By: Kacie Starr Long
For the past few weeks, I have been breathlessly training for a marathon. This will be my first marathon and it is through Go! St. Louis and will be held this Spring.
April 2010 I completed a half-marathon right before my 30th birthday and I vowed then that I would return to run the full marathon before my 40th birthday. I'm a year behind, but I'm here. Training at the gym. Several times a week to meet my goal.
I don't know why I've decided to make running a marathon one of my goals. I do not come from a family of runners, I don't have many close friends that run...it just seems as if it has been a desire in my heart to accomplish and so, here I am.
There are some lessons I have learned from this journey, I'm five weeks in (and honestly, there will probably be more lessons that I will learn as I get closer to race day in April), however, my decision to prepare for April's marathon didn't just begin; as I've said, it's a desire that has been in my heart for 11 years and there have been times where I decided to pursue running a marathon, but allowed fear or excuses to thwart my progress.
Maybe you can relate. Perhaps your desire isn't to run a marathon, but it's to return to school, obtain a new degree, step out in faith to open a business, or launch a non-profit organization. Life happens and working to achieve our goals can be very hard, I want to share a bit of wisdom that I have learned on my journey thus far.
1) Commit Your Goals to the Lord. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, money, and energy. Before making the decision to put my body through rigorous training, I prayed about it. I asked God was this the time to pursue this goal? Did I have his blessing to pursue this endeavor? Honestly, I didn't hear a big voice boom from heaven and say, "Kacie: RUN the marathon!" But I felt peace in knowing that I had intentionally sought God for direction, wisdom, and blessing prior to seeking such a significant undertaking.
"Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you." Psalm 37:5
2) Pursue Progress Not Perfection. I'm not a perfectionist but I can have perfectionist tendencies (smile). Do you ever find yourself getting caught up in the details as opposed to focusing on the main thing? While training for a marathon, I follow a runner's plan each week. There are special days when I run targeted distances. Well, over the holidays my schedule got jumbled, and I missed several days of my targeted running and I considered throwing the whole idea of running a marathon away....but I didn't. I'm not perfect. I am going to miss a day or two of training and that doesn't mean that I am a failure. This is a great reminder to rely on God's grace and not on my own imperfect perfection.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
3) You Are Anointed for Hard Things. You know what? Training for a marathon hurts. My behind hurts. My lungs hurt. My hamstrings feel tight. The pain eventually subsides after each run, but as I run it challenges me greatly. I want to remind you that whether your goal is to forgive someone that hurt you, you are saving for a big purchase, you are working to get out of debt...going after your goal may hurt. It will require sacrifice and saying no to a few things but the good news is that you are anointed for hard things. God's anointing, His blessing, and grace upon your life are there to help you do the hard things.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Because we are at the beginning of the year this is a time for goal-setting. My prayer is that you will bring your goals before the Lord and listen to His instruction, that you will continue to move forward and not be deterred when inevitable delays or obstacles occur and that you will always remember that as a believer, it is God's grace and power working within you.
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room . I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for more daily Christian teachings and encouragement.