I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move my legs without excruciating pain. I had one hip that was locked into place and kept me from moving freely. I was on a mandatory and strict bed rest. I was pregnant with my little AJ and I was gripped with the fear of dying in childbirth. I had given the enemy full control of my thoughts. I was isolated and alone and depressed. My husband had to carry the weight of tending to our other children, working full-time, going to graduate school, taking care of the affairs of the house and…me. I am forever in his debt for him being such a rockstar during this season.

After making it through a successful delivery, I had only 8 weeks to recover before needing to go through a major surgery to repair my abdominal wall that had ripped down the center during the tough pregnancy. I was not prepared for the long and difficult recovery time of six months to a year. I was also seeing a chiropractor to help align my spine and hips so that I could walk again. I was in hell and I had a little bundle of Joy to take care of. I couldn’t believe I had gone from a vibrant, dancing machine that was active and fit to a broke-down, disheveled cripple. I could have crawled into a hole in the wall and lived there.

This all sounds very horrible and depressing, but I serve an awesome and mighty God. When He says that ALL things work together for the good according to those that love Him and are the called according to His purpose – He means it! I got to live through Him taking me through that delivery-alive!; learn how to depend on His Word during those times of isolation; realize that whitney Houston had it wrong – I am NOT every woman. It is not all in me. I need people. I need help. My husband is my partner, my best friend; and just like the Chiropractor/Pastor said as he coached me through rehabilitation – take life one step at a time!

So, what does this have to do with the a 5k? Well, I have always been a dancer. That was my thing. I danced through high school and college and led a dance team for years at a local church. I even taught dance workshops. Dance was my workout. I have a small frame. So, I took it for granted that my small frame would always carry a small frame weight. Yeah…Let’s just say when you are on bed rest for six months and you can’t walk, and then you have surgery that debilitates you for almost year, you have no muscles anywhere. At all. They’re gone. And when your abdominal core is greatly compromised, you ain’t gettin’ nowhere fast. I had to get used to a new normal. I was a little chunky mama and I was okay with that.

I transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom to a full time working mommy. I enjoyed the adult interaction and coming home to a clean house! But the constant sitting at work was beginning to take it’s toll on me. I was quickly approaching my delivery weight with AJ and I was losing circulation in my legs. And to top it all, my doctor tells me that I am prediabetic and my LDL cholesterol had just crossed the line from good to not so good. Holy smokes! My health was fading fast! I had to do something quick!

With guidance from my doctor, I made some adjustments to my diet but I was not so quick to make those physical changes. “Run,” I would hear The Lord whisper. Surely He wasn’t speaking to me. I abhor…ABHOR running. I didn’t have the capacity for it. I’m a sprinter. I don’t do long distance. Nah…I think I will pass on the running. I’m good on that. I tried Zumba classes…when they worked with my schedule and I could pull away from the house. Which meant I wasn’t going very often. I tried workout games on the Wii. Which meant I never really got a full workout, because I’m at home. With the kids. Who need me for everything. (Insert the Katt Williams hand-clapped “ev-e-ry-thang”).

“Run.” Well, maybe if I sit differently in my chair at work. “Run.” I could always do jumping jacks in the living room while watching TV. “Run.” Perhaps jogging in place will work. “Run.” You know what, I’m gonna park a little further away from the grocery store next time. “Run.” But I abhor running remember? ” ” Crap. I finally hit my delivery weight with AJ and the weight is pulling on my permanent stitches and I am risking a re-injury of my abdominal wall. “Regina, have you heard of the couch to 5k app?,” asks my coworker. No, I haven’t. Perhaps I will give it a try.

Okay, Lord. You. Me. This pavement. Let’s do this. I think I’m ready to try it your way. Okay, 5 minute warm up walk. Easy. I got this. Ding! 1 minute run. Okay, little tougher. Out of breath but I made it. I managed to finish the first week. And then, the second. And holy smokes, I finished the third. I remember scrolling ahead and thinking, “I can’t do that?!” And every week, I would. I began to enjoy my quiet time with The Lord. I was being challenged physically, emotionally and spiritually. My running time turned into prayer time. Motivating myself time. You got this. Just make it to the next car. The stop sign. Back to the house. To the end of the song. You got this. I got this. I can do this. Lord, help me do this.

Then it hit me one day. I couldn’t do this four years ago. I could barely walk. Running was not an option for me. I was feeling alive again. I remember feeling like I couldn’t make it through the day. I had muscles again! I remembered when my legs were jello. The symptoms of prediabetes were gone. And I. Was. A runner. Lord, how did I get here? How did I come to trust you again? How did you change me? My heart? My mind? My body? One moment of willingness is transforming my life. And You, Lord Jesus, have captured me yet again.

The Glow Run would be my proof to myself that I could really, really do this. I could run. My work would be validated. My playlist was chosen, the road was marked and I was ready. Although I had only reached 2.3 miles in my training, I was bound and determined to run the entire 3.1 miles.

I started strong and was able to maintain my pace throughout. I ignored the distractions of the typical Glow Run photo ops and water along the way. I had a goal: finish within the 35 minute family. Even though I would see people collapse along the way or stop abruptly and walk or run much faster than I, I knew I had to stay focused. I was doing well until I reached that last steep hill on the final leg of the race and I felt I might fall and roll back. I looked at my time and said to myself – 15 seconds. Take 15 seconds to walk to the top of the hill. So, I did. And I was grateful for that breath. From there it was downhill and to the finish line. And as I ran down the hill, I hear gospel artist Anita Wilson sing me to the finish line, “it’s done. What I shall be I already am. It’s done. God has worked it out on my behalf. My eyes may not see it. By faith I receive it. It will manifest. It’s already done.

I did it. I couldn’t believe it. On a dark, cold night in March, I completed a 5k. Time: 36:16. Shoot. I didn’t make my time. And that walk to the top of the hill robbed me. Or did it? I had just completed what used to be the impossible for me. I am alive. I am moving. I have my being. And, it was through Christ. This was a time of rejoicing! And so I did. With KiKi Sheard blasting in my ears, I crip walked at the finish line and danced until the song was over. “It’s not over. Till God says it’s over. So, get it together. It’s gonna get better. Did he make a promise to you? Yeah. Do you believe that He says He’ll do? Yeah. Do you believe that His Love is true? Yeah. What about His Word, do you believe that to? Yeah.what about the times when you need Him the most? Yeah. Well, the come on and roll with the flow. Yeah. ‘Cuz we about to let the enemy know. Yeah. Just like Job, we gonna wait on The Lord. Yeah. Now tick, tock, I know you hear the clock. You wanna know what’s going on. But I’m here to tell you you gotta stay strong. It’s not over. Till God says it’s over. So get it together. It’s gonna get better.

And so, I want to encourage you. No matter where you are. No matter how deep the hole and how dark it may be. No matter the impossible situation you find yourself in – lean in. Lean into God. Bend to His Will, His Way. We all need Him. Whether we realize it or not. If He can get me here, then He can get you where you want to be. I pray that on this Resurrection Day, you allow The Lord to show His resurrection power in your life. He is willing and able if you would but lean into Him. I am living proof that His grace is sufficient. Peace.