...famous last words HAHAHA
These are MY famous last words. I really do not run and have never wanted to run and never understood why someone would run. What would chase me that far? If I'm not being chased then why am I running?! About 3 years ago I decided that all the runners I knew/saw were skinny. I decided that it didn't look too hard (forgetting all my years of torture in P.E.) and than I too could be skinny through running. I quickly remembered my years of mile runs through my school year and I decided that NOTHING was worth running from for more than a mile. Goodbye running.
Fast forward to spring 2012...
I was sitting in church one day and they played a video to promote Run for Heaven's Gate which is a series of 4 half marathons in 4 weeks. I had seen the videos before and I know a few people who have run for this precious cause. The thought of it always flew out of my mind as quickly as it was introduced. Last year I actually considered getting involved somehow but with a new baby and a busy schedule I dismissed the idea. So why this year as I sat in church watching this video would I feel so compelled to actually run a total of 52.4 miles in 4 weeks? Perhaps I finally reached a breaking point after a very rough year. Maybe I have been searching for some way to get involved in our church's India missions. Maybe I've gone completely crazy. There is definitely a God factor at work here. The more I thought about it, the more I needed to do this. I started out with 2 reasons in mind; the first is selfish- 2 years into my battle with a still unknown auto-immune issue I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and take back my body. The second reason is much less selfish; Heaven's Gate.
Heaven's Gate is an outreach in India. It is one of many outreaches that my church started to spread God's love and offer any support that they could in a rough place. This particular outreach is a haven for people who have HIV/AIDS. Medicine and care are hard to come by in this region even for people in good health. People who have HIV or AIDS are shunned and their lives are pretty bleak. Heaven's Gate offers food, shelter, medicine, education, and best of all; love.
Amazing things have happened since I started running and working for this goal. I saw a rheumatologist who didn't have any answers for me but she did put me on some meds that are mild and supposed to help with nerve pain. Praise God, they're working! Slowly I started running, I skipped my big mental 1 mile obstacle and went straight into 2 mile runs. I discovered an amazing thing in the process; when I run I don't think about anything, it is simple quiet time to listen to God. For the first time in my entire ADHD life my brain is quiet. If I am stressed out or in need of an attitude adjustment I find refreshing peace when I run. Who needs to be chased? I can run from myself for miles and then come back ready to face life with a better attitude.
I have seen physical provision, mental provision, and even financial provision ( I won a certificate that pays my racing fees for one of the races). When I get discouraged I think about the kids in India and everything I saw in various videos and heard from various testimonies. I complain because my body hurts but my biggest challenge is NOTHING compared to what these people (many of them are kids) face just to survive from day to day. To be able to be a part of helping to give them the luxury of a clean place to live and life sustaining medicine and food and school.... it keeps me going when I want to stop. As I conquer longer distances and figure out that it takes me about 2 miles (sometimes more) to get warmed up, I need that motivation because those first couple of miles are TOUGH!
SO.... How does this benefit the India outreaches?
Would you be willing to help our cause? Would you pay even $10 to see a notorious non runner book it over 52 miles? No matter what your reason might be, your sponsorship goes a long way in helping this cause. If I have your address you can expect a letter from me in mid-late august. I will be sending out letters with little cards enclosed and postage paid return envelopes. I would rather that someone throw it away than to give for the wrong reasons (guilt, pressure, insert any negative feeling here) but if you do feel led to give it would be a huge blessing! I pay my own race fees and expenses like shoes and accessories and everything else is donated; 100% of our contributions go to India.
If I don't have your address or if you're just really excited like I am to get involved then you can click the following link to sponsor me directly online. http://www.chapelmissions.org/where-we-work/india/getting-word-out/run-4-heavens-gate/2012/kristi-young
This blog is part 1 of at least a 2 part series. I am excited to see how God will work in this journey and I can't wait to share it!
Here is the video that started it all....