So Close . . . yet, So Far!

Have you ever run a marathon?  I have.  Two.  As most of you know, the second one didn’t end up too well for me.

My first marathon was in Detroit in 2006.  Oh my, was it hard!  It was thirty degrees with winds over forty miles/hour.  I remember getting to mile 13 and watching all the half marathoners rejoice.  I really remember thinking that they were the smart ones!  I had another 13 to go!  Do you have ANY idea how depressing that is?

So, in mind I would get to a mile marker (which aren’t really marked but you have studied the course and have an idea in your mind . . .) and I would think, “Ten down, sixteen to go!”  Now, on a normal day running ten miles is quite an accomplishment – but in a marathon . . . it is just discouraging because SO much lies ahead of you. 

For me, the turning point of hope came at about mile 18 to 20 . . . at that point you KNOW you have logged more miles than are yet to come . . . and you literally just will your feet to keep moving.  For me, personally, it was much more a battle of my mind than my body.  You MUST overcome.  You must will yourself to keep moving . . . keep running . . . keep marching toward the finish line. 

At no point in this process can you SEE the finish . . . but you trust it is there.  You keep holding on to the fact that you will cross it . . . and rejoice . . . at some point!

Have you ever heard of ‘bonking?’  Funny word, huh?  Bonking is when you are mid-run and your body absolutely shuts down.  Many distance runners experience it.  You can train and train . . . but sometimes your body has a mind of its own. 

Most runners bonk between miles 18 and 26.  I have one friend who was a mile from the finish line and had to be rescued by an ambulance.  Miles 18 to 26 . . . Hmmmm . . . you are close enough to know the finish is coming . . . yet . . . still SO far!  You have already run more miles than some people EVER run in a lifetime . . . but you still have a good 3, 6, or 8 miles to go.  Keeping your mind engaged at that point is so very difficult.  You think you can do it but your body is so tired and the finish looks SO very far away!

My friends!  Today we are at that point with our journey with cancer.  Many of you know of my sweet Mary Juengel.  Her mama, Marni, is my best friend in the whole wide world and for the past two-plus years we have been navigating the horrible world of chemo, radiation, and cancer. 

Today, this precious baby and her family need our prayers.  PLEASE . . . will you pray?  Mar is so close to being done – but right now the finish line looks so very far away. 

She is weary.  She is tired.  She is scared.  Her body hurts so SO badly from the chemo it was inundated with this past Monday . . . that two more miles look like an entire marathon lies before her. 

My friends . . . will you please cover this baby girl with your prayers.  With pain, comes fear.  Fear of cancer’s vicious return.  Fear of another round with a beast too overwhelming to even consider. 

This past Monday was Mary’s VERY last intrathecal chemo – that means that they put the chemo right into her spine.  It was our last on a VERY long road that started in October of 2011.  She has had . . . well, I have lost count there were so many . . . at LEAST 30 of these terrible procedures!  Monday was the last!  You would think we could rejoice . . . but the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking to destroy this baby girl’s hope!

Her body is in pain.  Deep, horrible, frightening pain.  Will you please pray?  Please pray for healing.  Please pray protection over every system and function in her little body from the horrible side effects of the chemo.  Please pray that she will have peace and that fear will be FAR from her mind.  Please pray that even though her little body is inundated with HIGH amounts of steroids right now, that her emotions will stay steady.  Please pray for her mama, her daddy, and her siblings.  Sometimes you are too weary to pray . . . so let’s pray for them!

My friends . . . we are in the home stretch . . . but the finish line is still MILES away!  We cannot bonk!  It isn’t an option!  Please . . . PLEASE pray this baby girl through! 

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