In Genesis 50:20 Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, gets an opportunity, years later, to face them. He has had much time to dwell on what his brothers did, but there is no malice in his heart. Instead he stands before them and says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
On February 9, 2013, I had a “Joseph” moment. The day dawned cool and crisp. I was excited to be in Dallas, at the Cotton Bowl, preparing to run the Hot Chocolate 15K (click to view finish line photo) with my 20 year old niece, Melissa. She started running less than a year ago and is just beginning to branch out into distance runs. This 15K was our first run together. She and I had discussed our target pace and finish time goal. Despite taking the “scenic route” to the Cotton Bowl we managed to line up in our starting corral well before the gun sounded.
Normally, I am what my husband calls a “race snob”. I hate to be trapped in the pack at the beginning of a race. I waste a lot of valuable energy bobbing and weaving around people. I decided to take a different approach this race; I kept a steady pace and only moved around people when the choice was that, or run them over! This technique worked rather well. My newest running buddy, Gertrude the Garmin, likes to beep at me whether I’m ON PACE, BEHIND PACE or AHEAD OF PACE. I’m happy to report; we were only BEHIND PACE twice; once when we running up hill and once we’d slowed down at a water stop.
Despite a few noticeable changes in grade, the race felt easy. I was surprised because my training runs had not gone so well. No doubt, the incentive to not fall behind my 25 years younger, 25 pounds lighter, niece helped. My official finish time was 1:31, my Garmin had me at 1:30, but I won’t bicker over a minute. I was ecstatic! I had finished right on target!!!
But wait, there’s more!! In October 2011, about a month before the accident that left me with a broken neck, clavicle, scapula and ribs, I completed the Chosen Half Marathon for adoption. I finished that race in 2:08, a personal record for me. It was my last big race before the wreck. I save all of my race bibs and usually record the date, finish time and whether I placed in my age division. Because I set a person record in that race, I also recorded my official pace, 9:49. I’ve run two half marathons since recovering from the accident, but my pace has been nowhere near what it was pre-accident, until now. My official pace in the Hot Chocolate 15K was 9:49!!! When I saw that number, I could only weep tears of joy over what the Lord has done in my life. Not only did He save me, not only did He heal me, but He fully restored me!!
As if all of that was not enough, the race took place EXACTLY one year, to the date, after the titanium halo I wore for three months was removed. The halo was removed February 9, 2012. Like Joseph, I stand in awe at how God has used the thing that was meant for evil against me, to bring good not only to me, but also to all the people who’ve been witness to the journey.