This past Monday was the fifth anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing.
I ran that race on my 28thbirthday. It was an exhilarating day that ended in horror. The height of humanity’s enduring spirit sidled by the depth of humanity’s pain. I wrote about my experience here….
I haven’t seen the movies made about it. I haven’t run a race since. Someday, I will do these things….
But each year, something shifts – even soars – in my spirit as I watch the coverage and read the results. I’m taken back to the essence of the day, which is one of goodness and perseverance and overcoming. The evil that happened that day has not held victory. Every year, thousands still gather to run together. They take back the ground in the name of beautiful strength with each stride and stomp of their feet.
This year, as I read the coverage with my broken foot, I was awe-struck by the story of Sarah Sellers who finished second for women on Monday. No one knew who she was. I learned that as a senior in college, Sarah had a broken foot and didn’t run one step for a year. She has been working as a full-time nurse, and the race on Monday was only her second marathon. She didn’t even realize when she crossed the finish-line that she’d taken second place. When asked what she would do with the award money, she said she’d try to pay off her and her husband’s student loans.
Or how about this story?! Talk about tremendous.
The affirmation I hear in this and to which I keep returning is, We are overcomers. I am an overcomer…..
It can feel like we barely catch our breath from one setback before the next one surprises us. Author Paul Coelho says, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”
The overcoming rarely comes in one, big wave. It’s more like a series of cascading waves that roll in and recede. But each wave will bring us further up the shore….
Strong and Loving God,
because of You,
I am an overcomer.
I keep my eyes forward
that I might see the beauty
Thank you for
helping me trust
amid the setbacks…
for helping me see that progress
isn’t a straight line,
but a squiggly one.
The simple choice to try again today
is victory in your book.
Yours is the coaching voice
I need most,
speaking directly in my ear
as you run alongside,
stride for stride.
I believe in you.
I am with you.
We will overcome this together.