If someone asked me what I have learned most from this journey, it wouldn't be discovering correct running form, learning how to pace myself in long distances, how to choose the perfect shoes, or even figuring out how to fit running each day into my already crazy schedule. As I think back over the past ten months and I remember specific runs at the park, on a trail, at the track, on a busy road, in the heat, in the rain, and getting lost in God's presence. I remember times of pain, times of trust, times of victory, and times of unwavering faith.
Of all the memories and things I have found throughout this journey, the thought of what is most valuable to me and what I have gained that will encourage me and continue growth in my life for years to come is the fact that God has used this journey to help me uncover pockets of pride within my heart.
It's not an exciting thing to talk about, it's not something I find success or honor in sharing with someone else, but in order to have Audacious Faith, one has to get closer and closer to the Father's heart. A life of Audacious Faith is one lived trusting every word God speaks and waiting every moment for God Almighty to move in such a way that is beyond the daily lives as ordinary people. The closer someone becomes with the Creator of the Universe, the more we find ourselves unalike and different from the One who was and is and will forever be.
While running every mile, I've spent the time without headphones, without noise to drown out the fatigue. Instead, I decided to run spending each fleeting moment lifting up the needs of Albania, the Church, my sponsors, my family, the people of Albania, the people of America, and anything else God laid upon my heart to bring to Him.
Over the past ten months during these times of prayer, God has pointed out so many things in my own heart that needed to be uncovered and dealt with. Small pockets of pride that could not have been left uncovered. Things that I needed to bring to the Father and allow Him to correct in me, to heal within me, and to allow me to resolve with the body of Christ.
There are so many reasons I remember the past ten months and thank God for allowing me this journey, but of all of them, uncovering the pockets of pride in my own life and allowing me to draw closer to Him in the process- the fact that He never stopped loving me and calling me His own- He never stopped using me for His glory and allowing me to make a difference for His Kingdom- the intimacy that I now have with Him is worth every step of this journey no matter how difficult it was to take at the time.