Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did you ever know that you're my heeeeeeeerrrrroooooooo? The Chicago Half Marathon.

Honestly, I can't believe it's over. I can't believe I did it. But even more than that, I can't believe how much this whole thing turned out to be NOT ABOUT ME. I mean, I knew all along it wasn't ABOUT me.....but I still focused a lot on me. Because me had to finish the race. But once it was over, and the fear was gone, I was able to see the real truth of why God put me on this team.

So here are a few of my new heroes:

This is my new friend Judy. She is a rock star. Not only is she hilarious and fun to be around, but she is a freaking fighter. Not many people thought she could do it, but she showed up, and was determined to finish. Because she had to walk a good bit of the race, she (and a lot of others) got kicked off the street early and literally watched as they cleaned up the race right in front of her. But she did not quit. And here she stands with her medal on! I am so stinking proud of her.
Not to mention Rene, who finished the race (beating her own personal record and coming in like 56th or something crazy like that) and then ran all the way back retracing her steps along the race course to find Judy and finish with her. Wow.
I need to know more about this woman. What I do know is, she is a super sweet and supportive mama with a hubby who is an absolute gem. I also know that she loves her daughter and her grand kids, and has a passion for the least of these. That is why at almost 70 years old she ran the half with our team (she had never run anything before in her life!), and she beat a bunch of her teammates ............like a boss.
The tall drink of water in the middle of the picture below is Deb (daughter of Jeanine above). She is my single mom soul sister. She has adopted two sweet little angles on her own as a single mom.....and has another one on the way from Uganda. She juggles life like nothing I have ever seen and still manages to find time to volunteer for Project Hopeful because of her passion for the overlooked. I heart her.

On the left is Tesney. I have know her since I was a kid. I loved her then because she had Aussie hair products in her shower and we always had Suave. Her mom also had a never-ending bowl of tootsie rolls in the living room....mem'ries....like the corners of my mind.... Anyhoo, a lot has changed since those days. She fought (and I mean FOUGHT) for her son from Russia who has DS and literally paved the way for more kids like him to come home to forever families. Not to mention the fact that she is a diabetic and ran the half marathon with us, checking her blood sugar the whole way. I would have SO used that excuse to sit on the sidelines, but she stepped up and did it.
Then there is Selah. If you have ever been to the Project Hopeful website you have seen this picture. When Selah was found, her tiny body was literally wasting away. BUT GOD, in His great love, brought her home to a family to love and care for her. What a difference......
And as if that wasn't enough, here she sits. Right under the banner......with her very own picture on it.  Having just finished the 13.1 miles as a member of Team TRUTH. I can't think of a better picture of God's redemptive power here on earth.  

A life not only saved, but now being used by God for His great glory.
And the rest of the runners in her family are pretty awesome too.
I cannot say enough good things about ALL of the members of Team TRUTH. 

Thanks again to everyone who supported me! Because of YOU, over $30,000 was raised for Project Hopeful. Lives will be saved........God will be glorified!

I am so grateful that it wasn't about me.