Eleven years ago our family moved to Fort Bliss, Texas for my husband to attend a Military school. We had a much needed one year break from deployments and time to enjoy our family. We focused that year on making new memories with our children and trying to get healthy. Casey and the boys started racing BMX bikes, the girls joined a competitive cheer team, and I decided to start running. I always hated running but I was determined to make myself do it. I am not sure why I wanted to torture myself in that way because I hated every minute of it.
It has been two and a half years since Derek suddenly and unexpectedly left for Heaven and it has been so incredibly difficult to deal with. Since that day, I have spent a lot of time in prayer and deep in thought as I try to process through all of the emotions that come with child loss. It is so hard to accept that one of my children is no longer here on Earth with me. Thinking back on my journey over the past couple of years has reminded me of making myself run that year even though I hated it. Although I had my husband and friends to encourage and support me, running was physically painful and I had to fight the urge to quit trying over and over. After a while I realized that the more I forced myself to run, the better conditioned I was to do it successfully. After I had been running for a while, when my body started to get tired and my heart started pounding, it got easier to push myself to keep going. I ran terribly slow and awkward at first and would take a lot of breaks but I didn’t quit. Eventually, I began running faster and with more grace. I even started seeing blessings from forcing myself to do something that I didn’t enjoy. Although I continued to hate running, with time and encouragement it became a little more natural.
I hate that Derek went to Heaven before me, it’s not the way that I thought it would be. The love for your child continues to grow even when they are physically out of reach and that causes feelings of incredible pain and emptiness. It is exhausting because I just miss him so much. I miss his smile, his laugh, and his contagious love for life and adventure. I miss the way our family was before. We have huge hole in our hearts and lives that will not be filled while we are on Earth. It is so difficult and I feel like quitting at times but I know that is not what God wants for me. He has put people in my life to pray, encourage, and run along side of me when I struggle to keep going. He has given me so many reasons to keep moving forward in my journey…my husband, my three wonderful children that are still here, my family, and my friends. I also know that He still has work left for me to do. I am so thankful that God gives me the strength to endure the pain and heartaches of this world and continue run His race for my life.
I am running more gracefully than I did two and a half years ago. I don’t know how many miles I have ahead or what other heartbreaking obstacles that I will face along the way but I know what’s at the finish line. That is why I will keep running, trusting God, and looking for His blessings along the way. Until the day I see Jesus and my sweet son’s face, I will press on towards to prize, Eternity in Heaven.
Lord, thank you for your continual grace and strength to help me endure the heartaches of this world. Thank you for all of the wonderful people that you have put in my life to run along side me. Give me strength to continue to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14