A New Strength

*Disclaimer: Tyler always reads and edits my posts before I publish but I took a risk to go ahead with this one before he approved. He is very modest and wouldn’t like for me to brag about him, but I can’t help it! I hope you, too, share my joy through this post.*

Tyler had his post-chemo appointment about a month ago. We told the oncology team how we were training for a half-marathon scheduled for September 30th in our beloved home state of Maine. They were wary that it would be a good idea for Tyler to run that soon after finishing chemo, warning that it would take at least 6 months for him to feel back to normal. We left that appointment promising that we would take it one day at a time and that Tyler would not push himself too hard.

Fast forward to today, 5:45AM. I get out of bed to see if my hip has stopped hurting from Monday’s run, an injury that led me to take Wednesday off from our training schedule. It’s still painful to jog so I crawl back into bed.

Tyler gets up and runs nearly 3 miles in under 30 minutes. Without me and without stopping.

It may not seem like much for someone who is training for a half marathon. We are about on par, maybe a little behind, with our 12 week training schedule. But for someone who is not supposed to feel back to his normal self for another 5 months… it’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?

Tyler and I are not runners. In fact, before July, I’m not sure either of us could remember the last time we had gone for a run.  Tyler prefers cycling and I love interval training. Out of the two of us, I have always been the more diligent about my workouts.

Yet Tyler is kicking. My. Butt.

I am so proud of my husband. He is dedicated to training and working really hard to stay motivated and push through the doubt and discomfort that comes so easily in running. He works long hard days, comes home to spend time with me then drags himself out of bed and onto the pavement in the morning. No excuses.

Not to downplay his incredible effort, but I have to think there’s a little more going on here. I’m beginning to wonder if God’s making a statement through Tyler (and maybe using my injury and weakness to highlight it even further). I can’t stop thinking about this verse:

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

It seems like the most cliché verse to apply to a post about running but I just can’t leave it alone. Tyler is living this verse. He is not supposed to be running and soaring high. His body is supposed to be healing and slowly going back to what it was before cancer.

Instead, he has found new strength. A strength that he has been fighting for since March. A strength that God blessed him with through his complete trust in God’s plan. He is not back to his pre-cancer self. He is stronger.

Last week we had a new couple in our small group and we had to give a quick synopsis of Tyler’s diagnosis and treatment. As we were walking to our car that night, Tyler said to me, “I keep saying God was faithful through it all but I can’t help but wonder if it would be so easy to say that if things hadn’t turned out so well.”

I reminded him that there was a time when things weren’t turning out so well. When the lump became a tumor. And then the tumor became cancer.  And then the cancer spread. And the chemo kept going.

Tyler kept trusting. He knew God was faithful, even when he was scared. His faith made him strong.

And now he’s running and not getting weary.

Praise God!!

(I can’t wait to brag to the doctors at his next appointment :))