Do you ever feel like you are running a marathon?  A marathon at night, when you can only make out dark shapes in the distance?  Many times you stumble.  You get road rash on your knees and hands...  You feel tired and have no idea where the finish line is or how long it will take you to get there?  You feel tired and defeated.  This seems like such a dark lonely road that you are on, and on the other hand you can feel the imminence of morning.  You are tired, but the burning in your lungs makes you feel strong and alive.  Somehow you know you won't give up.  You want to reach the end of this marathon...  You fight through the blood, sweat, and tears.  Even though it doesn't feel like it now, these things will make you stronger for parts of the journey that are really tough.

I miss running.... a lot.  I never did it to be fit...  Instead, I did it to clear my head and heart.  I can remember running on a lonely road to the cemetery just outside our small town.  I remember the clean breeze that felt so good....  I remember the storm clouds that always seemed to be in the distance.  I remember thinking things through.... boys, friends, God, life, etc.  I swear I can still smell the clean, crisp air.  I remember being so sweaty and tired, but feeling so good.

Life can be hard.  Plans never go... as planned.  Surprises jump out at you when you least expect them.  Sometimes life seems looooong.  Other times, it feels as though the pace of life is racing past you.  I guess I just hope I will be the person I want to be at the finish line.  I want to be the one lifting others.  I want to have battle scars to show how hard I fought to make it.  I want to be strong.  And I want to do it all with a little bit of grace.

Some days I feel like I am running in the dark at a snails pace.  Today, I feel like I am running uphill... but I can feel that wonderful burning in my lungs... I can feel that burning in my heart.  I feel very much alive and I feel like this is all part of the plan.

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