There I was standing outside under the dark clouds of winters smile. I could see that this was going to be tough, well more than tough. I grabbed my water jug belt and my flashlight head band and with a arm reflector I was on my way. I never felt so insecure, the winds didn't look favourable and the weather had this slight grin, almost like a bully meeting you in a playground. Inevitably there was going to be a confrontation but I didn't care. I was determined and my heart was filled to the top with excitement. Today I was going to beat the elements of weather and most of all beat the mental battle that laid ahead. All morning I had struggled with my mental aquity, my body was just not getting the big picture so I needed to draw it out all over again. I needed to get out of the self pity mud pile and accomplish something worth being proud of, so I put on my jogging clothes and headed for the door. As I began my run I felt the stroke symptoms start to melt like wax, slowly bending into the rhythm of each stride taken. Not long after I accomplished my first few miles, my right leg decided it was time to discuss the crazy notion of long distance running. The pain shot through my entire body for some period of time. I decided it was time to rest for a moment and collect my thoughts, my prayers, my goal. I looked up into the dark sky above and then gently rubbed my leg, it was time to commit or just back down. Well I decided at that point to try even harder, I don't really know why I am so stubborn when it comes to giving in. Maybe it was the way my mom raised me or the way that I knew that God was bigger than my present trial. Since the obstacles before me looked ominous I felt the need to pursue it even more, with passion! The road twisted and turned and the noisy cars fell behind me in silence. I took the time to pray in my head and dream of all the things that God could do in me and in others. I was dreaming a beautiful dream, it was like smelling lavender. It was so precious, so wonderful! After an hour of running the clouds decided to join and the rain began to dance across my lips, all around my face with little reminders of the season that stood before me. The darkness slowly invaded my journey and I was left to a tiny light and the sound of my feet pounding the concrete. This was one of those moments that you never forget, like your mothers warm gentle hugs or a lovers kiss. Except this moment was covered in loneliness, tainted with a silent fear. Everything was dark and I was on my own, I needed to accomplish this run. It was more about the darkness than anything else, the subtle feeling of what a stroke feels like. Out on your own, in the middle of nowhere trying to find reality. I was looking for my way back home. There was a deep feeling of concern so I stopped and prayed for some courage and to realize that God is with me no matter what. Suddenly the run became a mental battle over silence, over fear of abandonment. As I approached my destination I receive a phone call from my wife and the words were so comforting. The encouragement was profound, though I could not speak properly she understood that I was coming home. With my speech in my pocket and hope in my heart I made it home. I slumped at the door whispering these words "I made it, I made it, I did it"
I wiped away the tears and felt a gentle hug from my wife. It warmed my body with a sense of joy and triumph!
I was not going to let my circumstances define me, hold me captive..
Now if I lay in the mud of my own self pity
the only thing I will gain
is a company of pigs
but if I rise above
and soar among the clouds
filled with heavens glory
I will sing among angels
I will taste victory
I will breathe the peace
that passes all understanding
and there will I know
that God is the lifter of my soul
the power that can roll any stone
make any darkness fade
He is the resurrection of my hope