The Legend of the Great Toenail

A few months ago, I decided to attempt to run a half-marathon. It was a moment of insanity; some crazy impulse to do something great.  As I get closer to race day, I’m realizing that 13.1 miles is WAAAAAAAY too long to walk, skip, hop, or jump on one leg, much less try to run! It isn’t exactly fun for me, but I’m learning a lot about myself.

Last Sunday, my sister-in-law and I ran/jogged/walked 8 miles. Around mile 4, my feet started to hurt. A lot. I could feel blisters forming on my toes, and my heart sank as I realized that I had to run/jog/walk 4 more miles! *sigh*

When I got home, I noticed that my great right toe hurt worst of all. Monday I decided to wash off my toenail polish and face what was underneath: a creeping blackish blueish nastiness. My worst fear was realized. My toenail is going to fall off.


As I walked back from getting my hair cut today, I couldn’t stop staring at the ugly toenail that invaded my flip-flops. All because I wanted to do something good for myself. Now I’m left with a dead toenail and constant throbbing in my shoes every time I run. And for what?!?!

My journey to SA was kind of like this race. I never exactly wanted to go to Africa. However, when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to go. All of the time leading up to the actual trip excited me, terrified me, and prepared me.

I traveled to Africa very American. My heart desired to help others. God has definitely been preparing me for something great. But my mind wasn’t there yet. There was so much that I wanted to do. For myself. I realized that I am a very selfish person. Every decision I make is for the good of myself or my family. Then I experienced Africa.

A bruise started spreading across my American ego. It slowly crept along the edges while I was in Africa, but since I’ve been home it has begun to invade my center. My selfish lust is starting to peel off, little by little. Like my toenail. It is going to take a long time to fall off. In fact, it may never totally fall off. But the process has begun, and there is nothing that I can do to stop it. However, underneath lies something fresh. Something new and uncharted and great. I wish that I could just bypass the bruise and jump to the “new me.” Start a new chapter of my life.

But I can’t just yet. So I run on….


  1. this analogy is amazing.
    if you figure out how ot jump to the new and skip the nasty black toes, let me know....
    and errr... yuck about the toe! :(

  2. I cannot believe you just pulled off an analogy between toenails and a changing self! HA! You're amazing:)