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Years ago I ran. Running was an outlet for me, a time I enjoyed. As I ran I prayed and talked to God. It was a very special time for me, something I craved and needed to survive the stress of my life. It wasn't anything I did to win, it was something I did for myself to survive. I ran in the cold, I ran in the rain and I ran in the heat but running in the rain was always my favorite. I loved it when I was hot and sweaty from jogging and a downpour came and cooled me down. It was invigorating! Most of my running I did by myself but I had a cheerleader, Larry, that would wave to me when I left for my dorm room to change into my running gear. He was the one that encouraged me. But I didn't run for him, I ran for myself to clear my head and to spend time outside talking to God.

When Larry died the pain of his death hurt so deeply. Every fiber of my being hurt. It knocked the wind out of me and it impacted me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I ran the night after his memorial service and for a few weeks after that but then I stopped. The pain was too great and the memories were too difficult to handle. They were everywhere I turned on campus, suffocating me. Sorrow and anguish consumed me, sucking out every fiber of my being. It was all I could do to make it through my day. I felt like I was carrying fifty pounds on every limb of my body. The weight was unbearable. Running was simply impossible. Visions of Larry offering his golf umbrella to me, sledding, his shouts to me across campus and the silent phone, plagued my mind with incredible pain. The joy of running had suddenly been removed from my life.

Over the years I have thought about this. Sometimes I think I will try running again but somehow I lack the inertia to do so. My preferred method of exercise is rollerblading now. Maybe running will never hold the interest it once did in my life. Whatever the case, I remember how invigorating it once was. Images of Larry still flood my mind. What would he say if he knew? I'm so pleased he doesn't know. There is some hurdle preventing me from participating in the sport that once filled me with peace.

Pain can invade our lives, preventing us from doing things we once used to do. I don't know what the answer is to this but we can pray to God about it and ask Him for help. Maybe there isn't a solution always on this earth but God hears and cares for us. He has a perfect plan. In the mean time may we continue to lean into God for the support and help we need.

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