To God be the Glory

I had done it!!  I remember crossing the finish line, but do not remember hearing or seeing anything in that moment.

The last 3 weeks of training were the toughest.  It was not because the training was longer and harder but because Satan was a mission and doing all he could to wear me down.  Just 3 weeks before the run, we found out that our second fertility treatment was unsuccessful. If you’ve been through it, you understand what a toll it takes on your mind, body, and spirit, but that topic is for another day.  After that my husband and I decided it was time to add that adorable new puppy to our family that we had been waiting on getting.  God love Boomer (our pup), but he was and still is like having a newborn. Thankfully he was potty trained (for the most part), but he only wants to sleep for 2 hours at a time during the night.  Not to mention, He and our other fur baby Nahla B do not exactly get along.  2 days later Craig got sick and was out of commission for a week.  While I was trying to let him rest, it put extra on my plate.  The failed treatment, Boomer the newborn, work, training and all the house responsibilities really wore me out.  I was trying incredibly hard to keep it together, but I was at my breaking point.  Then, the following week I got sick.   At this point it was just a week before the race.  Me being sick turned into a lot more than just stress and a virus.  After seeing my Dr, they decided that what I was facing and had been facing for the last 1.5 years was Autoimmune related and I was referred to a Rheumatologist (more to come on that later).  If that was not enough, I was told that following week, just 4 days before the run that I needed to have a biopsy.  I was assured by my Dr. that what she saw did not have the same appearance of cancer, but they had to rule it out before moving forward.  In that moment, I was not worried about the procedure or the results.  The first thing I thought about was how embedded my heart was to this run and helping this organization, and continuing what was started.  I had trained and raised money for the last 18 weeks and 4 days before the run, I was told I had to have this biopsy. I was in disbelief.  I was angry and upset.  I could not believe that this was all happening and happening right now.   Why could it not have happened after the run?  I knew it was going to have a major effect on my body and the ability to run.

I went in that Thursday before the race for the procedure and it honestly was the most painful thing I have ever felt in my life.  Not the procedure itself so much, but the aftermath. My Dr. reassured me that I was going to be just fine and what they did would not really effect the run much.  I woke up on Friday (the day before the race) and my biggest fear came to fruition.  I was in pain.  A lot of pain.  It was painful to walk.  I was in pain to sit.  The topical medication was not helping.  The pain medication was not helping.  The ice was not helping.  Nothing was helping.  I sat in my bathroom crying.  Not crying because of the pain, but crying because I knew I was not going to be able to run that next day.  I felt so much guilt and heartbreak in that moment. Guilt because I had raised $1550.00 for clean water for children in Africa and now I was not going to be able to run.  I started praying to God.  I asked him to help see me through these next 24 hours.  I prayed for healing, strength, comfort and peace that things would work out.  I started to think about all the times in my life that God should’ve left my side, but didn’t.  He had done so much for me and I knew he would not leave my side now.  Those couple weeks before I had let Satan fill my head with so much doubt and so many lies.  I needed to redirect my thinking.  I started thinking about God’s word and his promises that were put before me and God met me in that moment.  No, it wasn’t  a light shining down from heaven moment, but in his words I could feel comfort in knowing he is a good God and a merciful God.  His words were the reassurance I needed.

Matthew 11:25– Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.

Philippians 4:13– I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Isaiah 41:10– Do not be afraid, for I am with you.  Do not be discouraged for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Once I got myself back together.  I decided to call the Dr. and see if there was anything else she recommended that I could try to help with the discomfort.  When I say discomfort, I really mean excruciating pain.  She gave me a different combination of medication to try. Well, kid you not, within 2 hours, I was no longer having the intense pain I was having before.  I was still having pain, but not at the level I had been. I  was able to get up, get myself ready and even left my house to get some last minute things I needed just in case I felt like I could walk the half marathon in the morning.  That night I was able to sit down and enjoy an amazing Gino’s (Italian Restaurant, Kearney MO) carb-loaded dinner with family who had come in town for the run.  At bedtime that night, I laid my head on my pillow and thanked God for the relief I had felt mentally, emotionally and physically.  I still did not know what tomorrow would hold, but I had this overwhelming peace that things would be just fine.

I did not sleep much that night because I was so incredibly excited.  I had the medication timed out so that I would take another dose an hour before the run.  Well, I got up and got moving and before I knew it, we were in the Team World Vision Tent and the team was getting pumped up to run.  There were so many people there.  We were spilling out of the tent.  People were taking pictures, laughing and singing praise to God.  It was so exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  I stood there with such a happy heart!  I was so thankful to be there and see it all and be apart of it.  God was so incredibly good.

The race began.  I started out running.  I felt good.  My mind was so overcome by everything around me, that I forgot the pain I had been experiencing.  There were so many runners.  I think they anticipated 12k runners.  People from all over our country and other countries as well.  I was running through beautiful parts of KC that I had never even seen before.  There were so many spectators.  I could not believe the amount of support there was.  People cheering you on, even if they did not know you.  People giving you high-fives, volunteers handing out water and gatorade and the crazy amount of people holding “encouraging” signs, some of which I laughed out loud at.  Some read,

“Don’t complain, you paid for this”, “If Trump can run, so can you”, “You’re running all this way for a free banana?”, “Run, there is a Clown behind you”, “My grandma can run faster than you are”, “I’m sure this seemed like a good idea 4 months ago”, “Worst parade ever”, “On a scale of 1-10, you’re a 13.1”.

But the most encouraging part of the whole thing was the break off point where the marathon runners split from the half runners.  There in the middle of the road was a whole group of Team World Vision supporters and right is the middle were Maurine and Justine smiling, giving us high-fives and cheering us on.  I cried.  They were the very reason  I was running.  They were the reason that I signed up for this whole thing.  They were the reason I got up at 5:30 on my Saturday mornings to run.   They were the reason I ran when it rained and ran when it was 100+ with the heat index and ran when my feet hurt, and ran when I was tired, and ran when I had cramps, and ran when it was dark and ran when I was sick and ran when I did not want too.  They were the reason.  They were that push I needed to make it that last half of the run.  At that point I could start to feel the blisters on my feet that were forming.  I had not had one blisters that whole training until that day.  Really????  In that moment they were not bothering me that bad yet, so I kept pressing on.  I ran almost the entire race, something I thought I would not be able to do 24 hours prior to that.  I got to the 24 mile marker sign, which goes back to 11 miles for me. I was almost there.  I could feel my body ready to quit.  I started to get emotional that I was almost done.  I could see the finish line in sight!!!  I was almost here!

I had done it!!  I remember crossing the finish line, but do not remember hearing or seeing anything in that moment.  All I heard was silence.  It did not last long.  My vision came back first and I recall seeing our team captain Corey at the finish line with his camera.  I also remember what a struggle it was to fight back tears of joy and exhaustion.  The feelings I had were mixed.  I was immediately extending thanks to God that he carried me through the last 18 weeks of training and last 24 hours of the unknown and I finished.  I then thought of Maurine and Justine (2 sponsor children from Africa, who come to KC with TWV) that I had the privilege to listen too and meet just 2 days before, along with all the other faces we were running for from their country.  My next thought was of all of those who took the time to send encouraging words or donated to this amazing organization I was running with.   I thought about all of those who volunteered to set up water stations during our group runs, those who volunteered to gave us messages after our runs, those who took the leadership role for our team.  I thought about all the runners who commited with me to love out loud.  My last thought was sadness that it was all over.  That day was a whirlwind.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and has forever impacted it. So much so, that I signed up again next year!  Even better, I plan to run another 13.1 miles on top of the 13.1 I ran this year and run the full marathon.  But even better than that, I plan to double my goal bringing 62 children in Africa clean water.  I can’t wait!  I’m starting training NOW, lol!

I laid there in bed the night of the run thinking about the days events.  Not just that day, but the weeks leading up to it.  I also thought about both my past and the more recent times in my life.  All the things that were and weren’t going as I had planned.  And that was it.  The things “I” had planned.  I realized that while I believe and trust in God, I do not always trust him with every part of my life. That is a real struggle of mine.  I trust him with the things I want to trust him with.  The things I want to allow him to have control of in my life.  But that is not how it is suppose to be.  Training for this event, changed more in me then I ever thought it would.  It did not just change my heart about helping others in need in a country other than my own, it did not just teach me that it is ok to do things in fear, but it also brought a lot to surface in my own life and my own needs. The need to allow God to have more control of my life.  To give up my will for his.  I would say in that moment I decided to let God happen and not Crystal happen.  I still struggle everyday, but the difference now is that I see it and I don’t ignore it.  I am doing the best I can to Cast ALL my cares on God, not just some of them.  To God be the Glory!

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9 weeks in

Hey guys!  It has been quite some time since I wrote, so I thought I would take some time to update you on my training.

So, I’ve been training now for 9 weeks.  That is right, I have made it a whole 9 weeks.  I am half way through training, which means there are only 9 weeks left until the marathon/half marathon. EEEKKK!  With Team World Vision’s training plan,  I am getting stronger everyday.  The plan is far from over though.  I still have very tough days physically and mentally and I know as I continue to train it is only going to continue to get tougher.  I have learned not to look too far ahead.  The distance gets farther and farther with each week.  I only look at the plan one day at a time.  That way I am not dreading what is to come.  I have also enjoyed all the running because it has become a time that I can pray and talk with God.  I have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises during my early morning runs.  A huge source of motivation comes from listening to Air-1 radio and our team group runs on Saturdays.  But I know with the good, comes the bad.  My calves have been extremely sore since the beginning of training.  Sometimes so sore, it hurts just to touch them or brush up against something. I have also started to experience side stitch, which sometimes requires me to slow down to a walk for short periods of time and I can not leave out the fact that we are in the heat of the summer.  Temps are between the 90’s-100 +  with the heat index each day.   Some days when I get home from 9 hours of work and have a house to clean and laundry to do and dinner to cook, I don’t want to go run.  Some days I argue with myself, but then I look at my fridge and I am reminded why  I am doing this and that I must press on.

Meet Rachel

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Rachel is our sponsor child from Rwanda Africa.  I was introduced to her 2 years ago. Rachel lives at home with her mom and siblings. She is young girl who loves language and loves playing with balls when she is at school. Some day she wants to be a teacher.  Rachel is one of the many faces I run for.  Rachel and Team World Vision have no relation other than the Common Denominator of Africa.  Rachel is very dear to my heart and when I found out TWV was dedicated to bringing clean, safe water to Africa, I was without a doubt joining with them on this mission.

FACT:  Every day nearly 1600 children under 5 die from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene.

 

Friends this is a real issue.  I know you may not know me or ever will, but this has nothing to do with me.  Look at her face.  Look at her smile.  She is no different from you and I and deserves just the same.  She deserves the very same clean and safe water that we take advantage of every day.  Please join us and be part of the solution.

You can donate at http://www.teamworldvision.org/participant/crystalwilson

$50= 1 Life

Because every living being deserves clean water

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I use to be a runner 15 years ago.  When I say runner, I mean I was a sprinter on my HS track team.  I ran at the most the 400 meters in a track meet.  Otherwise, I was running the 200 meters and 100 meters.  The most I have ever ran consecutively was 1 mile.  So, for me to commit to running a 1/2 marathon means something must be really wrong.

Last year our church had the opportunity to participate on a running team for World Vision.   World Vision is known for many wonderful reasons, but this specific purpose was to raise money to help supply clean water to children in Africa.  I wanted so bad to be part of such a wonderful event, but my schedule that weekend didn’t allow for it.  Honestly, I was kind of relieved, because I knew I would never commit to it and did not want to let anyone down .  Well this year the opportunity came back up.  I had the chance to hear a gentlemen speak about World Vision and the cause.  He himself, ran all the way from LA to NY to raise money for the same purpose.  You read that correct, he ran from LA all the way to NY.  That’s west coast to east coast.  He told a story about a trip he took to Africa, where he watched a young girl (I think he said was around 7 years old) carry a 50 lb bucket 3 miles one direction and fetch dirty water from a river.  She then turned around and walked back the same 3 miles carrying that full 50 lb bucket back to her family.  This was not something she did once a week.  This young child carried that bucket 6 miles every day. Hearing that story broke my heart.   He then showed a video of those young children.  I was so overcome with emotion that I started sobbing, almost uncontrollably, in church.   I could feel this tugging at my heart.  It was definitely the work of the holy spirit because anyone who knows me, knows that is not something I would normally do.

So here I begin my journey, well our journey.  My wonderful husband has committed to do it too!  Last week I officially signed up and registered for the race.  Training does not technically start until Monday, June 13th, but I know myself and I know that I will need all the training I can get.  Craig and I actually began training last week, but with all the rain Kansas City had, we were limited on days we could run.  World Vision supplies you with a training schedule, so that is where we started.  Today is day 8 of our training.  Today I was motivated and excited.  It is already getting easier.  Matter-of-fact, we ran the same schedule as last week but 1 minute faster and and ran a further distance. I was also able to do a cool down at the end this time.  Another plus, I wasn’t crying at the end of the run 🙂   Those simple progressions were so encouraging.  I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow.

I committed to running the 1/2 marathon for my first year.  That’s 13.1 miles.  I still don’t like seeing those numbers!  Thinking about running that far still freaks me out, but I know my strength comes from the Lord,so I have faith that since He brought me to it, He will bring me through it.  My personal goal is to raise, $1550.00.  That gives 31 people clean water for a lifetime.  Every $50 gives one child clean water for a lifetime.  The donations go straight to Team World Vision.  I am asking for the support from others to help me achieve this life saving goal.  Every human young or old deserves clean water.

I will list my donation page below for support.  I will continue to post updates as the training continues!  Thank you for reading.  Cheers!

 

http://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=59686

*I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  – Philippians 4:13

New to the press

new

Hi All!!

I’m Crystal! Nice to meet you! I am a small town  girl who moved to the City! I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life and LOVE it! I might say something different when it’s snowing, but as long as I can look at it from the inside, I’m ok with it. I currently live in Kansas City MO with my amazing hubby Craig and our sweet fur child Nahla, aka Nahlababywilson (I’m sure you will get to know her well)!!  Those two are so very dear to my heart and make me a better person everyday!

I’ll be honest, I’m not a blogger.  Matter of fact, I’ve never even seen a blog-starting website until about 15 mins. ago. (It’s kinda scary). I have no idea what I am doing, but I am going to give it my best shot so I apologize now if this ends up tragic.

I went through a big portion of life thinking  I was alone in this battle.  Well, in the coming meetings I will dig deeper into my life as it was and currently is.  I know there are entirely too many people who feel as if they are alone in life. That is far from the truth! You see, I’ve been there…. Now, I know what your thinking… so let me rephrase that, Maybe not in that same exact situation, but I bet I’ve been close to it or thought about going there.   One thing I’ve learned through the years is that, Life is hard and it’s even harder alone. I’m not saying that you MUST have a spouse.  So get that thought out of you head.  What I am saying, is you’ve always had someone in your corner. You just may not know him yet.

Please continue to check me out. There are a lot of new adventures taking place in our life and a lot of old experiences I plan to share.

If there is one thing you get from this, Please know God loves you and you are not alone! This is how I know…

 

*For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16

*I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~John 14:6

*Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. ~Mark 12:30-31

*The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. ~Exodus 14:14

*Never will I leave you or forsake you. ~Hebrews 13:5