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Running My Race

I was feeling sad, a bit angry, confused, unsettled and maybe a little defeated.

It was nearly 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon and I was still in bed. I woke up at my usual time around 5:30am and noticed the specific type of mental heaviness and fatigue physically, (due to a brain disease) but decided to go downstairs to have my typical time alone with God. After taking my morning homeopathic supplements I realized I needed to go back to bed. On my way upstairs, I grabbed my Bible and journal from my office just in case I had the capacity to interact with God in such a way.

I spent the next couple hours in and out of sleep while listening to worship music and a Sunday church service. When I have a random “episode” I need to release expectations and choose to focus on what is life-giving, hoping such things (along with prayer) will shorten the duration of the severe brain fog and fatigue.

At one point, I grabbed my journal to try and capture some reflective thoughts from the past 24 hours that were slowly making their way through my mind. I got to the point of simply drawing a circle to represent my head and I began to weep as I shaded how much heaviness and cloudiness was present starting the day before. Only a small space was unshaded at the very top of the circle indicating what was open to receive, handle outside stimulation, or the ability to process and communicate thoughts clearly. I laid back down, allowing myself a moment to feel the emotions that were triggered with such a revelation, and fell back asleep.

As hours past, I only had the energy to get out of bed to refill my glass of water, use the restroom or to have a small healthy meal. Other than that, all I could do is rest in bed and sleep as my body demanded. Every so often, I would sit up in bed and stretch trying to loosen up tight spots and get blood flow moving –– mostly to my brain.

At one point, I had to got out of bed and sat on the floor to stretch with greater intention. Feeling a little relief with each stretch. My feelings and thoughts chatted on in my behalf trying to figure out what was going on within an otherwise healthy body. I was diagnosed a year ago with this brain disease, but I had been feeling better due to dietary changes as well as this new homeopathic regimen I had been on. So these seemingly random episodes surprised me.

As I reflected, I rested my forehead on my shins as I grabbed my toes. Then as I knelt and sat with my legs folded, I laid back feeling the blood rush to my head. I sat up again and leaned forward, head to the ground and I captured a thought that spoke to a part of my life that I miss when I feel this badly.

A recent picture I took of my dog, Jagger, and I resting for a moment while on our morning run popped up in my mind. I was bending over touching the ground stretching my legs. When I looked behind me, I could see Jagger resting in the shade and letting the dew from the grass cool his belly. I used my phone and took a pic while I was upside down –– taking note that my stretch and Jagger’s rest were a needed part of our summer runs. I never felt like I was cheating myself when I stopped running, knowing it was a valuable part of the exercise.

When I thought of that image in the context of my brain disease, I wasn’t taking it in so lightheartedly. I felt frustrated when I thought of it in the larger perspective of life like in (Hebrews 12:1) “…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...” I lifted my head off the ground and noticed my thoughts and feelings argue their point, “I don’t like to rest and stretch like this! I feel trapped and stuck in this unproductive moment rather than moving forward as I would on a run!”

I slowly got up from the floor and continued to ponder this level of self-awareness a bit more. I picked up my journal again and attempted to capture the negative emotions I was feeling:

I like to RUN the race.

I like to be in motion,

moving forward!

My race is about doing.


It’s about action.


It’s about making a difference.

It’s about seeing the fruit of God in my life.

As I run my race in life, it is NOT about…

being alone,

or stuck in my head in an otherwise healthy body.

It’s not about getting more sleep,

or getting more rest.

It’s not about being stuck in bed

with no ability to use my mind!

It’s not about going out in the world and not being able to take in all the good that’s around me, because my brain can’t take it in.

These pauses and stretches are a waste of time and waste of my potential.

These episodes are unnecessary and not a valuable part of my race!

They are a waste of time,

and waste of my potential.

This disease is dumb and is hindering my race!

It's ridiculous and pointless.


My thoughts and feelings continued to cry out into the darkness of my mind and hopelessness of my soul.

As the day dragged on, I came across one of Dr. Tim Mackie & Jon Collins’ Word Studies videos from the BibleProject app, which spoke directly into my situation. They pulled out key words from (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) “ shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your strength.” The specific video describing the word, SOUL, was very helpful as they shared that our soul is our WHOLE PHYSICAL BEING. The idea that our entire being––our life and our body––offers thanks and love to God with all our capabilities and limitations.

I replayed that part of the video, "...our capabilities and limitations."

My perspective shifted to the desire to run my race for the love of God with my WHOLE PHYSICAL BEING including any limitations. What an ultimate act of love and worship; run my race even while experiencing certain physical and mental limitations!

The run seems to be more about the breath in my lungs today –– thanks to God –– and less about what I’m going to accomplish. It’s a moment-by-moment meditation on how loved I am by God, how I get to love others as I love myself –– again, no matter my physical or even mental capabilities and limitations.

I am grateful that these episodes don't completely take over my life, allowing me to run my ministry with great intention and love through coaching individuals, teaching groups, and speaking at events; yet, I do have limitations. I'm learning that the value of my life is not all about how I run my race (performance). It's mostly about my personal relationship with God, my identity in Christ (which can't be taken away), and staying connected to this Divine source that will sustain me for whatever lies ahead.

I pray that this honest and open reflection, gives you the same peace and assurance as it did for me while I had to take a break from my plans and productivity.


I would love to connect with you:

Are you experiencing any frustration while you’re running your race, due to any limitations?

What part of this revelation of mine, speaks to you most?

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