Race day. Today, I ran the Philly 10K. This is a new 6-mile race for me. I am a runner and a triathlete. I pray before every race to stay safe and because I believe that everything is better with God.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” Psalm 37:5
The world looks better through God’s eyes. I see more beauty and my heart is filled with gratitude. Usually races are all tied up with my ego. What was my pace? Where did I finish in my age group? Today was markedly different. My ego was not invited to the race. This race was not about me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. I found my cancer lump after a 3-mile run.
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1
Especially after my diagnosis, I relied on exercise and my faith to work through lots of powerful emotions like confusion, loss, rage and resentment. I had read that support is essential to cancer survivors so I joined a support group. I also read that prayer is powerful; even if women do not know that they are being prayed for, they do better. Several months ago, another survivor posted that she wanted to run the Philly 10K but she was scared. Breast reconstruction can take a year or more after a double mastectomy and that assumes that you do not have to go through chemo or radiation. Your breasts feel different after reconstruction. Your body feels different when you run. Most of the time, I feel like I am wrapped in duct tape. I understood her fear. My husband is a runner. He is also my best friend. I would confide in him whenever my body felt weird. He would tell me it’s ok. So, I agreed to run with her. I signed up for the race, trained and today finally arrived. I got up at 4:30 this morning and carpooled with my buddies to the race. She told me she had not run a full 6 miles yet. I was ok with that. My goal was to stay next to her and encourage her. Each year, I also walk the Susan G. Komen 3-day. It’s 60 miles in 3 days. I train for it every year. Regardless, my body is hurting on day 3 usually because of blisters and fatigue. What gets me through the 3-day is love. That is what it boils down to: Love. It’s an enormous gift. Love is energy. Love is life. Love is God. So, whenever we passed a child who wanted to give us a high 5 or others were cheering for us my heart swelled. I told her to tune in to the beautiful people in South Philly–get some energy from that person. Love is fuel. Love is what binds us together in marriage, communities and our nation. If we could see the world through God’s eyes and marvel at everything he created, including us, our energies would be well spent.
“With God we will gain victory.” Psalm 60:12
Sue Ryan is a clinical psychologist and breast cancer survivor. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. For more inspiration, you may enjoy listening to our Study With Friends Bible studies. Tune in to your favorite radio station, listen to our podcast on iTunes, or listen through TuneIn or Stitcher online radio. You can also listen on our website