Running to Heal
Big movement happening
Like many of us, in 2020 I got Covid. What I didn’t know is how it would activate a dormant Epstein Barr virus (a common virus many can have in their bodies), and how that virus would then try to wreck havoc on my body. It didn't happen all at once. It was a slow climb. But my condition became chronic. My white blood cell count shot up, always trying to combat the sickness in my body, but the virus was multiplying quickly and my immune system was down. After a while of the chronic stress, my white blood cells tuckered out and my count dropped way down. Things got worse. I faced a scary kind of exhaustion that I have never experienced before. Sometimes I couldn't even lift my head to drink water. It would feel as though a mack truck was on my body, there was nothing I could do but give in to a state of what felt like a deeply dehydrated desperate need for sleep. I remember dreaming of IV's. Sleep and the few sips of water I could get here and there didn't seem to touch the deficit my body felt. It was so incredibly trying. And discouraging. My biggest pain was the time I was missing with my family when this would come on. I've always been a person who wants to do everything, someone with a huge appetite for life. But when these were at their worst, even a trip to the grocery store felt monumental. Various balls I was juggling started to drop. Then of course I wrestled with shame. I hated how much my husband was having to do to make up for the slack in our home. Our closest community knew I was having health struggles, but many wouldn't have known other than seeing the toll it was taking on my physical appearance.
I'm still on the journey of healing, and I'm finding things that help. Mostly I'm believing for the complete healing that Jesus died to give me, declaring that over myself and knowing how standing on that faith even when circumstances shout otherwise matters. But I’m also listening, asking God for the next step I can take. And one thing God told me to do was to enter into a season of running.
It didn't make sense on paper because we're told that women in their forties should do way less cardio and focus more on strength training. Also, the older you get the harder running can be on your knees and joints. But God asked me to run.
It started out so painful. I used to run everyday when I was in my twenties and grew to truly love it, but running in my body now was brutal. I pressed on. I pushed myself even if just a little bit, running 3-5 times a week. I ran slow. I often didn’t run very long. But I was consistent. And slowly I started to get stronger. Get a little bit faster. Go a little longer. But the best part was what was happening on a deeper level.
After running regularly for the past four months, I’m convinced it can be one of the most spiritually and soul-enriching exercises. God has spoken to me so many times on my runs, and has used my runs to teach me things that would have been hard for me to see otherwise.
On the outside the change has been very slow—I’ve only lost a few pounds, but I’m feeling strong. Internally, the change has been significant. I haven’t had an Epstein Barr episode in almost two months. My tenacity and endurance and time where God has space to speak to me has grown. My prayer life has enlarged. Also it’s been great for our family. My kids are in Cross country, they “love” to run, and so does my husband (when talking about the love of running you must put it in quotation marks, because you love even as you hate it, both are true). The Shaws run. It has brought us together even more.
Let me know if you ever want to run with me.
24-7 Prayer Running Campaign
Members of the 24-7 Prayer Running Team have been running to further mobilize prayer in York County.
We’re aiming for 50 miles (total) in 48 hours.
The campaign goal of $2,750 will offset some of the costs associated with attending 24-7 Prayer National Gathering in October. The Gathering provides leaders in the 24-7 Prayer movement with equipping, support, and community as they work to further mobilize prayer in their regions. Learn more.