Saturday, I will lace up my sneakers and run my second half marathon. (That first one was a doozy.) The Middle Half starts on the campus of MTSU and runs throughout Murfreesboro, eventually passing the geographic center of Tennessee—the literal middle half.
I considered signing up for this race several months ago… you know, when I could’ve realistically trained for it. At the last minute, a friend
coerced talked me into signing up for it. It wasn’t much of a push for me to sign on the dotted line though, because I knew the significance this race would bring for me.
Fourteen years ago, I started my adult life as a freshman at MTSU. Though I have wonderful memories and friendships from those years, I look back on that season with mixed emotions. I made some poor decisions in those years, and I have some scars from those choices. I’ve shared part of my story here before, but in those days, the decisions I made rarely included diabetes. I didn’t manage the disease well, my A1c was constantly high and taking care of myself physically was the last thing on my list. I still credit my mother’s prayers for surviving those years.
Fast forward to 2015, and I’m a different person. Taking care of my diabetes is a top priority because I’ve realized that to be able to reach my goals and do the things I dream of doing, diabetes has to be the focus. To feel good, to feel strong, to sleep well, to have mental and emotional health, my diabetes needs to be managed well. It’s all connected.
And then there’s Jesus. I’ve come a long way in my spiritual life since 2001, and I’m grateful for that journey and the amount of grace it has included. The growth has been hard, the seasons of stretching have been challenging and identifying parts of my life that need attention has been sobering at times. But those moments and seasons have been worth it as I’ve experienced Jesus in new ways and understood God’s goodness and faithfulness in new ways. It’s all intertwined for me—through the beauty and through the ashes.
This second half makes a figurative full circle for me. It’s not simply about 13.1 miles or another medal (although I do enjoy a good medal). It’s about a continued course of becoming the woman God has called me to be. It’s about seeing my past, embracing that time of my life and (quite literally, in this case) running toward a future of hope. It’s about finishing what I started in 2001; it’s about celebrating my health and diabetes victories, showing gratitude for my walk with God and celebrating the incredible friends I’ve made along the way. There’s a high likelihood this will be my favorite race of any I complete, and I’m looking forward to Saturday in a big way.