Marathon of a Deployment

Two weeks ago I registered for what I thought was my first full marathon; a 26.2-mile endurance event with a notorious “wall” hit by runners at somewhere near mile 18 or 20.

That “wall” is the moment when you think:

Oh, Lord, this hurts.

What was I thinking?

I’m not strong enough.

My legs are finished.

I can’t do this.

I’m done.

For a marathoner, the 18-20 mile “wall” comes when the race is 68%-76% complete. For this Army wife, a similar wall seems to have popped up this week when our deployment became 74% complete.

Oh, Lord, this hurts.

What were we thinking?

Why can’t he understand?

How can I handle 70+ more days of this?

I feel so much pressure.

Am I strong enough?

I’m so lonely.

Now I’m evaluating the proverbial 18-mile “wall” of this 9 month deployment, and I have to remind myself that – just like I registered for my marathon with the confidence that I can complete that distance, I married Nick with the confidence that I can do this.

Confidence is important. I have faith that God won’t give me more pressure than I can handle during this last quarter of the deployment, and that He’s given me the friends I need for support. I trust myself, my faith, my courage, and my will power. I trust that I can finish this deployment even though right now— in this moment — I feel so empty, so weak, and so tired.

Confidence will be important in January, too.

On race day, I’ll trust my training, my nutrition, my determination, and my willpower to finish. The best part about “hitting the wall” at mile 18 or 20 in January is that while it may be the first 26.2-mile event that I’ve run, it’s not my first marathon. That marathon, my friends, is already 74% complete, and if I can get over this wall, 26.2 miles ain’t got nothin’.

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