Faith and Fun + The Mercy Marathon – Part III

Faith and Fun + The Mercy Marathon – Part III

If you haven’t yet read Part I.  Click HERE.

If you haven’t yet read Part II.  Check it out HERE.

While preparing to write this post, I took the time to scroll through my Nike App and find the run I did with Linnette.

It was on 1/21/14.

In January of this year, Linnette planted a seed.

It laid dormant for a month.

And then on Saturday February 22nd, one month just about to the day, I ran a half marathon.

Cowtown to be exact.

Now you have to remember that I’m not fast.

I’m not trying to make or break any kind of personal record, nor am I trying to be the first (or second or third) across the finish line.

I’m just trying to finish.

So I make it my business to enjoy myself when I run.

If you have followed me on Instagram for any amount of time, you will recall, that I “snap my way” through my races.


I try to break up the monotony of running for 2 to 3 hours with taking in the scenery and sharing some of what I see with others.


Even better than the scenery?  The encouragement.  There are tons of people I have never met that make it their business to clap, cheer, shout encouraging words, and share smiles.



And right about the time I’m wondering why in the world I decided to sign up for this dumb race, there’s even a person or two who makes me laugh as I make my way through the city streets.


13.1 miles is long. It was hard. It was challenging.


But I didn’t do it by myself. I had encouragement from strangers along the way.


And I finished my race.


One month later, again almost to the day, I ran yet another half marathon.

Because I’m just dumb like that.

There was more encouragement, more clapping, more strangers cheering me on.



But there was one sign that got my attention like no other sign had.  I read it and it resonated with me in a deep place.  Even while I was running I found myself tearing up.  The message of that sign made me want to cry.


When I instagrammed that post, the caption read, “Run like I stole something? No problem. Operation #stealmylifeback currently in progress. #battleofmylife #fatdemon #halfmarathon #running.

You see, my running is not just some random hobby I’ve picked up because I have nothing else to do with my time.  Running is…

…a part of my weight loss journey

…the ability to have a goal in my life that I get the satisfaction of completing

… the wonder of having a sense of accomplishment

…the beauty of remembering that I am a strong, capable, and able woman.

Running is a part of my journey in stealing my life back.

Somewhere in the course of my life, I forgot to celebrate my life.

…maybe it was the shame and guilt of being a teen mom.

…maybe it was the isolation of being mother of young children and being the wife of a husband who traveled a lot.

…maybe it was in the busyness of my days but the lack of sense of really accomplishing anything worthwhile

Somewhere in the course of my life, I forgot who lived inside.

I looked in the mirror one day and didn’t recognize the girl staring back at me.


But you need to know something.

As a teen mom, there were family and friends who supported me and helped me to get on my feet.

As a single working mother, I had scholarships to finish school and opportunities to enjoy a successful professional career.

As a mother of young children, there were people in my life, books, conferences, and resources that affirmed my value as a mother and a wife.

As a woman who didn’t recognize herself in the mirror I had a friend who came along to kickstart my weight loss journey.

Then I started running.




And through all of those months of running, that conversation with Linnette has been nagging me. The seed she planted has not wanted to lay dormant

All of those wonderful people in the races and their encouragement watered the seed.

That “steal my life back sign” and the bigger idea watered the seed.

The realization of how blessed I’ve been to receive encouragement along my journey has watered the seed.

There are lots of people who need help.

Linnette recognized that there were people who weren’t necessarily going to get the scholarships, resources, or encouragement to steal their own lives back without help.

Just like all of those strangers stand at the side of my race routes and encourage me along the way…

Just like Linnette encourages young girls to choose life for themselves and their unborn children…

I want to encourage too.

I want to help and I figure that my running  journey could be a way for me to do just that.

Yes. I’m running for me.

But how can I run for others who need help? How can I run for another girl or young woman who needs to remember – or even just to know – that they are strong, capable, and able to steal their life back too.

My next “Mercy Marathon” post will tell you exactly who I’m running for and how you can help.

But here’s my question for you today.

What have you forgotten about YOU?

What do you need to remember about your own gifts, talents, and abilities.

What do you need to remember about who you are and the person God created you to be?



I know I’m not the only one who has gotten lost in a sea of bad choices, loneliness, or the busy lives that our culture pressures us to live.

But just because you’ve been lost doesn’t mean that you have to stay that way.

I want to help.

And I want us to help each other.

Today, ponder these verses and pray about what you need to remember.

Who are you?

Who did God create you to be?

What has gotten in the way of that?

What weight – literally or figuratively – do you need to shed in order to recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! Psalm 139:13-14a (MSG)

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7 (ESV)

I know some of you won’t know the answers to some of those questions.

And that’s OK.

You don’t have to know all the answers.

That’s why prayer is so important.

So today, let’s pray and

…ask for God’s help – for ourselves or for another.

…ask God to help us remember or discover who He wants us to be.

…ask God to help us and/or to send help so that we can shed the weight that is holding us back.


It’s a beautiful thing to see women praying for each other.

So here we go…

As always, feel free to pray about A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G

But if you are helped by having a topic to focus on for prayer…


Again… feel free to pray about anything that concerns you.

But if the topic of  “remembering” resonates with you, pray in that direction.

Help spread the word!

If you are new to our prayer on Fridays or need a little refresher here are the details…


1) Post YOUR prayer.
First, scroll to the end of the post to find the section for comments.  Keep scrolling to the end of the comments to find the empty box where you can leave your prayer request. Click “Post Comment”.

2) Pray for someone else.
Then, look above you in the comment thread for the person who posted just before of you.  Hit “reply” and pray for them.  That way we make sure that everyone gets covered!

Please don’t feel insecure about your ability to pray for another sister or feel that her request is above your spiritual “pay grade.” Just pray with your heart.  God hears. He works with the words that we have and then He takes care of the rest.

3) Post your pic!
Make sure we can “see” you! Go to so that others can see your face in the comments! (It’s easy! Just click on the green button labeled “Get your gravatar today” )

4) Pray more
Once you have left your prayer request and prayed for the person above you, if you have a few minutes feel free to reply and pray for any other comment/prayer you see in the thread.

By | 2016-12-05T17:54:10+00:00 September 5th, 2014|Faith, Food & Fitness|11 Comments
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  1. Sharee September 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Happy Friday!! First and Foremost I didn’t comment last week because I was Honeymooning(I married the Love of my life) however I did remember this group in Prayer. The topic today is Awesome and I thank you for that Chrystal for I too have forgotten who I am, for so long I have been my Families Go-To Person for EVERYTHING and just last week as I was saying my vows to my Husband I thought,Oh my what’s my family going to do now, caring more about them than about me and it was like the Holy Spirit whispered to me, It’s time for you to live for YOU!! That statement is a scary one for me because my Entire adult life I’ve carried burdens, fought fights and fixed stuff that had absolutely NOTHING to do with me, now I have to just Drop it All because they are No longer my main concern, my Husband is!!
    Please pray that GOD will continue to bring those things that He has called me to do Back to my remembrance and allow my family to realize that I’m married now. Thanks and GOD Bless!!

  2. Gillian September 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Chrystal , You are telling my story. So many of the things you are sharing I can Identify with. Teen mom at 19, married at 27 and divorced 9 years later. Raising two daughters as a single mom, and I had a sense God is saying in that time of healing , come follow me. Left a job in the “white house” of our government to follow God, raise those two girls. Found myself working for God at a Crises pregnancy centre, also working with street children and later on with orphaned an vulnerable children. Raising them two girls along….Jesus and me.

    In the midst of that He blessed myself and my two girls with another girl aged 4 at the time who’s mom contracted HIV and has since died. Christelle is 13 now. 10years on this faith journey with God, He allowed me to get married again…….breath Gillian (lol) Turned 50 last year, played the Beyonce song I was here , as my challenge for the new season. Then Chrystal came along, and I am S T R E T C H E D even more. Please continue to keep me in your prayers . I want to LIVE ME now. Your before pic is me, and I no longer wanna carry that weight around. Thank you Chrystal, keep doing you so that I can do me !!!

    • Pam September 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      Gillian, I am praying for you, for your family, and for your commitment to live a changed and healthier lifestyle for you and for them. May The Lord give you the courage and endurance to persevere through the difficult times and see His hand carrying you as you continue to obey His Spirit’s nudging you each step of the way. I also pray God will bring other sisters alongside you to encourage and support you when you need it most.

  3. Pam September 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Remember . . . After a trip to my hometown last week and stumbling on an old video yesterday of my now 18-year-old when she was two, I have been fraught with remembering. Remembering that girl who set out to serve Jesus full-time and leave her family and best friend behind in favor of following a calling. Remembering the joy of early marriage and new parenting. Remembering when the future stretched out ahead with so much hope and possibility. As I have posted here before, my marriage is in a dry and stagnant place. I struggle daily between hope and despair, remembering the hope from the past and despairing what makes up my present and undetermined amount of my future. Broken promises, outright lies from my husband and never feeling like I was worthy of fighting for have left me disillusioned and running to my Savior for solace, for refuge, and for sustaining grace amidst it all. Please pray I remember that girl with big dreams and a big heart for God’s kingdom. Please also pray I will find a way to make money editing and proofreading from home, so I can comfortably homeschool my teenagers while my husband remains underemployed. Our finances are extremely tight, and my skills could ease that immeasurably if I could garner freelance projects from home again. Thanks!

    • Katheryne September 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Glory to God. Heavenly Father, You are worthy of our full attention and our purest praise. You have done marvelous things in our midst. You have sustained us through so much. You have given us a spirit of adoption, so that we can, with full assurance of the truth that You are our Father. You know everything about us. You know everything that we need. We are safe and secure and can rest in this knowledge. Thank You for Pam and her heart to seek You in the midst of a very difficult season. Her courage is a testament to Your faithfulness. Father, I pray that my sister gains new strength today. When we are the weak, You are strong. She needs Your strength now. With the blessing of her marriage and children, she is in the throws of a struggle. Your Word is true. And Your Word says that You know the plans that You have for her. They are not for harm, but for good! Your promises never break. Please give her a calm in her spirit as she waits for You to act in her heart and her home. We look to You and You alone for all of the solutions and resources that we need. Father, provide her with solutions and sight to see those resources. Thank You for hearing us. Make us more like Your Son, Father. Make us more like Jesus, so that we can hear You more clearly. In His precious Name I pray, together with my sisters, Amen.

      • Pam September 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Katheryne!

        • Katheryne September 7, 2014 at 5:14 am - Reply

          You’re welcome, Pam!

  4. Katheryne September 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    In obvious and even some less obvious ways, God has been helping me to remember who He created me to be, and I want to thank Him for that today.

    • Ashley Herds September 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Our Heavenly Father, I pray that you continue to remind Katheryne who she was created to be and if, she forgets please quickly remind her.


  5. Ashley Herds September 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for this blog. I ask that you help me find myself. I ask that once I’m found that I will never stray or pretend to be someone else just to please someone else. I ask that you help me accept who I am.

    Thank you Father. Amen

  6. Angela Terilli November 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    While searching for a pic of the 2014 Dallas Marathon T-Shirt, I ran across your picture and decided to check out your site. I loved your story and enjoyed your humor. My 31 year old daughter, Gigi and I are running the Dallas Marathon next month. (God willing!). While doing 16 miles on Sunday, I began to have serious doubts as to whether or not I was cut out for this. I got sick, light headed, my lips turned white and my feet were killing me. (Turns out I didn’t drink enough water) I think reading your blog and seeing all the pictures of other people just like us, accomplishing their dream, goal, etc, has restored my hope in finishing a marathon. Plus, I really want one of those 26.2 stickers for my car!

    I hope we run in to you Chrystal! I am a Christian also and plan on praying for the persecuted church while running 26.2 miles. Thanks for your story and I wish you all the best on December 14. Oh, we are going to my sister-in-laws’ restaurant after the race. We would love to meet you. It’s Terilli’s on lower Greenville! We can do this!!!!!

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