Michelle Moore is a local high school Spanish teacher and a woman on a mission. For many years our paths have crossed in our church, but what consistently stands out to all that encounter this family is their strength in Christ and their passion for serving others. In the past couple of years the Moore family has encountered tremendous grief. Michelle is motivating me to finish the race we are all called to run while keeping my eyes set on Jesus.
I distinctly remember thanking God in September 2013 for my perfect life; which is funny, because no one’s life is perfect. But mine felt about as close to perfection as possible. I adored the man that I married 20 years ago. We had an amazing son and an incredible daughter who brought us so much joy and delight every single day (and they were teenagers – crazy, right).
Less than two months later and all I could sputter out to God was “why”? October 16th, we learned that my mom had an inoperable tumor. Doctors gave her 2 ½ years. October 29th, I found myself at the emergency room while they tried to resuscitate my sixteen-year-old son. He had gone out for a run and went into v-fib arrest. Three days later, we learned that he had zero brain activity, and we had to say good-bye as he left this earth and received his eternal reward in heaven. Eight short months later my mom also left this earth. I hope she followed my instructions – I told her to dance through the pearly gates!
Saying that the past year has been difficult would be quite the understatement, and I desperately wish that I could say I thrived, but that would be a lie. Some days I felt accomplished if I brushed my teeth and had on matching shoes. Other days I would smile and then immediately feel guilty. I didn’t know it was possible for someone to cry so much.
As the New Year approached and many people started making New Year’s resolutions, I knew that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me to make a list of things that I would start doing, or stop doing or do better. Then, I came across a new idea – someone had posted that instead of New Year’s resolutions, they had chosen a word for their focus for the New Year. A single word, not a long list that would leave me feeling burdened, but a word that would keep me focused. I considered a few – joy, peace, perseverance. Then, a few phrases came to mind – believing God, all things new and the one that He seems to be putting on my heart “running my race.”My son was a cross country runner, but his life was also a race. And, he persevered. He had a heart condition that prevented him from playing contact sports. That didn’t stop him from loving football and soccer, nor did it stop him from encouraging others who played those sports. He could have chosen to be bitter. He could have chosen to hate God. But he chose to run his race – the one that God gave him. And he chose to run it to the fullest. He didn’t understand why God chose this path for him. None of us did. But, he trusted God.
This last year, I have struggled with anger, bitterness, depression and jealousy. At times, I have forced myself to log out of Facebook, especially around the holidays to avoid seeing the happy faces of intact families. I don’t begrudge anyone their family, I just want mine back. The way it was in September 2013 – the mountain of laundry, the hectic schedule, the empty pantry, the dirty dishes, the smelly socks after one of his long runs. I don’t understand why God has put me on this path, but I can choose to trust Him and run the race marked for me. And that is my resolution. I am going to run my race and not compare it to someone else’s. Everyone’s race is different. Everyone’s race has difficulties. God doesn’t promise an easy race, but He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). As I run mine, I’m going to pray that you can run yours and run it wholeheartedly. Maybe our paths will even cross and we can encourage one another as we run alongside each other. If not, I look forward to seeing you at the finish line, when we both have completed our races!
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Joshua had a dream to become a minister and attend Harding University. His parents have set up the Joshua Kyle Moore Endowed Memorial Scholarship to help fulfill another student’s desire to spread the gospel. You can visit their Facebook page to find out more.