Stages of a Marathon

I’m running a marathon.

Okay not really. Not yet anyway, that’s to come in the fall.

This year has felt like a marathon and right now I’m running those last two tenths of a mile with the finish line in sight. There are many stages you go through when running a marathon and they all seem to be stages I’ve hit in my internship as well.

EXCITEMENT – When I first found out where I was going, standing in front of 200 people in the chapel at Concordia, I was so excited to finally know where I was going! After the initial shock of it being Washington and meeting my supervisor, I was so excited to start this new journey.

NERVOUSNESS – As with any race, when you walk up to the starting line there’s this sense of anxiety and heart pumping adrenaline that makes you shaky and impatient to just start running. This same feeling came about the week before I moved. I was feeling like I was in limbo just waiting to start this year off. After getting off the plane, I realized this was real, and that made me even more nervous.

APPREHENSION- “ What have I done? I’m not ready for this!” I can say with honestly that these thoughts have flown through my mind a few times, but each time the Lord said, “No. You are ready for this. Just trust me. You’re supposed to be here.”  And boy was he right!

EAGERNESS – It was easy to jump in with both feet. I couldn’t wait to finally put into practice everything we had been talking about in classes for two years. I was eager to get involved, to feel at home, to build relationships, and to be working!

COMMUNITY- I don’t know if you know this, but runners have this unspoken community. Having that one interest brings so many people together. It’s part of what is so awesome about running races. You see how many people share a passion for the same thing. The community in my congregation is awesome. We are smaller in size, but not in heart! These people went out of their way to make me feel welcome and I could not be more thankful. There have been times where being so far away has been really hard, but I always have people ready to take me in and show me that I have family here as well.

QUESTIONING OF SANITY – This usually comes in at around 4 AM during a lock-in with the youth.

FEELING DEFEATED – Ministry is hard man. Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan. Something you think is a good idea is actually not the greatest. In those times, you just gotta remember that Jesus matters most and the Holy Spirit is always at work. Something that you think didn’t go well might have been just the thing that someone else needed that day.

PRAYER – Be on that lifeline EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

DETERMINATION/WILL POWER – By this time you’re probably on mile 20 and just keep telling yourself to keep putting one leg in front of the other. The 3rd quarter of internship had felt like a time of having to power through. There has been so much going on and sometimes I just felt like a chicken with it’s head cut off. But hey…ya fake it til ya make it!

GRIT/TOUGHNESS –I’m in the home stretch now and I finally feel like I have a grip on what’s happening with life. For this week anyway. There are days where you have to tell yourself, “Tomorrow is another day” and have a better attitude the next day.

ELATION! – Friends, let me tell you there are many things I’m elated about. I got the call to stay at Epiphany and I got engaged to the love of my life in the same night. My parents came to visit me for a week. The sun has been shining for 2 weeks. I get to work with the MOST AMAZING kids on the planet and I get to go home to St. Louis in a month and a half.

But nothing beats the Joy and happiness that comes with knowing that God has had me in his hands during this year. That his love has always been there and will always continue to be there for me in the upcoming years. The joy of knowing that even on the hardest of days God is right there in the trenches with me, and you! On those days remember that we have every reason to be joyful because Jesus came and took our sins upon that cross and overcame death! We are free from sin and alive in Christ and that my friends, is something to be truly elated about!

God’s peace.