Day 30 ~ The Race

Last November I was one of more than 53,000 finishers in the NYC Marathon. (I still can’t even believe it happened!) It was an epic adventure and something I will cherish the rest of my life, but don’t ask my time – pretty sure I stuffed that little fact waaaaay back in my psyche somewhere!) This was a very personal race for me, one that I felt compelled to finish in honor of my son (you can read more about it here…)

The first thing you need to know is that I am by no means an athlete, but I had completed a half marathon before and thought I had a fairly good frame of reference….just do the half twice! Turns out, I did not… It was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done in my life. I had leg cramps, back spasms, blisters and the last two miles I actually had to stop every few hundred feet just to gather up another drop of energy to walk the next hundred. Quitting never entered my mind – I knew I would get there eventually if I could just keep my body going, but toward the end my emotions started to break down along with my body and I just couldn’t stop crying. I felt the love and support of all those who I knew were cheering me on from home, I felt the heart of my boy who would have loved to have been with me in body but whom I felt so incredibly near in spirit, and I felt the presence of God, encouraging me to trust him, that no matter how this all turned out, he’d be there to mend it all back togetheer. (And I have to offer a huge thank you to my husband without whom I’m sure I would have either gotten lost, become severely dehydrated or perished altogether!)

As I finally took the last step over that finish line in the dead of night, it wasn’t to stands full of cheering crowds filling Central Park, they had long emptied by the time I arrived. But it was to my own private cheering section of race organizers, my TAPS sister and of course, my husband who insisted on stepping to the side so I could have the moment to myself. And as that beautiful, heavier than expected medal was placed around my neck I couldn’t believe I had actually done it. The relief was physical, emotional, mental….just knowing I could finally stop…that the race was done and not only had I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could ever do, I had also fulfilled a promise to my amazing son. ♥

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this today – it isn’t at all what I sat down to write, but that’s the way it happens sometimes, and I’ve come to trust that God is at work – that someone needs to hear that they aren’t alone in their own race that seems like it will never end. You may feel like no one sees how hard you’re trying and wonder if the prize at the end is even worth it. All I can tell you is what I know….I mean, really KNOW.

There were world-class marathoners at NYC – they wore the same numbers I did and started at exactly the same line, but I couldn’t have run their race – not even close! I had to trust God to keep me on the course that was uniquely mine, to provide all I would need and to stay with me until the end. If I had tried to keep up with the pace of those runners (and let’s be honest, pretty much everyone else ahead of me!) I would have burnt out the first mile. That wasn’t my race to run – I had one of my very own…

These hard days won’t last forever….it can feel like we’re on the last mile of a marathon with every breath but I encourage us to keep going! Just take the next step, do the next right thing and don’t give up. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, the prize isn’t just waiting at the end…it’s also right here, in the peace and strength he continually provides, encouraging us to lean into the race and trust him to get us to the end. We can do this….and we aren’t alone!

Right there with you,


Fight On, Fighter


I was there on the day that you were changed
You were scared and prepared for the heartbreak
Everything you knew faded out of view
Stole a piece of you

If I could, oh, I would be a hero
Be the one who would take all the arrows
Save you from the pain, carry all the weight
But I know that you’re brave
Fight on, fighter
Don’t let anyone steal your fire
Fight on, fighter
The Spirit is alive inside ya, yeah
There’s a part that you hold that you lock down
Let it breathe, give it wings, set it free now
Time to make ya walk, break the prison bars
Show them who you are
Fight on, fighter
let anyone steal your fire
Fight on, fighter
The Spirit is alive inside ya, yeah
Stronger than you than you ever thought
I know you’re stronger
Braver than you were before
You know you’re braver
Oh, no, you don’t have to be afraid
Together we’ll face it
So don’t ever stop no matter what
‘Cause you’re gonna make it
Fight on, fighter
Don’t let anyone steal your fire
Fight on, fighter
The Spirit is alive inside ya, yeah
Fight on, fighter
Don’t let anyone steal your fire
Fight on, fighter
The Spirit is alive inside ya, yeah

Songwriters: Ben Backus / Ben Glover / Joel David Smallbone / Luke Smallbone / Mark Campbell / Tedd Tjornhom
Fight On, Fighter lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Mike Curb Music

About Shellie Warren

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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