Reaching the Finish Line

In three weeks, my husband is running his first ultramarathon – a 50 mile/81K race.  He’s trained all summer long, heading out at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings for 6-7 hour runs, hoping to avoid temperatures that have frequently hovered near 100 degrees.

What makes someone want to do something so punishing?  Something that requires such discipline, determination and sacrifice?  How can it possibly be worth the effort and the cost?

I think the same questions could be asked of infertile couples.  What makes you push so hard to reach a goal that seems real, and yet so far away?  Why do you choose to suffer physical pain?  To endure fatigue, anxiety, doubt, isolation… so many forms of suffering?  Is it really worth it?  Isn’t there some other way to meet whatever need is driving you forward?

Here’s the thing….

When God puts a dream in your heart, He intends for you to fulfill it.  “…He works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” [Philippians 2:13].  He has a plan, and you have an important part in it.  Your sense of being called to something and simultaneously propelled toward it is no accident.  He has a purpose for creating this desire in you, and for urging you to act on it.

Of course, reaching the goal requires your best effort.  In some cases, it pushes you well beyond what you had imagined possible – or considered endurable – and yet, somehow you find the strength to keep going.

Why doesn’t God make it easier?  Why does He call you to what looks and feels almost impossible, instead of dropping success miraculously into your lap?  I’m convinced it’s because He intends to bless you in and through the process of struggling toward that goal before reaching the finish line.

Here’s what I mean….

My husband’s ability to run forever without stopping may not be important to God, but his health is.  His ability to listen to his body and care for it certainly is.  And, the huge stretches of time that he and God now spend together – away from the stresses of work, and the buzz of activity at home – most definitely are.

The official ultramarathon hasn’t even started, but in ways that matter more to God than any runner’s medal, my husband is already victorious.

The same is true for couples struggling through infertility.  Your ability to endure countless trips to the doctor may not be important to God, but your perseverance and trust are.  Your ability to be at peace in the midst of uncertainty is.  And, your increased desire to sense God’s presence and believe in His purposefulness – despite the test results, the miscarriages, and the grief – most definitely are.

Remember, the Bible says, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

Claim this verse and run your race.  God is with you every step of the way.

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For more inspiration and cause for hope, go to  PregnantWithHope.com

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