I didn’t want to let today pass without memorializing such a special day. Twelve years ago, the idea for Chosen was conceived. On the start line of another inaugural race — the San Antonio Marathon — in 30 degree weather with 30,000 people around me, the buzzing air suddenly went silent as I had this crazy thought… what was I doing this for? Five months of training for what? Vanity? Me time? Perhaps, there could be a higher purpose. I could be doing this for something I believed in. Like adoption. Like helping children who needed safe, loving homes find a place of healing.
For my first 13.1 miles, running for two hours and fourteen minutes (I was slow!), my friends and I talked about — what would it look like if we could run a race for someone else’s benefit?
Leading up to November 16, 2008, I had sang & prayed countless times on training runs, “You’re the God of this City” by Chris Tomlin. I didn’t know Chris, but it was my heartbeat, song, prayer and declaration over our city — I asked God to use me to that end. For the next six weeks, the Lord was relentless with me — answering through prayers, dreams and wise counsel.
A race for adoption — my wild idea — with zero nonprofit, child welfare, or event planning background. I set about dreaming, planning, and turning over lots of rocks.
Less than two years later, at the Chosen Marathon for Adoption, runners lined up at a start line that we drew on the ground. More than 1,000 runners came to run for someone else’s victory. It was a miracle of epic proportions. About six volunteers pulled off this incredible feat — we fired a fog horn and sent runners down a dark hilly road just before dawn. I will never forget that scene. A dream that was conceived came to be — bigger than I could have ever imagined. We raised $100,000 and gave it all away to fund adoptions. In spite of an economic recession. In spite of zero fundraising experience. In spite of my naiveté.
In the kindness and mercy of the Lord, our mission has evolved into what it is today. As we recognized a massive chasm in the call to care for the most vulnerable, the Lord urged us towards discipling families, walking alongside to heal the hurt. YOU are a tremendous part of this evolution, and I can’t let this day go without extending my deep gratitude. I am truly in awe of what God has done through your hands and feet.
I look around my office and see pictures to remind me of family, children, fortitude, encouragement, and being rooted in Christ. What God has done in twelve years is truly astounding. Children counted by God — in families. Remaining in families because of your work. Marriages restored. Brokenness redeemed. Ministries birthed. Family esteemed. Pain healed.
The twelfth year biblically has significant meaning. It represents governmental authority. Pray with me that God reveals His perfecting word and guidance as we enter year 12. And please above all else — join me in giving Him great thanks and praise for all HE has done in the past twelve years.
This week, we travel to Nashville to meet with Chris Tomlin & his team as we continue planning our national expansion. Who but the Lord could write such a phenomenal story?
As we enter into this new year, I ironically found myself in the middle of Bob Goff’s book, “Dream Big.” I sense the humor and wink of our great God. We will not despise small beginnings, and we will look to the Author and Perfecter of our faith to see the unfolding of His dreams locked in our hearts. May we see them manifest before our eyes, just like a crazy race idea from twelve years ago to His utmost glory.