Running the Hallway…

Me and Jen

A little over twelve years ago, I decided to see if I could run a mile.

And I couldn’t.

Up until that point, my life’s motto had held steady at, “I only run when chased.”

So this decision I made, it wasn’t without thoughtful consideration.

Running is not easy.  Learning to run is not easy.  Everything hurts.  It’s jarring in ways you hadn’t considered.  My body had to adjust.  But it did and I grew stronger.

Once I successfully completed my first mile without stopping, I made another decision.

To keep going.

And, well, here we are.  Nearing the end of the training for my second half marathon coming up at the end of this month.

Over the years, I’ve run in various spaces.  Geographical spaces like Chicago, Auburn and OKC.  Emotional spaces like joyful, determined and stressed.  Physical spaces, healthy, injured, pregnant (just kidding) (I ate Reese’s pregnant).  But the hardest and most transformative space was “In-between.”

I call these “in-between” spaces the hallways of life.  The time from leaving through one door to walking through the next.  From the moment we realize God has called us to something through the fulfillment of that calling.

If we’re honest, we live a good bit of our life in the Hallways.  They are necessary for growth.  Transformative even.  But they can be lonely and disorienting.  Jarring and hard in ways you hadn’t considered.  Often dim, with just enough light to show us our very next step and no further.

But with each step, you grow.  You gain strength and revelation and you begin to adjust to this new reality of your Hallway.

Kinda like starting to run.

The people who walk with us, choosing to come along in the confusion and jarring of the Hallway, they are miraculous gifts.  Often, they are part of that light we recognize.  Guiding and praying and staying with us.  They stabilize us and heal our hearts with their love and sometimes, a home cooked meal.

One of those gifts for me, Jennifer.  She has held my hand in the Hallway of infertility.  That long, dark, life-altering space between the calling of motherhood and holding my child.  We walked together.  Both of us longing to grow our family but obediently waiting on God and His perfect timing to do so.

Jen and I pregnant

At the end of our hallways, God gifted us each with a boy and a girl and all the joy and sleeplessness and love we could never have imagined.

 

And now, I have the honor of being with Jennifer and Jerimiah in their latest Hallway as they wait and work to bring their daughter home from China.

Their miracle family has been called to adopt.

I’m running The Cowtown Half Marathon with Run for Hope to help share The Smith’s story.  International adoption is a big Hallway.  They need lots of folks in there with them.  Prayers and provision.  Listening ears and dropped off meals.

And right now, their hallway buzzes busy with forms and questions and preparing.

Much like my decision to run all those years ago, they have made a decision to run their race towards their daughter.  They are trusting their Father to give them the strength to run their hallway and not grow weary.  And so many of their friends and family have made the decision to run along side them.

They are in no way traveling this hallway alone.

And I am honored to be running this race with them and for them and, sometimes, when they are too tired to run another step.  I am choosing to run.  I am choosing this Hallway with them.

Read their story here.  And donate here.

James, Jen, Me, and AK

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