Monday, October 18, 2010

Hollywood Part One

Hollywood is one of our cousins.  She could be easily mistaken for the 5th sister.  Her Momma is Pop's sister.  She is a beautiful, fun, fantastic woman.  She lights up a room and we love to be around here.  She set a goal to complete a marathon and we were privileged to watch her run victoriously across the finish line.

Here is a picture of Hollywood and EJ carb loading the night before the big race.  They both have fierce determination even when it comes to their pre-race dinner.

 Here is Hollywood at mile 17...still giving a thumbs up!

 Here she is ready to cross the finish line.  Still lookin' good!

EJ and Hollywood celebrate a job well done!

Hollywood wrote her reflections on the marathon.  It is amazing and I got her permission to share it here...

"Why run 26.2 miles? What on earth would possess you to do that?

In January of 2008, we learned that our first born son was missing a tiny piece of a chromosome. . . something called PWS. . . something scary. . . something that seemed impossible. . . something that would change our lives forever. . . Can I do what I will ask him to do? Persevere through great difficulty. . . can I deny myself that which I crave. . . continue to push through physical discomfort that seems too much. . . accomplish something amazing beyond my natural abilities. . . trust my heavenly Father to bring me through. .

Who am I? Where does my power come from? Am I powerful even though I feel I'm never enough? How will my story end? Will fear and endless toil find relief? All questions that must be answered but they could only be answered by a partnership between God and myself.

So that's what we did.

I grabbed a training schedule and expensive shoes and gave Him my time and attention. He grabbed my soul and wrestled until deep pockets of fear and self doubt were replaced with faith and security.

This was a grueling class and the final exam happened on Marathon morning when I awakened at 4 am and proceeded to puke my guts out for over an hour and a half. The final exam had only one question on it: Through a trash can of puke God asked me " do you trust me?' My heart's reply was I trust you God. If today is not my day to accomplish this task it is because you are protecting me from something I will never have to go through or because I am not spiritually ready to let go of myself and give you the full Glory for what you are wishing to do. Either way I trust you and I have loved the time with you on every run during every prayer.

God desires to do incredible seemingly impossible things with our lives if we will let Him. He will turn devastation into victory and overcome insurmountable obstacles for our joy. He will quiet your stomach and your very soul to take you on spiritual adventure like no other.

You see God is preparing me for the calling on my life in everything he brings into my life just like a training schedule prepares you for a marathon. We will breeze along through much of it - - not even fully aware of how much I need HIM much like the first 13.1 miles of yesterday's race.

And then there will be times of pain and darkness where I will beg for the energy just to make it through fully doubting that I can. But he will never forget me. . . He will always show up. . . He may ask me to relax and stretch like He did at mile 18 or He may ask me to dig deeper and lean into HIM like He did at mile 25 when he gave me the desire to finish stronger than I started.

And most importantly after we take this unbelievable journey of faith and tears and trials and sufferings and victories and mysteries with HIM. . . we will be surrounded by his supernatural LOVE and PEACE. . . fully relieved of the strain of this life and united with him in Power and Mercy beyond our imagination. He gave me so many gifts along the way but this hopeful vision of my true future of resting in HIM will prove the most valuable to me. . . and so " I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us" Philippians 3: 14 and I strive to "lead a life worthy of my calling, for I have been called by God" Ephesians 4:1


Hollywood, A Child of God and A Victor in Christ Jesus"

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