Well hello! Welcome to Mobile Bay Runner!
I am Sam this blog will be about running (primarily) and my life on Mobile Bay with my husband, Daniel, and our golden retriever, Brooks.
Starting a blog is something that I have been thinking and praying about for a while now, and I definitely feel like it is something that I am supposed to do. I have always been a shy, introverted person, so sharing my story is something that feels very scary to me, but if the Lord can use me to have an impact on just one person, then I know that sharing my life and story with you here will be worthwhile.
I grew up in a small town in Alabama and was very involved sports. I started running my junior year of high school (the 800M), but tennis was my first love. I got more into running in college, mainly just as a way to stay active and fit. I ran a 5K, a 10K and eventually a couple of half marathons during my college career.
While training for my second half, my life was completely turned upside down. I went out for a run one Sunday afternoon in late November and the unthinkable happened. A stranger approached me as I was running, kidnapped me, raped me repeatedly, threatened me with my life, but ultimately let me go. By the grace of God, he let me go. Until this point in my life, I had a highly simplified world view that if you are a “good” person, “good” things will happen to you. Obviously random acts of violence don’t fit into this view. In the aftermath, I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and ultimately developed a full-blown eating disorder. I spent several weeks at an inpatient treatment facility going through extensive therapy in an effort to heal.
My recovery (from all of the things mentioned above) has been a continual, albeit gradual process over the last 10 years. It has been a beautiful journey, leading me closer to people and closer to God. I am a more humane person, to myself and to others. I am able to connect to people in a deeper way and I have a greater sense of purpose. God has a plan for me and for my life. Satan came for me, and God said no.
If not for these trials, I would have no frame of reference to comprehend God’s love, His mercy and forgiveness and ultimately His amazing grace. Every single one of us has a story and has endured trials. I would encourage you to never let the presence of a storm make you doubt the presence of God. You are in the storm for a reason and He is using them for His purposes (that we can’t fully comprehend in the midst of the struggle). Some storms are the result of living in God’s will. It is easy to get caught up in whether God “caused a storm” or “allowed it to happen,” but regardless, He USES it. The difference between where you are now and where you will be, in living out His perfect, ultimate plan for your life, is the storm that you have yet to endure.
We have to embrace our brokenness to heal. Being broken in one area can cause brokenness in other unrelated areas of our life. We become septic because we can’t compartmentalize our hurt. Wounded people try to hide their hurt, because they are afraid. We are prideful when we don’t admit that we struggle. So this is me, telling all of you, that I still struggle. A lot. I am a work in progress. I am NOT perfect, and it is okay! None of us are. Unfortunately, statistics show that 1 in 4 women have dealt with some sort of sexual abuse in their life. My prayer is that my story and this blog will give me a platform to reach someone out there who is struggling. Someone that needs to hear the good news.
Your body is not who you are. It merely houses who you are in this temporary, imperfect world. Satan may attack the temple walls, but when we are in Christ, the enemy can’t touch the treasures within. Know that you are a child of the King, beautiful, without spot or blemish, pure and undefiled, because Jesus makes it so. Hold you head up high, you are the bride of Christ, and it is He who is within you and beside you, and He who gives you great worth that nothing and no one can take from you. Not now, not ever.
I graduated with my masters in Tax Accounting and moved to lower Alabama (aka “LA”) in 2008 to start my first “real” job at a public accounting firm as a CPA. In 2009, I met my husband, Daniel (who is also a runner), and started running a little more seriously, as I began running with his training group. I added in a speed workout each week and saw huge improvements in my times. We got married here in “LA” on the bay in 2010. From 2010 on, we have both been steadily increasing our training intensity and weekly mileage. I ran my first marathon in 2011 and qualified for Boston! I ran Boston in 2012 and have done a few marathons since then, with the absolute highlight of my running career coming in January 2015 when I somehow managed to win the Rock-n-Roll marathon in New Orleans. I was on cloud 9 for days weeks after that race. Running is one of my passions and something that my husband and I share. We have made some wonderful friends through running. I am thankful to wake up each day and be able to run. It has been a long journey with lots of highs and lows, but my prayer every day is that God will use my story and my running for His glory!