I ran across this post on the TOFW (Time Out For Women) blog. I love it. It articulates exactly how I feel.
Do you know the story of Florence Chadwick?
She was the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Both ways (England to France and France to England).
No. small. feat.
Two years later she attempted to be the first woman to swim the 21-miles from the Southern California coast to Catalina Island.
The water was 48 degrees.
The fog was thick.
Visibility? Nearly nada.
She finally quit.
Only to find out she was a half mile from her goal as she was pulled into the support boat.
A half mile.
When she was asked by reporters why she had quit when she was so close, Florence said:
"I was licked by the fog."
She swam 20.5 miles of her 21 mile journey.
And she quit.
Because she couldn't see the shoreline.
A similar thing had almost happened on her earlier attempt to swim the English Channel. The fog was too much and Florence became discouraged. But this time, when she wanted to be pulled into the boat, it was her father who pointed out how close she was to shore. Florence lifted her head, saw land, and finished what she started.
I’ve had times in my life when I’ve almost been licked by the fog.
It happened at mile 9 of the half marathon. And I walked the full mile.
I was so frustrated I couldn't run.
The cramp in my calf had started at 6.5 miles and by mile 9 it had done me in.
I was tired.
Every self doubt was coming at me full force.
I was done.
I knew I couldn’t quit.
But, I was done just the same—a paradox to be sure.
My running partner, Erin, was still by my side but I had hoped she would get to run the last bit at her pace. I knew she wanted to but I also knew she wasn't going to leave me in the state I was in. And while I was grateful for that, I knew somehow the state I was in wasn't going to leave me unless she did. For as perfect of a partner as she was from the beginning, I sensed I had to dig deep on this one. I had to do it because I was capable of doing it...not because someone was capable of getting me to do it.
We passed mile marker 10 and I told her to go.
I promised her I would be okay.
And I watched her run off ahead.
Then I hit "play" on my little nano.
A dear friend wanted to make sure I had “Walk on Water” by Christian artist Britt Nicole. But, he couldn't have known when it would play...how much I would need it. And truly, the song could not have been a more perfect expression of the Lord's complete awareness of me and the very spot I was in. The Lord knew what Mile 10 would be for me.
I knew He knew.
And, through the tears, I started to run (again).
There is a living God who knows our lives intimately.
Are you swimming towards a shoreline you cannot see?
Are you running towards a finish line that feels too far away?
The shoreline is there…the finish line is fixed. Trust He will help you get to it.
Because He will.
A little over five years ago I set out on an endurance swim of my own. Brent got sick, then unemployed, then we went through a substantial amount of savings paying for attorneys so that he would be allowed to work. Throughout all that we have suffered financial reversal and been faced with money issues that, quite frankly, I never thought we would have. None of it has been through our own doing. It has just been life happening.
Now we are dealing with another employer issue not paying us what they originally agreed to pay us. Life has been harder the last 6 months than it has in my entire life.
This morning I told Heavenly Father in my personal prayer that I was tired! If I could just see the shore line! I can't. I am fighting as hard as I can to not get discouraged. I know where discouragement comes from. Heavenly Father keeps telling me to choose to have Hope.
Some days are better than others. Today was not such a good one.