With a friend in a kitchen on a Sunday afternoon

I was attending church in midtown Atlanta at the time and realizing more than ever before that I lived my life as a sprint. Try this thing today. But I will be tired of it by tomorrow. And that thing yesterday but I’m done with it today.

I was so convicted by the fact that life is a marathon. Not a sprint.

When I got home I saw my roommate, Kara, and told her this. That I thought I need to run a marathon to really learn the lesson for the long haul.

That conversation took place about five years ago, and to date no marathon has been completed. Five years later and so much has changed: my residence x 7, my roommate x a few, and my city x 3 or so. What hasn’t changed is that nagging thing inside that says life is the long haul, the journey, and I haven’t learned that yet, and a marathon will help.

I am now living in NYC… Enter She’s the First. This nonprofit sponsors girls’ education in the developing world so they can be the first in their families to graduate. I got connected through a friend through twitter through a meetup and here we are, volunteering and learning more and more about the need to educate girls around the world.

So girls need an education? And I need to run a marathon? Bam. Something like that happened and it came together; I want to do something meaningful, something bigger than me, something God-sized and see Him do it. So how about run 26 miles to sponsor 26 girls?Image

Girls like Jarana, a fourth grade student in Nepal who will be the first in her family to pass 10th grade. When you see these faces and learn these names and let your heart start to care you get a glimpse of what can happen when a group of dedicated individuals come together.

Which is why I am completing a marathon. Being able to go 26.2 miles is not something that happens overnight. And neither is sending girls to school in Nepal. It takes time, months of effort, creativity, exhaustion, frustration, patience.

I also talked my friend Brooke into it. Read more about that from my sweet friend Abby here. And my roommate Tammy is running it, too. So we have a tribe — but this tribe is all the people who are supporting the girls in Nepal one $26, $75 & $300 donation at a time. The people who “like” our Facebook statuses and comment on Instagram. Who text, gchat, cheer, ask about it. And the people who will be on the sidelines cheering, passing out water, holding up posters, crying buckets with me if I cross the finish line. It truly does take a village and the reality of that is both moving and humbling.

ImageI spoke with Kara last night and remembered the times we had. I also shared this with my friend Sarah five years ago, so the marathon thing for this non-runner wasn’t totally off base when I saw her last month. Sometimes the journey just takes five years to come around, and then hours and hours of pounding the pavement to make it to the start line.

Learn more and get involved here. Thanks, truly, for everything. -EL

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