The other day I asked Elizabeth to write from her heart about her journey to race in the Ironman. She finished her first one in Lake Tahoe last summer. On Sunday, she will race again. This time in Boulder, Colorado, alongside her husband, Travis.
Today, the girls and I wrote letters to Elizabeth to encourage her for this big day and to let her know just how much she has encouraged us through her faithful journey to the finish line.
How inspiring it is to watch someone take on the world. I know you believe yourself to be just your normal joe-shmoe doing an IronWOMan, but you’re not. You are:
And above all, you are showing us what it means to really “run the race” for God. You have shared with us your struggles, and you have displayed that your strength has come solely from the Father. And like God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)." You are fully living a “Paul” life and “boasting all the more gladly about (your) weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on (you) (2 Corinthians 12:10).”
You may not feel physically worthy of this celebration, but your trials and tribulations through this training for this race make the journey a success! So, Elizabeth, I celebrate you. I congratulate you for being willing to put yourself through the pain in order to run, swim and bike for Christ. This is a journey He has set before you, and you have not shied away from His desire for you. And you will be blessed!
Enjoy the moments of struggle. They make the end result all the more sweeter! I love you Sister-girl.
Your Sister in Christ, Amy
To my sweet, strong sister in Christ:
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant..." - Psalm 34:1-5
Elizabeth, you embody, you emanate these verses! When I pray for you, for your race, for your swim, bike and run, I envision your radiance, your love, your strength, your dedication, your faith, your desire for His glory above all.
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
If you never told me, I would never know about your insecurities, your weaknesses, your questioning, your doubts... If you never told me your times, your place, I would never know you are slower than others or finish close to last or feel weak... Because to me you are leading the pack, you are so strong, because you ARE. You are a leader! You are so strong, and so strong in your faith!
"My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad."
If you never told me, I would never know your struggle, and I would never see His success, His victory, His glory! If you never told me, I would never be able to share in it, to join you in exalting Him!
"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!"
Elizabeth, He loves to watch you race! He loves your obedience in it, He loves that you seek Him in it, that you pray, that you memorize His Word, that you come to know His deep love for you more and more with every stroke, every pedal, every step. And in it, His radiance shines through you!
"I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant..."
Those who look to Him are radiant..."
Tahoe was just the beginning of the story. Boulder is this chapter. Only He knows what He is planning to write next in this inspiring story of your life! I know you will be faithful, I know you will say "yes", and I know you will continue to inspire us to be more faithful, to be more obedient, to be stronger and to be Boulder (pun intended) in the stories He's writing for our lives too!
"...finish now what you began last year. You were the first, not only to act,
but also to be willing to act. On with it, then, and finish the job!
Be as eager to finish it as you were to plan it, and do it with all you now have."
- 2 Corinthians 8:10-11
I love you! I'll be watching your radiant face cross the finish line, I'll be oh.so.glad, and we'll exalt His name once more together!
Oh my sweet Friend,
You amaze me. Not because you are doing an Ironman... for the SECOND time (although that's still crazy amazing!) but because you trust God so BIG that you would take a flying leap of faith and trust Him when He asks you to do something light years out of your comfort zone, maybe even your reality or possibility zone.
You amaze me because you trust Him even when things look like they're falling apart. You praise His name even when you can't see the finish line. You believe Him with your whole heart even when you think you cannot go on. "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:12-13
You amaze me because even though it's hard for you to publicly share your journey, you do because you know God wrote you this story to share, to be a light to others, to glorify His name. "...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
You amaze me because you have always tried to see life through our eyes as well, so you could better understand what we were going through. "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings." -1 Corinthians 9:22-23
You amaze me because your big day is almost here, and even amidst nerves and emotions, your heart is steady. God goes before you and has made your path straight. You are ready to run, friend. This is how you have trained, and I know this is how you will run:
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." -1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Every stroke, every pedal, ever step He has already written into your story. Trust Him now with the results. It's time to enjoy the ride.
Love you sweet sister, La
Elizabeth wants her Ironman to have an impact on others beyond her immediate reach. Please consider joining us in donating to the A21 Campaign. Your donation will help bring healing and justice to a young girl who has been forced into sex trafficking. She can have hope because your gift will help give her a voice. Your donation is important in the fight for freedom and will help sustain every day care (food, clothing, shelter) and legal obligations such as court fees, medical tests and expense for representation.
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