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. – Hebrews 12:1
I am sitting here in awe of the day…of the year, really. It is not always easy to run the race set before us, but now more than ever, I appreciate the metaphor. Our Thanksgiving Day fun run to benefit The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research is drawing closer, and the article that landed on my front porch today from our local paper made it feel more real than ever. I am so proud to be a part of it…to see the hopes and dreams of two mamas who connected over a common struggle materialize and gain momentum. But as we were being interviewed for the article, I realized that we share something much bigger, much broader than PWS. It goes beyond that community and into every home, every heart.
Not many people live with PWS, but all of us are running our own races and fighting our own battles. In my heart of hearts, I don’t even think mine is harder than others. It’s just different. I have friends fighting cancer, unemployment, moves, losses…life can be hard. But it is in those very challenges that we see most clearly the cloud of witnesses. We rally for each other in our vulnerability and lean into the endless supply of love that pours over us.
But more than anything, the beauty of this passage to me is that it invites us to run unhindered…reminding us that the race is already marked out for us and littered with blessings and help. When we become entangled in fear or exhaustion, we draw strength from hope and prayer, but also from friends, family, neighbors, and kind strangers. It is remarkable and exciting and contagious!
While I want so much for this race to raise awareness and funds to help us find treatment for PWS (because, oh my goodness, it feels so close!!), what I really want most is for us to join forces in celebration…to bear witness to each other’s struggles and joys, and to run with perseverance together. Not just on Thanksgiving, but everyday.