Warm Up

by Maria Zeller

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I was nervous before my race. But that all changed after I prayed.

It was the second day of the Wyoming state track and field meet, and I was a nervous wreck. I could barely eat my breakfast that morning, and I had never been so nervous in all three years of my high school track career. I was one of the favorites to win the 2A girls’ 800-meter dash, along with Patricia. She had the fastest time of the season and was my main competition. If anyone was to beat her, it was me.

As I warmed up for my race on a nearby practice field, I silently prayed to my Father in Heaven for help with my race. I also thanked Him for all my blessings before silently closing my prayer. Saying prayers before my races had become a habit when I started racing in high school. I knew if I put forth my best effort, the Lord would extend a hand and help me.

I continued warming up but still felt nervous and sick to my stomach. A few minutes before my race, I fervently prayed again. This time I only asked the Lord to let me know that He loved me and that He would be there for me.

Almost simultaneously, I felt as if the Lord wrapped his arms around me and gave me a warm hug. Tears began stinging my eyes as the Spirit touched me. I realized that the Lord really did love and care about me. It was one of the most wonderful feelings anyone can ever experience.

I didn’t win the race that day, but I was taught an important lesson. I now know that God hears and answers prayers, and that He loves me very much.

Illustrated by Scott Greer