immediately Jesus scooped him up. My prayer is that I will be like Peter; I am eager to step out of the boat, yet know that I will lose faith over and over in this race. I admire that Peter did not try to swim and tread water on his own when he started sinking, but called out to Jesus!
When the gun goes off I will take my first step depending on the Lord’s strength and each small doubt that crosses my mind, I will call on the name of Jesus Christ. Of course I hope to have a fast time in this race, but my ultimate evaluation of success in this race will be if I abandoned my own understanding and let myself trust in the Lord, because I know that is what truly matters in eternity!