I consider myself an emotional person but the strange thing is that it hits when I least expect it. I can never gage my reaction to certain events. For example, I am a crier BUT when Russ proposed to me on June 21, 2004, I laughed the entire time. No tears. Well, maybe one when he prayed for our life together. Around Thanksgiving this past year, my friend Katie talked me into running the St. Jude 5k in Memphis (the first week in December.....). I don't know why I said yes..but I did. Running a 5k had been a goal of mine and I finally decided to just do it....even though I had not been training.
It was around 22 degrees when we began the race. I was nervous. It was COLD. My mind was focused on me finishing the race...for me. To check it off my list of things I wanted to do. But something happened around mile 2. I began to notice all of the people running together for specific cancer survivors or in memory of someone who had died of cancer.
My thoughts shifted to my good friend Katie who fought and beat cancer and is now a nurse at St. Jude. Every year growing up we would go to the Chism's on Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought them. That particular year I remember peering in through the back windows of their house, seeing Katie attached to her IV pole, waving to us with a huge smile and her cute, bald head. Her immune system was so weak we couldn't even enter into the house.
By mile 2 1/2 ....tears were streaming down my face. As the people cheered us on...I know they were thinking ..."oh, that poor girl is hurting so bad" :) I was so caught up into me finishing the race that it never occurred to me what the race stood for. As I entered into Autozone Park...finishing the race ...and achieving my goal....suddenly that didn't matter to me. What mattered were the millions of people fighting for their lives and the ones that had sadly lost theirs.
This week, we found out that my grandfather has cancer. Cancer has suddenly hit close to home. I am no longer watching people run in support of cancer patients that I don't know...I am supporting one of my own...my precious grandad, a true Saint here on Earth.
But, Tom Burchfield is running a race of his own. And he will finish strong. No matter the course or outcome. We pray for healing but are confident that God's plan is perfect.
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"