Things are a little crazy for those running races these days. Fortunately, for the runners on the Pequot Lakes cross-country team, they were able to take part in their season, succeed and make us proud.

There are a lot of question marks for students, teachers, parents and community members right now. As school just went to distant learning, there are greater responsibilities for parents, students and their teachers. Will they succeed? Will they manage it all?

What do we do when we are overwhelmed? Do we have hope? We need hope!

One thing we can do is find people to run this race with us. Who can be a mentor and encourager during these times?

When we have nowhere else to look, we can look up. A very encouraging verse in God’s word, the Bible, is: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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In these uncertain times, we do need hope. In fact, God’s word also says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Some places we can look for support in these times are: caring friends, qualified counselors and a church family. My church family is a place where I can be real, ask for prayer, give and receive support and friendship. Who knew we would be in the place we are today, with isolation and distancing?

However, our church and many others are online, and are still able to connect with each other through calls, text, messaging and other avenues. A little secret about our church? The pastor, Gary Espeseth, got the award in high school for the shyest in his class. However, with time in God’s word, prayer and strength from above, he is able to share a message of inspiration to help people through the week.

We can do things we can’t imagine otherwise with strength and hope that comes from looking up to God for help.

In the area of counseling, Lake Country Counseling out of Baxter has amazing clinicians that help children, teens and adults deal with many areas of challenge, from a faith perspective. Reaching out for help is not something to be embarrassed about. We truly need tools to deal with many things.

While running this race of life, we need support desperately. We can tell ourselves that caring friends don’t have time for us. However, we all need to take time to reach out and connect with people around us who will support us. It could be they need that phone call or message as badly as we do.

In fact, it may be a good thing to pray about who we can be reaching out to today.

We need to stay strong. God’s Word, the Bible, is described as living and active. Many times, I have opened the Bible and found just what I need for strength for the day. Psalms and Proverbs are books that give much encouragement and wisdom.

Listening to inspiring music can also make a huge difference. We need to feed our souls!

Today, if you are having difficulty running this race, reach out to God, a church family, caring friends or even a professional counselor for help. You are valuable. You can’t do it alone. There are people that want to be beside you. God can give you strength.

Carrie Espeseth is with Crosslake Christian Assemblies of God Church in Crosslake.