The past few weeks I have been writing the book. To say it’s been hard is an understatement. Dredging through the trauma that infused our lives the past five years has brought so many unwanted feelings to the surface. Just two weeks ago I wrote how my beloved teen daughter was exposed to so much abuse that she contemplated taking her own life. My daughter has been put through the ringer so to speak. The last two years she almost crashed and burned. Something no mom on earth wants to see happen. Absolutely devastating.
I decided enough was enough. A few weeks ago my amazing husband took a small unused room in the basement, gave it a fresh coat of paint, painted an old bookshelf and took a comfy chair from upstairs and gave me my own little slice of heaven – my own prayer closet. To go to battle with Yahweh against the enemy who wants to take my family down. To give my children a hope of a future that is far different from the last few years.
My daughter loves to run. It makes her happier than anything else. And I truly believe when she was created this was part of her purpose. To run for Yahweh and for His Glory! When she gets stressed she runs. When she is happy she runs. When she is anything she runs. But last year, her sophomore year, toward the end of cross country season she faded. There was no joy in the one thing she always found joy. It became work. She still had a great season, she went to the state finals, she did well enough through track season, but there was no joy. And no striving for excellence. This adoption had finally taken it’s toll on her. Her grades slumped and so did her running.
I was sitting in my prayer room last week and duh, it dawned on me. Pray for her. Specifically in this area. Of course I was already praying for her. Her godly heart, her health, her protection. The “normal” things parents pray for their children. For good, godly friends to surround them. For them to live for Yahweh, no matter what the enemy puts before them. Things like that. But it was general. For all of my children and grandchildren. I was reading my Bible one morning and a verse jumped out at me and I realized that praying specifically was important. So I did. Prayed and fasted for my daughter and for her to be healed of this heavy weight upon her. The weight that was dragging her down and making her unable to run out her purpose.
Yesterday she had the biggest race of the season to date. D1 Regionals. If she did top 15 here she would advance to the State Finals. So I prayed. I prayed specifically that she would not only make top 15 but that she would run like the wind and get her P.R. (Personal Record), which at this point was 18:55.3. I prayed that she would be under 18:50, which was from last year. This year she hadn’t even come close to that.
On Friday I was watching an online sermon from Elevation church by Pastor Steven Furtick called “Coming Out of the Drought”. In it he talks about 1 Kings 18:46. And the hand of Yahweh was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. There are three things about this which I found important that Pastor Furtick talked about.
1. Ahab was in a chariot being pulled by a horse and Elijah was running ahead of him. AND Ahab had a head start. Elijah had to first catch up to him.
2. Elijah was not a young man and not exactly dressed in running gear with the latest fancy shoes.
3. It was 17 miles from where they started back to Jezreel.
So as the verse states, the hand of Yahweh was on Elijah. It was not Elijah doing it, it was Yahweh doing it through Elijah.
Yesterday I watched her take off for the race. 3.1 miles to go. She was a front-runner in the beginning. This was normal. However through last season and this she has tapered off around mile one and stayed in either the second or third group of runners. After she ran past I ran across the park to the bottom of the massive hill the runners would have to climb. I couldn’t see her until she would round the bend. As I was running there I was praying. Give her your strength. Give her feet like wings of eagles. Give her energy that doesn’t fail. Then she came around the bend. Neck and neck with another runner at places 3 and 4. WOW! That’s fantastic! She took the hill like a champion and she was gone, out of my sight.
I looked up and in an instant I realized that if Yahweh could give that kind of supernatural endurance and speed to Elijah He could certainly give it to my daughter. And I believed that if I asked, He would. Pretty audacious I know. I thought about that for about a second, thinking maybe I was just being a bit too audacious, and then said, oh well, I believe it so I’m going to ask it. I am so thankful that He brought that sermon to me the day before and that I remembered it in this moment.
So I prayed. For the next 7 minutes or so I talked with Yahweh and asked this big ask. I told Him how amazing it would be for our whole family to have something to celebrate again and how this would help her so much to put the past where it belongs and start being excited again about this thing she loves so much. That if He could do this thing with this old man Elijah then I know He could do it for my girl.
I was walking and talking with Him and I’m sure the other people around me wondered about this crazy woman. Then I see the cart that marks the course turn the bend. This is the time when lately she would be in 10th, 14th, 18th place. Then the first place runner comes around, followed by the second, then two more girls right after and I couldn’t quite see if she was one of them. I looked beyond to see if I could see her normal stride but no, I realize she and the other girl are running together at 3rd and 4th. She is still in this thing and running stronger than I’ve seen her in over a year.
I keep praying and she gets to me and I just yell, I’m proud of you, keep going, you’re doing this! She attacks the hill. After I can’t see her anymore I run back across the park to where she will come in for the finish. I wait at about the 300 m mark and again pray and wait. Pray and wait. First the cart, then runner one, then two, then three followed closely by my runner girl. I can barely stand it. She is running like a champion. Tears are streaming down my face.
She runs by me and I can tell she is tired but filled with joy. I run to where she will come out of the finish and she walks towards me with a smile that I have not seen on her face for many years. I think to myself, “my girl is back”! Then I look up and simply say to Him, “Thank You”. We are both crying as we hug. She came in 4th place. Her time was 18:43.3 so 12 seconds faster than her P.R. and under the time I asked for in my prayers.
He gave her the grit and guts back that had been stolen from her. He gave her back the love of this sport of running. He gave her back her future. He is AMAZING!! AND He gave me what I asked for and MORE! Because He could. Because He wanted to do it.
It’s now been almost 24 hours since that race. I cannot stop telling Yahweh thank you! My heart is filled with so much gratitude. He is such a great God! He listens to us, He loves us and loves to show His glory through us!
For those of you who are going through your own trials learn from me. Pray specifically and then trust that He hears you. Yahweh is much GREATER than we sometimes give Him the credit!
Praying for you. Kathe
#comingoutofthedrought #elevationchurch #stevenfurtick