Written by Katie Goldsmith, LeadHer Local Coordinator Bothell, WA
In 2014 our LeadHer theme for the year was Boot Camp: Getting in Shape to Serve and our last teaching topic for December was Endurance. Our focus was on finishing the race marked out for each of us and Executive Director, Christie Love challenged us each with the question, “How do you want to look at the end of your race?” Our LeadHer Bothell, WA chapter discussed this question with some of us reflecting upon specific seasons or callings in our lives that we were running while others considered the greater scope of our lives and at the end of our days here on earth, what we wanted our crossing of the finish line from earthly to eternal existence to look like.
Just days before, one of my mom’s dearest friends had finished her earthly race so I shared my perspective as a spectator to her very well executed completion as she continued to serve other seniors in our church body even days before her own passing. Little did I know that within three weeks, my own mother would be crossing that same finish line. And this time, rather than a spectator on the sidelines, I would be running alongside her and holding her hand, letting go at that last minute as she took her last breath and broke through the tape, passing into the receiving embrace of her Savior.
Four months ago I began training for a marathon, and on Sunday, December 14th I went to church and then joined my running partners for our greatest challenge, the infamous 20 mile run, the longest of our pre-marathon training schedule. It was an amazingly beautiful and sunny Seattle afternoon. While the physical feat itself pushed my endurance beyond what I imagined possible, the successful celebration was short lived as I returned home to find my mom, who had walked into church that very morning herself, was weak beyond measure and barely able to communicate. Over the next five days I was her round the clock caregiver, providing hospice care and comfort measures as we both were experiencing endurance as she was finishing her race. Once again, I was face to face with that question, “How do you want your finish to look?” While we haven’t always run this mother/daughter race with great grace and form, I was determined to give all I had to help us both finish well.
Here we are at the end of 2014 and tomorrow I follow behind my mom’s footsteps and cross my own finish line as we celebrate my Mom’s life. And then just a day later, friends and family will once again gather to celebrate the New Year. LeadHer’s theme for January?
Once again, the topic is so relevant to my own life, having endured to the finish, now it is time for me to refocus. For me that means re-examining this new phase of my life and prayerfully considering what to do with the physical space in my home and the newly created margin in my life as I am no longer caring for my mom after this 2 ½ year long season.
Time to refocus, to readjust, to redistribute my resources.
I am tempted to take a little time to sit on the sideline and rest from my race, but the long-awaited and much trained for and anticipated marathon is just three weeks away and more importantly, there are other runners behind me, following me, because I am LeadHer. So I will continue my race with endurance by picking up my cross and following Him daily, as in 365, as I refocus my eyes on the prize for which we each have been called heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I’m ready to refocus and keep running my marked race, will you join me?
Katie and her team, Team Freedom, are running a marathon on January 18th to raising money for a ministry called Rescue Freedom- an organization that is bringing freedom to victims of sex trafficking. If you would like to support them, click here.