Kat Harris from The Refined Woman asked me if I would share my perspective on what “beauty is” over on her blog. Her series on what beauty is highlights the stories and perspectives of women that I have mad respect for. She’s redefining beauty and refining women. Love her heart and mission.
Here’s my perspective on what beauty is, but be sure to read more about what “beauty is” on The Refined Woman.
Beauty is faithfulness. We are quick to admire passion, but I’ve found that lasting beauty is rooted in faithfulness. Faithfulness requires commitment, resilience, perseverance, and steadfastness. To me, the most beautiful marriages are the ones that remain faithful, as opposed to passionate. Passion initiates, but faithfulness finishes. To me, the finish is a more genuine depiction of beauty than the start.
Finish lines have held a prominent significance in my life as a runner. In college I joined the Oregon State Cross-Country and Track team as a walk-on. I was passionate about competing collegiately at the Division I PAC 12 level, but had not proven myself. I never made the state meet for track in High School, my best times were nothing to write home about, and yet in college I was hoping to compete in one of the toughest conferences in the country! The Lord brought me from nothing to something, but not without a struggle.
It was faithfulness that brought me from humble beginnings, out of hardships, and to new heights.
My collegiate running career required physical, mental, and emotional endurance. I endured stress fractures, torn ligaments, tumors, plantar fasciitis , tendonitis, a fractured back, dozens of sprained ankles, and severe stomach issues which even resulted in a term off of school to get healthy. It took determined faithfulness to come back from every injury, sickness, and setback I faced. Each time the Lord called me out on my insecurities and lack of confidence, and He called me to remain faithful despite my circumstances.
There was a saying that I wrote on one of the walls in my room that read, “Be passionate to run, and faithful to race.” By faith and faithfulness, I ended up earning a scholarship, becoming the team’s fastest runner, team captain, winning races, setting a few records, and competing against runner’s I never thought I would.
Even with all I was able to achieve, my successes are not what’s beautiful to me, and neither are my struggles. People so often say, “the struggle is beautiful,” but I would argue that faithfulness through the struggle that portrays beauty. Beauty is the story of faithfulness.
My last race in college was quite possibly the worst race of my collegiate career. I could have easily called it quits and spared the embarrassment, but I chose to face it. During one of my first training runs back after yet another injury, I found myself asking God three questions:
Where might He be calling me FROM?
How might He be calling me OUT?
What might He be calling me TO?
I was called out, called from, and called to, more. The Lord was calling me from a place of doubt, calling me out on my lack of faith, and calling me to faithfulness. Faithfulness to finish. And so I was faithful to finish my last race, the most beautiful race I’d ever run.
So what’s running look like for me now post-collegiately? This past year I faced a broken foot, working a corporate America job, adjusting to life as a newlywed, living in Los Angeles, and waking up a 2:45 am everyday (yes you read that right) and admittedly my faithfulness to running went dormant. But recently the Lord has called me from this dormancy, called me out on my priorities, and called me to run. So for the first time in almost a year I’m running every day again. It’s not pretty, but I’m faithful. And in three months I will race.