Connecting with God, each other, and ourselves in the broken and beautiful

Friday Prayer, April 20, 2018


At the family greeting area with my parents and Jeff, just minutes before the bombs went off.



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,

In You,

through You,

because of You,

I am an overcomer.


I keep my eyes forward

that I might see the beauty

before me.


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.




  1. Geraldine Osmond Weiss

    What a beautiful, uplifting way to start my birthday this morning! Your image of the squiggly line of progress is exactly what I need to become a fellow overcomer. I am deeply moved by your Friday prayers, Arianne.

    • ariannelehn

      Oh how wonderful! A very, very happy birthday to you, Geraldine! What light and hope you bring to the world! I celebrate you!!!

  2. Eugene DeHoogh

    Arianne, Thank you so much for your article and prayer for today—it is amazing and a wonderful reflection on how to keep on being an overcomer. I will be sending it to my grandchildren—just last evening my wife was sorting some old pictures and we especially went through the pictures of our granddaughter, Betsy when she was the setter for Roosevelt High and they took the State Volleyball Tournament in 2006. How those experiences give us so many truths to reflect on for life. Thank you so much for sending this one to me, as I missed it for a couple of weeks. Your insights and testimonies are incredible. Gratefully, Gene DeHoogh

    On Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 5:33 AM, Ash and Starlight wrote:

    > ariannelehn posted: ” 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” >

    • ariannelehn

      Thank you so much, Gene, for your abiding encouragement! How grateful I am for your words and for you!

  3. Nancy T Cook

    Oh, Arianne! This is the prayer I have wanted to pray! When our daughter died, a Nurse Practitioner who was employed by the hospital to talk to people who were saying goodbye to loved ones, told me “You will find your grief will come in waves, and all you can do is hold on until each wave passes because you can’t fight a wave.” But now I have something to hold onto, so perhaps I won’t drown after all.

    • ariannelehn

      Nancy, you are so incredibly brave. I marvel at you. I am holding your hand across the miles as we encounter the waves together. You are forever in my heart and my prayers.

  4. Jane Gastineau

    Thank you, Arianne. I need this prayer these days—eyes forward, trusting and trying again each day.

    • ariannelehn

      So glad this resonated with you, Jane! Blessings to you, my friend.

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