Monday, December 9, 2013

The Blessing of a Tight Hamstring and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria!  This group exists to empower women to authentically share their hearts.  Want to learn more?  Click here to find out ways you can be involved here.  Before you leave, take some time to visit a new friend.  If you decide to link up, be sure to stop by your neighbor's place.  We want to make sure everybody at this party feels a little love!
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We did it! (Jen, Kelli, Tammy)
I live in central Texas, which means I am, by nature, a cold wimp.  So, please, don't judge me when I tell you I was absolutely freezing all during the race on Sunday, a half-marathon that started at 30 degrees and ended at 32 degrees, complete with intermittent misting and ice on bridges (over which we were running).  At the finish line, men literally had frost and tiny ice particles in their facial hair.

Prior to the race, my running partner and I thought it would be a good idea to run 16 miles the Tuesday before race day so we could continue our marathon training plan.  Said 16 mile run was done a bit too fast on a bit too much concrete on a bit too many hills.  As a result, I had a knot in my glute (I'm sure you wanted to know that), which resulted in a very tight hamstring.  While I did what I could to ease it before the race, I knew it might be an issue come race start.

All was fine until mile 7ish, when the cold would not abate and I was going up a small hill.  I felt my hamstring tighten up and I knew that if it continued, I would not be able to complete the race the way I wanted to (with a smashing PR, of course).  So, I did the only thing I could do:

I prayed.

It was a simple prayer: God, please release my hamstring.  And I felt it get warm (a miracle in itself) and unkink.

Until mile 8.

And so, I prayed again.  God, please release my hamstring.  

Again, I felt it get warm and release.  This time, though, after I said "thank you," I thought about my running partners, too.  My hamstring reminded me that both of them had some issues that might keep them from having a great race.  And so I began to pray for them.

Please help Tammy and Kelli breath deeply.
Please keep them safe on the ice.
Please let Tammy's ankle hold up.
Please let Kelli's achilles be okay.

I kept my same pace during the run, but found myself praying every quarter to half a mile for my hamstring from miles 9-13.  Which meant I continued to pray for my friends every quarter to half a mile from miles 9-13, too.

At the end of the race, we meet up and Tammy tells me that while she ran, she felt her lungs open up, allowing her to take deep breaths.  And neither one of them fell on the icy bridge.

And I begin to think how my pain eventually prompted my prayer for those other than myself.  And I wonder, as we move through this holy season with our own pain and worries, kinks and uncertainties, perhaps they can prompt us to pray for others who just might be in the same boat?  

As we pray for release for ourselves, might we also kneel before the throne for another sister in need?

This race was living proof to me this works.  And I wasn't the only one who realized it.  Tammy also just said, I knew someone must have been praying each time I felt my lungs release and open.

What if our holiday season was revolutionized because of what God does through these sisterhood relationships and the power of prayer?  Might we run this race even better than we ever imagined?  Might we all finish strong?

Last week, I asked you to lay down a worry and pray for the person who commented before you.  We had many ladies honestly share their hearts and it was such a beautiful thing.  This week, I'm asking you to leave a comment of ONE WORD that best describes how you need help finishing this "race" of the holiday season.  After you leave your comment (or sometimes later this week), will you come back and write down the names of the ladies whose comment might be similar to your own struggle?  And then, through the New Year, will you commit to praying for her/them?  Just a simple, one sentence prayer that you say when you begin to seek God on your own behalf?

I was able to help my sisters cross the finish line of the half-marathon and would love to do the same for you.  

It's a different race, but the same concept.  And the same awesome power of God.

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SDG will be on break from December 23rd and 30th.  Please plan to link up your SDG post on January 6th (the beginning of Epiphany and my hubby's birthday!)
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Click here.
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read!
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24 comments :

  1. renewed hope...(I know it's two- but yes, please))

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  2. Oh, Jen this was wonderful. I will have to think about my one word for the next 24 hours and come back....I like that idea! I'll revisit and read and pray. Wonderful!

    Wait--I'm gonna steal Lisa's word (I know she won't mind..)--Attentive--Jesus, help me be in the moment this season.
    Thanks for asking :-)

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    1. I'm glad we have the same word, Jody. :) It'll be easy to remember to pray for you.

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  3. Relationship struggles — seeing my value

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  4. Weary! ( but I have to comment more, Iove you Jenn and so blessed to know you. Can't wait to hug you in real life)!

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  5. anointing. perseverance.

    Summer Joy

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  6. Dear Jen
    What a beautiful testimony how our Pappa just loves His children to pray foe one another. During the last three weeks, I had two abscessed teeth and had to take three sets of antibiotics. After the third set, the one was still there and I told our a Pappa that my body cannot take another course of antibiotics and I asked Him to please heal me. The next day, dear friend, it was gone and healed. It might sound like little things to us, but it shows us again his He is concerned with every hair that falls from our head.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  7. Sorry I was distracted by kiddos. I didn't mean to link up the cookie recipe. Accept my apologies. :(

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  8. Still.
    I am working desperately to be at Peace while God moves. Your prayers are solicited. Thank you, Jen, for your leadership and your servant's heart.
    Season's blessings to you and yours.
    Peace and good,
    Chelle

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  9. Joy.

    Jen, I loved this analogy. Even before you got to your warm-hearted application, I can relate to running in the cold. I grew up in MN but have lived in TN for over 20years and it has made me a cold wimp! So bravo and kudos for finishing well. I, too, pray during my runs, especially for those that can't run or breathe well (that aren't running). But you took me to today in my own days of right now and I love this idea of praying for others that have the same struggle...I can think right of some others that I need to lift before the throne.

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  10. Great, great post, Jen. Absolutely loved it.

    My word?

    Rest. Or strength. Or Caffeine ;-)

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  11. Oh Jen, I love this so much! When sister and I did our last half we prayed for our cousin who is fighting breast cancer. We felt so compelled to keep after it thru the whole race. I love the 'results' even when you didn't have any idea how they were doing or they didn't know it was you praying for them. God is so faithful.

    My word? Patients

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  12. Jen, I am back and this morning the word Attentive was forefront on my mind! So I am with Lisa and co. on that word-But I do still need Renewed Hope. Oh, and about the Brandon post, I wrote this post and pray that although it is not a "faith" post, stones- rocks are my love language with God...it's why I actually wanted to share his gift and love for creating with my community. I hope that is OK. It also is a step in fulfilling my dream of writing (imperfectly still) and sharing...beyond what I believe I am capable of- I am hoping to share this with the local paper. Anyway. Love, and thanks, Dawn

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  13. So true, Jen -- anything that makes us cry out in pain can turn our attention to the needs of others. Thanks for the beautiful post & for hosting & God bless!

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