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Run and Not Grow Weary

by Jocelyn on September 27, 2010

by Mary Katharine Davenport

As of today, I have just slightly over 30 days left to train for my first big race! At the end of October, I am registered to run (with my husband, Richard) the Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This is a big deal to me. I’ve always loved to run, but I’ve never been a runner. In fact, until I started training for this race, I hadn’t even really exercised regularly since, are you ready, 2001! My husband has been assigned to Fort Bragg twice. It was there that I first heard of the Army Ten Miler, and instantly had the dream of running it with Richard before he retired.

I started running somewhat regularly last summer. We were still relatively new to our current residence in GA, Richard was deployed and my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I was isolated with a lot on my plate. I needed an escape. So, I started running. Seven months later I found myself in my first 5K race. God blessed me with a great race which left me on cloud nine. A couple of months after that, a friend of mine posted on her FB status that registration for the Army Ten Miler was open. I remembered my dream and Richard signed us up.

Since then we have run in early morning 20 degree weather, we have run in mid afternoon 88 degree weather. We have run up hills that have resulted in me bursting into tears once at the top. We have run short distances. We have run long distances. We have run for fun. We have run to support a cause and encourage a wounded warrior. We have not always been that motivated, but we have run and we haven’t grown weary.

I am not a star athlete. I will never be and I am okay with that. Being number one is not and never was my goal. So how have I avoided the weariness? Honestly, running has just been an outlet for me lately. I don’t run daily. I don’t have that opportunity. I’m not willing to let all my other “duties” as a wife, mother, teacher, daughter and friend fall to the side. There is a balance there, and it’s never easy for me, but it is worth it and I am getting stronger in my running and stronger in my faith. When I run I don’t quite feel God’s pleasure the way I understand Eric Liddell to describe it, but I am amazed at how far I’ve come. God has provided me with amazing strength and endurance. I see this in both my pace and distance. But the running has only opened my eyes more to the strength and endurance in my life.

If I had to run the race tomorrow, I am fully confident I could finish. However, these last few days leading up to the race will have me manning my post here solo, and only time will tell what God’s plans are for me in regards to making it to the race and finishing (or not). I’m okay with whatever the outcome. A bigger race is soon to have my name on the roster. Like many of your spouses, my husband has been tagged for yet another tour in Afghanistan. I’ll be honest, when Richard first told me of the deployment, I really had an initial bad case of the “why me’s.” I think at this point in the War on Terror, it is so easy for even the strongest to start questioning and succumbing to weariness. Again, the verses from Isaiah 40:30-31 just seem to stay on my mind and in my heart. I don’t want to take these verses out of context, and I hope that you would all open up your Bibles to the Old Testament and spend some time there. There is so much to be learned from studying the history and much more significance can be gained from knowing the full context of familiar verses. But if I may just focus on these two verses for now. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be faint.”

Matthew Henry says it very well, “Many a time he gives power to the faint, to those that are ready to faint away; and to those that have no might He not only gives, but increases strength, as there is more and more occasion for it. To those who are sensible of their weakness, and ready to acknowledge they have no might, God does in a special manner increase strength; for when we are weak in ourselves, then are we strong in the Lord. Those who trust in their own sufficiency, nor seek God for his grace, shall be faint and weary. But those that wait on the Lord and by faith rely upon Him and commit themselves to His guidance, shall find that God will not fail them. As the day, so shall their strength be.”

No matter what your race, I pray that you will run and not grow weary and that you will rejoice in the day that God has so graciously given you. Whether you are in your first 5K, preparing for another PCS, raising a difficult child or facing a deployment, may you trust God to keep your lamps supplied and be your “arm every morning.” (Isaiah 33.2)

To God be the Glory.
Mary Katharine

About the Author:
Mary Katharine Davenport is the wife of an Army Special Operations Officer and the homeschooling Momma of five girls currently residing in Dallas, Georgia.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura September 27, 2010 at 10:09 am

I really needed to read that today. Thank you for the encouragement!

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BLOOMING PARIS/ Jenn September 28, 2010 at 1:00 am

Mary Katharine, this post was such a blessing!
Thank you for sharing straight from your heart.. … we all need encouragement such as this!
there are so many gifts that came thru in what you expressed so very well!
many blessings.. Jenn

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Sherry September 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

So needed this encouragement today! I pray that I can look to the Lord when I grow weary, so I don’t faint in the day of adversity.

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Kristi September 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing about how running helped. I began running when my husband was deployed to Iraq in 2008. I needed an outlet for the stress, depression, and anger. I had never been a runner and had it in my head I would never be one. I went to the gym one day and just started running on the treadmill. Each day I went it got easier and then I set my goal. A 5k for Race for the Cure. My husband and I had done it in the past. He ran, while I walked the 3 miles. I wanted to accomplish something positive and overcome my limitation I had always set for myself. I will never forget running that race and telling him on the phone in Iraq I had done it. Next Saturday, we will get to run the 5k together. That will be a great day for me.

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Sherri Winstead September 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Wah!! That’s all I can say. After my day yesterday and counseling today with my oldest son Matthew, this made me cry. With Daniel leaving the next year (for a full year) for the first time EVER in 17 1/2 years of marriage, I am REALLY struggling with anger, sadness (at all the wrong times) and strength (at times I feel strong too). I need to rely on Him more. I need to become more in his word daily as I haven’t been in so long because “life” gets in the way. He knows I have two boys. He knows they have special needs. HE KNOWS what I go through and he KNOWS how I can get through when Daniel is gone. I have to trust that. That is about all I can do at this time. I can trust that He will guide us all, keep Daniel safe, and help Matthew continue to mature as a teen even when his Daddy so far away.

Thank you Mary Katherine Davenport!!

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