I’m not quite sure how the first four months of 2016 have come and gone so quickly, but here we are. The sun is shining bright, the average temperature is settling in the high teens and low twenties, I find myself carving out as much time as possible to be by the water, the Whitecaps and Jays now dominate my sports schedule (Canadian teams in the NHL Playoffs #fail) and summer plans are in full-force.
Although this has been in the works since the end of last summer, It’s been 6 months since I launched this “little” project. We’re officially at the halfway mark of the one-year framework in which I’m endeavouring to run 9 races in honour of the nine members of our family lost to cancer, take part in the Love Does Bike Tour down the California Coast, and raise $10,000+ for Love Does (formerly Restore International) by November of 2016.
When I decided to take steps forward to make this crazy dream a reality, I knew it was a huge risk. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in to. I didn’t know if this would “succeed” or “fail”, but simply felt the gracious invitation by God to join Him in this.
So I did. I jumped.
And it’s already been so good and so hard and amazing and meaningful in some ways I expected and in many I didn’t either. One of my favourite things Bob Goff has said is “when Jesus invites you on an adventure, He shapes who you become with what happens along the way.” When I took the first shaky step forward for this particular adventure, I didn’t know how God would use this to shape me and mould me and grow my heart for the people around me, for the work of Love Does, and all the ways He would draw me deeper into His heart too.
What I’ve been reminded of again and again? God seems far more concerned with the way we love and the people we become through the adventures than with the adventure/journey itself. I love that about Him – He’s far less concerned with what we do than who we are. He’s a God after our hearts. And, when our hearts come more alive in His love for us and are shaped more and more to love like He loves, that’s when our feet start to move and dance more freely towards things that reflect His heart.
- I’ve ran 4 races. One in pouring rain, one in freezing cold, one in thick fog, and the other in sunshine (welcome to Vancouver, folks). For Aunt Tina, Renaye, Uncle Rick, and Grandpa.
- I planned and hosted a fundraising Gala full of balloons and desserts and dancing and was absolutely blown away by the support of local businesses and my friends/community. It was my first attempt at throwing anything like that and the evening quite possibly stands out as one my favourites that I’ve lived so far – a tangible reminder that joy and whimsy and love are worth chasing and savouring together. And together, through that, we’ve raised just over $3000USD. (You can check out some photos from the Gala: here. Credit my good friend, Kevin Jacob)
- I’ve also had to rearrange my race and training schedule a bit due to chronic and increasingly severe migraines. I’ve had to wrestle through ideas of success and weakness and fight against the idea that I was somehow failing and come back – again and again and again – to the reality that this “project” was never actually about biking or running. This was, is, and has always been, about celebrating the faithfulness of a God who turns mourning into dancing, who sprinkles and saturates life with joy and hope regardless of circumstances, & about chasing, celebrating, and investing in proactive hope a world away.
Which means the Love Does Bike Tour is this month. 20 days away, actually. Say whaaaaatt?! Our team – from all around North America - is eagerly preparing to join together in California in a few short weeks and embark on this part of the adventure together. We’re training. We’re fundraising. We’re encouraging each other and counting down together. We’re praying for and anticipating God to do awesome things. We’re excited.