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Giving Yourself

By Jenni Lord

Have you ever been bone tired and yet every cell in your body was pulsating with electricity?


Maybe not… because it sounds like it makes no sense at all.

But this is exactly what I used to feel like after running marathons. Every time. I would lay down for a nap in exhaustion but couldn’t sleep because of the fire coursing through my veins.

At our recent event, that is what I felt like all over again. But I didn’t run a marathon. I oversaw the 10th Anniversary of Chosen’s Half Marathon & 5k and every part of my body was engaged — head, heart & soul.

Every cell throbbing. I couldn’t nap even though I was exhausted. I felt — alive.

Nothing taught me grit and endurance like running marathons. Marathon training was an incredible teacher of life lessons. Consistency and dedication pay off. I learned how to persevere, overcome obstacles, push through pain, and fight mental battles when I wanted to quit. The payoff of hard work brings reward and victory. God used that training to deliver big life lessons that have fed me in other aspects outside of fitness — spiritual, mental, and professional. Running thousands of miles gave me hours of prayer and time to talk with God. It gave me hours of dreaming and fighting battles.

I think a dozen years of running and training for races also built resolve in me. Quitting before the finish line of a race was never an option no matter how I “felt.”

I’ve always been a fighter. When I was a kid, my mom used to say that I would argue with God Himself even if He said the sky were blue. People told me that I would be a good lawyer someday. I entertained the idea but there was another fighter course marked out for me.

Parents, remember that a child’s bent can be shaped and trained for noble purposes — even the most difficult. What may be maddening as a parent, may be used for the greater common good one day.

The “fight” in me found a new righteous channel in college. When my new brother entered our hearts and home through foster care my freshman year, I began to see the inside cracks of the child welfare system. I saw how kids could slip through. That fight rose up in me wanting to make a change. A move toward seeking justice and defending the cause of the fatherless was birthed in me.

Fast forward about ten years and Chosen was “conceived.” I think the seed had been lying dormant since the fight was first awakened in college.

After running for too many years without flawless form, my hips finally said “enough” and I had to hang up the running shoes. It was a major loss for me. No gym time can replace the euphoric and spiritual highs that come from running. But I recently took up cycling and realized one thing I had really missed.

Giving my whole body entirely. Running requires every inch of you. The second I got out for my first ride, I realized that I could once again fully immerse my body in a new pursuit.

At our anniversary race with a couple thousand people, I was fully immersed in something that GIVES to others. Thousands of hours of preparation, sleep deprivation, high energy on tap and seeing scores of other people giving themselves wholly to benefit someone else. And I felt that full body fire again.

You see Chosen exists for someone else’s gain. We fight for justice in our children’s lives. We fight for healing and restoration of families. This is a fight worth fighting. Helping children overcome pain and adversity is a fight worth fighting. Our children are our future. Chosen’s work every day is to help children heal from trauma by strengthening their families.

By giving your very self — time, money, resources, prayers — you are making a difference in the life of a child.


If you want more parenting tips geared towards families impacted by foster care, adoption, and kinship care, please visit our resource library. If you need personalized trauma-responsive care for your family, we would love to help! Contact us to learn more about the ways Chosen Care can support your family.
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