If you know me well, you know my two love languages are: spending time and words of encouragement.
I’ve been packing for Mammoth and deciding what I need to bring and what I don’t need to bring.
I’ve set aside lots of clothes, kitchen items, furniture, mugs, etc.
But then, I come across letters.
One in particular spoke life to me this past year: my birthday letter from Katelyn Drury. It is a special letter to me. I’ll keep it for the rest of my life.
Katelyn and I have been on a journey together, from mentor-mentee, to close friends, to what feels like sisters.
For my senior year, she had a close friend of hers take a bunch of pictures of us.
Then, for my 22nd birthday, I got a sweet package of a frame with photos, a coffee mug, granola, and a letter.
In that letter, she breathed life and encouragement into me. She gave me permission to not always know, to sometimes be unsure, to be sad, to be happy. Then, she made a list of things she learned from me. And, every time I read the letter, I cry. Not just a few tears. Literally, I sob when I read the letter.
And, when I have felt so unsure and so discouraged this past year, I have re-read her encouraging letter to me; a letter filled with genuine love, encouragement, sisterhood.
My mom wrote me this note when I went to college. Short and sweet. And, it was a lifeline to me when I needed to be reminded of God’s grace. She told me she was proud, that I could do it, that she believed in me. I take the letter with me everywhere. It always gets pinned on my wall.
Then, there are countless letters and emails from my close, sweet friends, like Danielle (I can’t wait to be in your wedding friend), who got me through my really hard year in college, sweet Kelsey, one of my college roommates, and Kimmy, who loves me through words too. And, friends like Ariel, who I went to Nepal with; we reminisce and encourage. Then there’s Katy; we are brilliant at calls, texting, skyping, letter writing.
So, out of all things the things I can leave behind as I open a new chapter of elite running in Mammoth, letters will be the one thing that I have safely packed to remind of God’s grace, permission to rest, to be sad, to miss home, but also, to know I have a team and family backing me up and cheering me on. This is what God made me to do: run for His glory and shine His love to others doing it.