Monthly Archives: April 2020

April 15, 2020…Looking back – 7 years

As I sit here today, April 15, 2020, many thoughts go through my mind of how far we have come since April 15, 2013. While I was in the midst of this tragedy, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hard to imagine beauty coming from the ashes.

It reminds me of where we sit today in our new reality. I wanted to share this post once again for a couple of reasons – one, to honor those who were lost and affected by this tragedy 7 years ago and two, to share that there is hope in the midst of the chaos. God is good! God is faithful! He is close to the broken hearted! God has us and goes before us – we are truly in this together. I hope you are blessed as you read this.

Race times don’t matter…relationships do!

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Yesterday I stood right at the finish line! Today, I started my run at the start line looking forward to crossing the finish line.  Today looking at this photo brought sadness to my heart.

This blog will not cover much of my run but more about the ups and downs once I  crossed the finish line.   Yesterday there was joy in the air all around. Of course it is marathon weekend. 🙂  Boston is the oldest marathon in the nation.  It is the super bowl of runs.  Runners come to celebrate running and life as we travel from Hopkinton to Boston.

Little did we know that today it would turn from a happy, joyous event to an unimaginable tragedy.  I had a goal for my run…to finish but to finish with a certain time. Unfortunately, I did not make it.  But, that is all I know. I have not checked my time. I have not looked at my mile times.  I have not uploaded my race information.  It doesn’t matter.  It is not relative.  My race was put in perspective about 5-10 minutes after I crossed the finish line.

As I was walking through the corral – this is where I picked up my medal, a banana, a power bar and my blanket – once I picked up my medal I was headed to pick up my bag in a big yellow school bus.  As I headed that way I heard and felt a big boom. I turned around and saw a huge gray cloud of smoke right by the finish line.  At this time I bumped into one of my Team Hoyt members and said “what was that?” He responded, “I don’t know, but it can’t be good! I am going to find my wife.” (I can say all Team Hoyt members are accounted for and their families…we are all safe.)

At this point I realized Mike had a VIP pass to sit in the grandstand area next to the finish line.  That is where the explosion happened from what I could see.  This is when I went into panic mode and prayed that he was safe.  My phone was at 7% so I was trying to find him quickly.  He did not answer at least 3 phone calls and did not respond to 1 text.  I was frantic.  A photographer asked to take my picture…I couldn’t do it.  I was in tears.  I couldn’t find him.  Help me Lord! Help me! This span of time, which was no more than 20 minutes, was longer that the 3:30+ hours I was on the course.  Then he called, and we were literally 50 yards from one another.  I saw him first…ended the phone call…and ran to him and embraced him in a hug before he saw me.  My prayer had been answered.  God had provided both of us with a hedge of protection! We were both safe.  Boy, what a moment…much better than crossing any finish line EVER!

We headed quickly to the hotel and have been here watching footage ever since.  Tragedy, senseless, sad, evil…many other words can describe this horrific day.  A holiday in Boston…a family day…a day of typical celebration…a historical day…and now a day to ever be remembered by this tragedy.  Blemished!

BUT – 540519_10151450083784125_845468183_n

Faith has been present. People were responding in way that GOOD people respond.  They help people. They are selfless. They run and do what is right.  There were more of that today in the aftermath.  We have seen amazing stories of human nature at its best…even when the worst was shown today.

I don’t understand it. I am still in shock. It is surreal! But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt my GOD is in control.  I know Satan is fighting a battle on this earth and evil is real! But our Lord will win! But sadly, many will be hurt during the battle.

Friends shared these verses today….

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 91.1
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

Prayer and comfort is what we needed and prayer and comfort from so many is what we got.  Due to this tragic day, I have reconnected with many from years ago…I have heard from friends I have not been in touch with in a very long time.  My family has too. Mike and I are truly humbled by your love and support! We are thankful the Lord has blessed us with an amazing support team.

That is the support team that matters.  The relationships we form are God’s way of helping us through these ups and downs from our start to our finish.  The main relationship is the one with our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not always going to be an easy ride or run because evil is present.  But believe me, today as been easier because He is my Savior and my Father.  He brings me comfort and has allowed me to surround myself with people who do the same. God is good…all the time! Evil is not!

Here in Boston Team Hoyt is my family. We loved one another after it was over. We hugged one another with new appreciation of life.  We will continue to stay in touch and have yet another bond and story for Yes, You Can! We did live through this day that will forever be etched in our hearts.  We will forever be thankful we made it out alive and uninjured.  We are praying for those who did not.  Won’t you join us?

Race times don’t matters…relationships do! Hug your family, your friends, your kids.  Tell them you love them! You truly never know when you many not be able to.  And if you don’t know our Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior – don’t wait! He is the comforter, the counselor, the father and the SAVIOR!

John 3.16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10.9-10

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

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I do give Him the glory for today’s run, His hedge of protection and His control over the situation!  Thanks for letting me process this event and reading it.  I wrote from the heart and it may be jumbled…it has been a chaotic day and my thoughts are there too.  I am so ready to be home…Still running Blessed!

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For such a time as this…

Those of you who know me well, know that my faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life. This faith has led me on a very interesting journey throughout my adult life. Some people see living by faith as chaotic, random, or crazy. I tend to disagree. Faith is trusting that the Lord knows best for me and will lead me if I follow.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16.9

My life story is full of examples of leaps of faith or as some would say crazy/chaotic moments.

  • Move from Texas to California to work at a non-profit after being in education for 8+ years
  • Move from California to England to teach on an American Air Force Base
  • Move from England to Georgia to teach on an Army Base
  • Move from Georgia to live in Soddy Daisy, TN to date an amazing man I met ONLINE…without a job. (This one might have been a little crazy!) But, I married him. 🙂
  • Found a job at an amazing school with incredible people – started as a school counselor and then moved to PE teacher
  • After 18 years of avoiding the suggestions to be a principal, I started graduate school again to be an administrator
  • God opened the door for me to become principal at this amazing school who took me in when I moved to TN without a job
  • And now….for such a time as this…He has opened the door for me to lead and serve this school in a new capacity – as superintendent!

All I can say is GOD IS GOOD!

God has provided a Golden Opportunity as my devotional read today. This is today’s local paper from Dayton, where I work. His timing is spot on! Over the last couple of months, knowing this was a slight possibility, if God worked it out, I had a couple of God winks to let me know He was there.

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