{running through sand}

It’s hard to run through deep sand. Have you done it? I used to think running on the beach would be the greatest. I would see people when we were on vacation effortlesssly gliding across the white sandy beaches, never even breaking a sweat. They made it look so easy. I was thrilled when I moved closer to the coast out of high school, what feels like a lifetime ago. I made the decision I wanted to get fit and the obvious choice for a workout seemed like running, on the beach.

I started off slow. I mean, like really slow. My sweet husband, who at the time was only my boyfriend, graciously offered to go with me at first. I think he quickly realized his idea of running was not my definition of the word. I did it though. I began my running journey, all those years ago.

I learned a few things in the beginning. Running in the sand is not as glorious as I once thought. It is an intense workout. And it takes time to get to the point, if you ever do, to make it look effortless. Another thing I quickly discovered is that it is far easier to run on the compact sand than it is in the deeper sand higher on the beach. Everyone walking on the beach walks close to the shoreline, where the waves are barely kissing their toes. There’s a reason for that. It is much easier then sinking into the deep sand further up.

Even though running in that deep sand is a lot of hard work, I would do it from time to time. Each step felt like an accomplishment as I would pick my foot up out of the sinking sand, place it in front of me and repeat on the other side, sweat dripping from my forehead even though more often than not the temperature was consistently much cooler.

Sometimes life to me can feel a lot like those days I would run on the beach. Some days, I wouldn’t want to do it. I would drive out to the coast, the fog completely blanketing the sky and instead of walking down the sandy steps I would stay in my car. I would turn the car around and head home. Other days, I would make it out onto the sand and mind over matter, I would put one foot in front of the other and challenge myself go to further and faster. Other days I would challenge myself in the deep sand, wanting a more intense workout.

Day after day, my endurance would build and I would find that although it was hard, I was making it through. It’s kind of how I feel walking through the constant hard life situations. Somedays, mentally I don’t really want to but I know that by God’s strength within me I am making it through, one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, knowing that with each new circumstance that arises and in areas of constant struggle, God is using it all to produce in me a different kind of endurance. The kind of endurance that comes with life and experiencing unique circumstances, knowing that God ultimately has the best laid plans through it all.

Psalm 121:1 “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

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