I married an athlete. I like to think of myself as a sporty-kinda-gal…I run…I workout…but, I am not nearly in the same league as my husband, my children, or most members of my husband’s family. To be honest, I had never even heard of the Hawaii Ironman until I had been married for about 7 years and my husband decided he wanted to do one.
(For those readers not familiar with the Ironman competition, it is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run…and to do Kona, you have to place top in your age group at another qualifying Ironman competition. NOT CHUMP CHANGE BY ANY MEANS.)
That’s when I discovered one of my most revered heroes. Meet Julie Moss. A college student at the time of her Kona Ironman race, she was well into the lead. Twenty minutes ahead of any other female competitor at the start of the marathon.
Her finish is so remarkable. Likely you can ask most triathletes and even fans of Ironman and they won’t remember the name of the woman that beat Julie. But say the name “Julie Moss,” and instantly, every triathlete knows who you’re talking about. Her finish was so epic that it has been an inspiration to millions. And parents, it should inspire you.
Many days, I have felt a lot like Julie Moss.
I survived until naptime.
I made it to bedtime.
My day may not have been pretty, my legs were shaky, my eyesight blurry, but I made it through the day.
And in the wake of such challenges– a newborn not sleeping, a toddler pushing buttons, tweenagers pushing boundaries…my run slows to a walk.
Some days a crawl.
But at least I am still moving forward, my eyes fixed like stone on that finish line. The one marked, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” The one where my Savior awaits with a crown and a party like no eye has seen or ear has heard.
There are days my emotions run away with me, but that finish line is fixed. There are seasons where my job is overwhelming, and my heart gives way to fear, but determination drives me forward in faith that He who began this good work in me, in my family, will be faithful to compete it. Despite my many inabilities, insecurities, sins and utter fails, you see, it is THEN that HE is proven strong. I know in WHOM I have placed my trust, and nothing moves me other than that end line. That goal. Even if I have to be drug across the line, I will finish my race. I will stay the course with this family. I may be Julie Moss more days that not, but dangit, at least I fight knowing the battle has already been won.
So on the days you feel overwhelmed as a parent, responsibilities stacking up, fears growing, legs quaking, just keep moving forward. Keep your eyes on the goal. The all-too-quickly-grown-up future picture of your child in your mind needs to be what you see as you place your head on your pillow and begin to whisper to Jesus.
Crawl if you must, Julie did.
But she finished…beautifully.
And in the minds of most, while the win of the day did not go to her, she was most definitely a “winner.” And you will be too.
Love to you all.
Video of Julie Moss’s historic finish:
I Corinthians 9:
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!