Sunday, December 22, 2013

Running For Her Life

First off, Merry Christmas everyone!
Wow…I guess I haven't blogged in a pretty long time?? Although some of my Facebook posts do seem to come out like mini blogs sometimes:), I probably haven’t done the best job lately keeping up with race recaps, training thoughts and whatever else Elite Runners are supposed to blog about! I originally wanted to write a blog after a "certain" article about my life came out in the Charlotte Observer on September 15th.  
In fact, the journalist, Theoden Janes, recently just got an award from the N.C. Press Association for "Best Profile Feature" and believe me, he deserved every bit of it!  
Working with Théoden  (Bless his very patient heart!) on the story Running For her Life , forced me to go to places that I had never gone before and the process became quite the“roller coaster” type of project.  So I guess you could say that after 9 months of work, the story kinda came out to be one HUGE blog all in one!  It took a lot out of me emotionally, and in all honesty, I think I went into a small state of shock after it came out. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, except that it was tough to comprehend how for 30 years, a major part of my life that I had always tried to hide, was now revealed. And even though to accommodate certain legalities, the story portrayed only a few small glimpses of the tough stuff, I still felt more exposed than I ever had.

But with all that said, I think I knew deep down, and all my close mentors and friends agreed, that it was the right time to do something like this. As I had mentioned on Facebook, and in the article itself, I felt that God had given me an opportunity that I may never have again. That there was potential for my story to reach people who may need encouragement and hope.  And why wouldn't that be a good thing?  My other anticipation was that people might learn more about the signs and effects of certain abuses, but also the redemption that can follow with a lot of help and hard work.  To my surprise, there was an absolutely amazing outpouring of positive  responses that were 
portrayed in a variety of ways. Many young people, older people, male and female alike who could relate and  had similar stories of their own. It was more than I could ever have imagined and I was so touched and so moved, that I wanted to respond to every single person.  So in the end, I think that the main mission was accomplished, and the positive things that have come from it, are way more worthwhile and satisfying than any other outward accomplishment I could ever strive for.

Of course none of this means that my life is perfect now or that everything is all gone. Or that I can erase the hard parts of the first 20 years of life.  I don't think PTSD ever really goes away completely and in fact, as my close friends can attest, my life ain't always smooth sailing! But I have found courage through other personal stories and witnessed many great examples of people where their mindset is, if I can get back up from "THAT" then I can certainly get back up from this. If I can survive "THAT" then I can survive this.  So here we are closing out 2013, a year where I've definitely gone through some trials and it's once again time to put that mindset to use!  Were these recent experiences worse or harder than other things I have gone through in my younger years?....Well if you have read the article, than you can  probably guess that the answer is: No, not at all. But between changes in living, a cyst in my knee, Kidney Stones, VERY low iron, financial setbacks, relational breakups, a marathon that didn’t go exactly how I had hoped, and a few other unmentionable personal trials, I am already trying to figure out how I can learn from, and use these 2013 roadblocks for better outcomes. 
1 Peter 1:7 says :  "These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold." 
I believe this verse and it once again comes down to trusting that God can work all things out for good in some way if I have faith.