Keep on Truckin'
By Shirley A. Reynolds
"Mama, mama," my daughter yelled, as she tore through the front door with a handful of papers in her hand. "Mama, read this. Please sign an okay for me to be a part of the track team."
I looked into her eager face, and saw the desire to be a part of one of the schools' most well-known track groups. I knew she wanted to be on the team, but I looked at her size and her weight, and I didn't know how to say that I thought she couldn't make the team. But, I looked into her eyes, saw her desire and said, "Of course, I'll sign it."
For weeks, she worked out after school with the instructor, and the day came for her first track meet. She was dressed in red shorts and wore the red and black emblem of the school's name--The Knights.
Her father, Ken, and I sat on the first row of the bleachers with other proud parents. I was mentally praying every moment... "Dear God, make her legs strong and her lungs to breathe right. She is so small Lord. Smaller than all the others on her team. Run beside her Lord, and help her this day."
It was almost time for the race to start, and the bleachers were full. The pep team was going through their cheers, and people were clapping and generally overcome with joy.
The Knights were in the first round, and the opposing runners were setting up their places.
Wendy moved out to her spot along with the other runners on her team, and stared into the face of the director. She held a flag up and told the runners to get ready, set, and go.
A rush of bodies began to pace themselves on the oval track. Wendy was running well behind several others. Then more than halfway around the track each person picked up their pace and began to run the course.
We parents were cheering at the top of our lungs for our children.
On the second time around, I saw that Wendy was losing ground. She seemed to be slowing down, and I could tell her breathing was labored.
"Oh God, please help her to just finish," I prayed.
After the seventh circle around, my daughter was at the back of the group, but she was still running.
One by one, the runners crossed the finish line and were given their ribbons in order of one, two, and three.
Wendy was still trying to make her way around the circle without giving up. She was so far behind, but she was still making her way.
People began to stand and they started to clap together, urging her to make it to the finish line.
As she came down the last leg of the track, I could see her chest heaving. Tears ran down her face and her legs seemed to move like rubber.
I hadn't noticed, but then I saw my husband making his way down to the finish line.
He slowly knelt on the line and stretched out his arms as he said, "Honey. Keep coming. Your Daddy will catch you. Don't give up."
I saw Wendy's face smile and heard her yell. "I'm coming Daddy."
"You're gonna make it," he yelled.
Then people around me began to chant, "Come on girl. You are going to make it."
Then... Wendy collapsed in her daddy's arms.
The whole place cheered and yelled for my daughter.
That's just like God, isn't it? I don't know how many times he has said to me, "Keep on trucking, your father will catch you. You're gonna make it someday."
Copyright © 2013 Shirley A. Reynolds. Used by permission.
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Shirley Reynolds is a freelance writer living in Boise, Idaho, and has been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, Bible Advocate, Now What? and many other magazine publications. You might find her riding her ATV through the back country, or walking beside a quiet stream. She loves to photograph animals and nature. On Sunday morning, she teaches a group of elementary children.
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