Best Things & Big Battles

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Why is it that the best things, so often, come with the hardest battles? This is a topic that my bestie and I frequent often. We cry over our coffee cups in public places as we divulge the agony that the past week has brought our way. We let out all the huffs and puffs, the sighs and eye rolling and the frowns, oh the frowns, but we always, without fail, conclude, that the reason the best things come with the hardest battles, is that, well, because they are the BEST things. And by that, I mean, they are the best that God has for us. When you tune your heart in to God and follow your vision, battles will always come your way. ALWAYS! 


Two weeks ago I found out I didn't get a place in the New York City marathon. I was utterly devastated. I cried a lot, probably too much by a normal persons standard, but I cry a lot anyway so . . . we won’t worry about that . . . I knew that getting a place through the draw was slim but I was also certain this was something I was MEANT to be doing. I went to bed that night confused, sad and let down. I had already started training, I had started writing this blog, telling people I was going to run this marathon, and then I didn't get a place. What was going on?


The next day, having pulled myself together, I kept reassuring myself that the New York Marathon wasn't the end of the world and that maybe, God just had another plan, a different marathon? Or maybe it was just about getting in to running, I had already said I would keep running if I didn't get a place. Maybe the New York marathon was just a pipe dream.


I knew of two other ways of getting a place on the marathon. Firstly, go with atravel company, booking flights, accommodation and race entry all together as a package. It’s a rather expensive way to run the NYC Marathon so it didn't sit well with me. Or secondly, run for charity. I had looked at running for charity prior to the draw but the options were less then appealing. Many charities require a minimum commitment to raise as much as $10,000 and if you don’t hit your target then they charge your credit card the shortfall. I like to do my bit but really? I can’t afford to risk being charged thousands of dollars if I don’t hit my target. Despite my doubts, I felt compelled to look at the charity page on the NYC marathon website anyway. With my heart in my mouth, knowing that maybe I just needed to let this one go, I scrolled through the numerous charities.There were lots and lots of charities that I hadn't seen on their website before and World Vision was one of the few on the site that I recognised and the only one, from what I can tell, that is a Christian organisation. I was intrigued, although wary about getting too excited. If they were asking for my credit card details I knew it was a no goer and my last hope of running the marathon would be dashed and the crying may start all over again. But I was in fact pleasantly surprised, they request a minimum of $3,000 raised to claim your place, and if you don’t raise it, they give your place to someone else. Seems too simple. Anything above the $3,000 that you’ve pledged to raise is just that, a pledge but if you don’t hit your lofty ambitions they don’t charge you the shortfall. So, after some research, lots of careful reading and about a week of praying and deliberating I decided to take the plunge and I have signed up with World Vision to run the New York City Marathon.


I say that holding my breath slightly. The excitement at the prospect of being accepted to the race through the draw, with no charitable strings attached, has been replaced with anxiety and fear. Now I am not only thinking, what if I can’t run a marathon and do the distance, I’m also thinking what if I can’t raise the money? OR worse, what if I raise the money and THEN can’t run the distance? 


Somehow, it feels like perhaps this is the way I was always meant to run the New York City Marathon. Because as I said at the beginning, the best things often come with the hardest battles and these past couple of weeks have most definitely been an uphill battle, not only to come to this decision about the marathon but also personally and for my little business, Eat Pray Pedal. But I can start to see how these fine threads, the running, the blogging, the fundraising and Eat Pray Pedal, are beginning to intertwine and create something much better and bigger then I imagined. Possibilities are being woven together in a way that only God can do. If I had been accepted straight into the draw, then I would have missed out on what God intended, and I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s best for me. 


I already have some great ideas for my fundraising and I’m really excited to start sharing it with you over the coming weeks. In the mean time I have some running to do.