Running. I do it but I am not good at it. I struggle. This morning a woman younger than me ran past me as we ran in our little neighborhood. She ran as effortlessly, as if she were walking fast. Even though I struggled to run up the hill she took in a few strides, I felt inspired by her.
I felt a new energy. I poured more oomph into each stride. I held my core more erect. I tried to keep an even pace behind her. My new running role model (unbeknownst to her) was helping me get more from my run and making it less of a struggle. I wanted to ask her to stay on my path and be my running buddy, but since I don’t know her I thought that would be awkward. Off she ran in beautiful form.
As I ran I thought of a life/running analogy. I thought of how much help my runner friend helped me by just doing what she normally does—running with good form and at a good pace. She runs like this because she is disciplined in her running routine. I thought of how helpful it is in life to have someone a few steps ahead of where we are in life, doing life well. Someone who shows us, just by living their life, how we can better live ours. I love a good role model. I have a few I personally know. I also find inspiration through others I don’t know—by reading their books/blogs or listening to their podcasts.
Then I thought—that is why I write and speak. The first reason is because it is what God put in me to do—no matter if no one reads it. My job is to faithfully get the words on the page. If I didn’t part of me would slowly die.
But then the second reason is to be a running buddy with you—the one who runs next to you. Encouraging you. Sharing something I learned that helped me in hopes it will help you. I don’t want you to struggle the way I have. I don’t you to learn the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I don’t want you to feel like you’re the only one who struggles. We all have struggles. And while I am not physically present with you, I know how these things feel.
I want to help you make the most of the gift of this life God has given you. I want you to inspire and help you live fully live the unique song God put in you. Sometimes this involves taking a few minutes to pursue the creative notes in you that can’t be silenced. Sometimes it means saying yes to what matters and saying no to what is not yours to do, even if someone else is passionate that you do it.
I want to help you have healthy relationships. To navigate each season of parenting. To be a good friend—neither needy nor needing to be the other’s savior. To be your husband’s encourager and make the most of your marriage.
And most importantly, I want to encourage you in your relationship with the Friend Who is always there for both of us—Jesus. He is everything we need, always. He is our lifelong running buddy, no matter if we are having a good day or not.
This is why I do what I do. It is my honor and privilege to run along side you. And when you take time to tell me that something I shared spoke to you, well, that makes my day.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.