As I review the memories of the past year, I can’t help but praise God for the strength He has renewed to my body.
Physically, I am stronger than I was before Lyme disease. Before I fell to the first phase, meningitis, running a 8:30 mile was a thing of my high school past. After Lyme, with God’s grace and caring, I worked my way to an 8:34 mile.
Mentally, I am more aware of the way my body reacts to pain, to exercise, to sickness, to sleep, to different foods. Lyme disease forced me to be in tune with my body, and now I can care for God’s temple better.
Spiritually, I never left God’s garden. He gently loved me through the adversity. I drooped beneath the weight of pain, fatigue, frustration, confusion, tears. God tied my sorry little flower head to His ever constant, ever present word, and held me upright so I could grow in Him. He reminded me of His promises to me. He comforted me as my physical strength failed rapidly and encouraged me as He strengthened my spirit. He granted me the best Christmas present possible — my diagnosis — and set me on the brief road to recovery.
Sometimes, superstition creeps into my thoughts as I pick up my avid running habit again. I wonder if, because I love to run, He will send another tick to set me straight again.
But this time it’s different.
I’m not running to boast in myself anymore.
Every time I round that corner into the second mile, where there is no shade for another half-mile, I thank God.
I thank Him for my legs and my feet.
I thank Him for my tendons.
I thank Him for my muscles.
I thank Him for the past year.
I thank Him for the sun, although it feels like lava on my seemingly melting skin.
I thank Him for the health-conscious and nature-loving people on the trail with me.
I thank Him for teaching me thankfulness, in something so simple as walking and running.
He taught me to thank Him. To be reminded of His goodness every time I run. To bless His name because I can do everyday things.
I can now finally say, with Eric Liddell:
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”