Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Marathon and Magnificent Blessings!

"The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance."
Psalm 16:6 - NKJV

Race Day - The Dorans, Nicole's sister Dot and Nicole's niece Ashley

This is Part Two of Three of my sweet friend Nicole's amazing testimony of how God blessed her through a 40th birthday gift and her family's obedience. Click here to read part one.

It's hard to believe a few months have passed since we arrived safely home to Southeastern Pennsylvania after an richly blessed time in Nashville for the Team Toby Mac at the Nashville Rock-n-Roll Country Music Marathon. Even more astounding is just how the Lord blessed us. When He called us to this journey a few months ago, it was clear that our "reward" would be to attend a Pasta Party, Private Concert, and Finish Line Party with Team TobyMac and Powered by Hope and (maybe) get to talk with TobyMac himself.

Yes, those events were fun and rewarding! But even more were the abundant and incomprehensible blessings we received. Truly, I am still not sure if we were called "to bless" or "to be blessed" because THAT is what we experienced! For a few short days, we experienced a slice of heaven, and the love of Christ was poured out on us like no other time in our lives, by brothers and sisters in Christ, and by Christ himself. It was one of those times that words can never really give justice to all the little details that added up to one huge blessing after another. Our Lord met us there...fully and completely affirming His calling to us to "run".

The Starting Line

We arrived late Wednesday morning after a safe and peaceful overnight drive. We were unable to check-in to the hotel so we spent some time at the Opry Hotel and sightseeing in the Opry Complex. On the way to the complex we received an email from Team TobyMac: 

"Congratulations! You are fundraising Rock Stars. 
You've qualified for the private Brunch."

(Deep breath) WHAT?!?!?!?! We thought we needed to raise $4000 to qualify for this event. Nope, less! As of that moment we had raised $3500. 

Blessing #1. We would be able to attend a small Brunch on Friday (about 50 people from our team) which TobyMac and his Wife (Amanda) would host and spend time talking with each of us.

Thursday was our expo visit and race packet pick-up day. We picked up our packets and proceeded to browse the expo. I had wanted to look into compression sleeves for my lower legs since I'd been having the issues with shin splints. The manager of the booth suggested I go with a full compression sock instead (after seeing my lovely varicose veins). 

Blessing #2. These would prove to be the best gear purchase I've made thus far. You see, if you’ve ever been to Nashville, then you know that Tennessee is rolling hills. Hills equal tough on shin splints. I finished the ½ with no pain…Praise God!

Thursday night, while ironing clothing for Friday's events, the door to my room opens and in walk my niece, and unofficial coach, Ashley! (Deep breath) What?!?!?!? She had registered weeks before to run with my my pace! Wow! She is a three-time tri-athlete, and she would humble herself to a slower pace with her dear 'ol aunt! 

Blessing #3. I could have run alone, but I didn't have to. Thank you Lord!

Blessing #4. My sister, Dot, decided to join us in the race as she celebrated her 50th birthday! She ran with Bob and the kids.

On Friday we were scheduled for the brunch, New Hope Academy Tour, the Pasta Party, and the Team TobyMac Concert.....

Visit again soon for Part Three of Three of Nicole's testimony!

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