Tuesday was different.
We wanted to show our support and be an encouragement to the running community. So we fought the hour traffic, dodged the many runners sprinting to the start area and found a space in a nearby parking garage.
The crowd was remarkable.
Prince Charming grabbed my hand and we made our way through a sea of runners and reporters. As I approached the welcome table, I was handed a bib. I smiled and asked for a waiver. The woman made eye contact and said "first time? Welcome!"
As I was standing there, I hear "we are out of bibs". Still a little speechless at what I was experiencing, I make my way back down the stairs and join my husband.
There we stood, at the bottom of the stairs as the former Boston Marathoners in the crowd were recognized and 26.2 seconds of silence occurred.
I began to cry.
There during the 26.2 seconds, I prayed through the tears. I prayed for those around me. I prayed for my country, and I prayed for Boston.
I prayed for the lost and I prayed for my Prince. I prayed that our lives would be an example, and a light in a dark and hurting world.
We listened to, and sang along with the National Anthem and then made our way across the street for a picture.
"Miami Runs for Boston"
After a few brief instructions, we were off!
It was as if we were participating in a real event. Lanes were blocked off, police escorted us through stop lights, I ran shoulder to shoulder among hundreds of runners.
Local employees lined the streets and cheered as we ran. Some asked questions, others took photos and silently we ran.
I smiled and nodded to those on the streets, the farther I ran the more in love with running I became.
3.5 miles completed at the fastest pace I've ever run.
For you, Boston Marathoners. I thought of you and prayed for you and your families throughout the course.
When all was over, I walked away with a sense of pride. I was proud to be a runner. I was proud to be a part of a community, and proud to have the opportunity to show my support.
I've shown my support, I've lifted it up in prayer. Should I continue to let my heart break? I don't believe so.
I believe that through Christ we have a peace that passes all understanding.
" And the Peace of God which passeth all understanding,
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus"
I believe that in this world, we will have trouble.
"These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace.
In the World ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the World"
I believe we must continue to pray for those affected by this tragedy, but we should not let it consume us. We must allow God to work. We must do our part. As believers we must be always ready to share of our Hope in Christ.
We must pray, and we must be bold.
Yesterday I texted my sister. I told her that I was excited for my Marathon in January, and I understood if she didn't want to come watch me finish. Her response? "What?! I know where I am going".
Friends, we need to be bold.
We mourn the loss, and respect those who are still affected - but we rebuild.
We lace up our sneakers, and we run.
I know my God has a plan, and I know that all things work together for good.
"We know God works all things together for good for the ones who love God,
for those who are called according to his purpose"
To those still hurting, I still think of you often in my prayers. I pray that you would find peace in this terror.
With much love,