Caring Bridge is where I go for inspiration and encouragement as I receive information for people needing prayer and support. I don’t recall how I know about that organization, just that Mary is the third person to whom I respond. Walking with the sick or injured whose names have been submitted for need has been a benefit to my own life.
Mary has gone from nearly lost to the world to running races, a triumph of body and spirit as she continues to recover herself from the grip of impending death to achieve goals that can only be called miraculous. She is quite an inspiration. Overcoming is her by-word.
Across the decades I’ve come to know life is not a party but a serious challenge. I recognize I’m running a race, and, looking back, hurdles seem to be my specialty. Each one placed before me bears a named purpose. Some are repetitive, as if I’m to understand the repeats are aimed toward perfection.
That inner voice never scolds, always encourages and, sometimes, I think I hear quiet applause. I confess, I used to resent each lesson, like any child asked to reach. Now I see them as challenge with a message and a reward for good response.
A long time ago a magical man of God handed me a book. I read Are You Running With Me, Jesus? Then I re-read it, dog-eared the pages and took it in like a drowning girl who’d received a life secret. Do you know, Jesus leaps hurdles with me! I don’t ever run alone. His litany never stops, even when I forget to listen. “Tie your shoelaces. Don’t trip over that rock. Keep a steady pace. Eyes on Me. Remember to breathe. Watch where you’re running. Stay on the path. Drink the water of life. Eyes on the prize.”
Simple need finally taught me it’s not just okay to rest. It’s a necessity. Running ragged dictates failure. Pacing myself gets me farther up the rocky road. Along the way I have found other runners with similar goals, a comfort when I’m breathless. They point the way when I’m lost. When I trip and fall they help me up, share water and run right next to me, filled with encouragement.
I write with wonderful people. Writers are among the most generous of people. Encouragers all, they don’t withhold, offer help and dutifully read through drafts for me, point out where my story flags, tell me which parts grab and pull them in, tell me what’s too wordy, too flowery, too too. My two coaches have been invaluable, helping me to see where there is value in my thinking, and where I’m just indulging myself. Where I’m way overboard and where I’m telling a story well. They are more than just mirrors. They make all the difference to my self-expression. Their thoughtful input can’t be measured. They have been my good fortune.
Equally important are Jean, Pat, Lois, Katherine, Ruthie Lou, excellent writers all, who continue to have my best interests at heart, who take time to read me, offer great advice, encouragement and sometimes push me up a notch, to better writing. They are blessings I didn’t expect on this part of my journey.