Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:1–2

My best friend was a runner. Like, God built her aerodynamic. The competition just had no chance. She was always trying to get me to run with her but, because of my obvious love for everything unhealthy, I never would. The passage above from Hebrewa was her favorite. She had it everywhere. I always made fun of her for it, like, “OK, Evette, we get it. You run. Calm down.”

On July 12, 2015, she was killed. At that point, I had struggled with suicide attempts and depression. By the grace of God, those trials, those giants in my life, had been overcome. But this was something else. I broke that day. All the questions, all the doubt, all the anger, all the pain, all of it came flooding in. What was left was the weary heart of a 19-year-old kid angry at God. His promises, his love, his grace, all made small from that situation. At that moment, I was at a pivotal point in my life and in my faith. Depression came back, and with it came thoughts of suicide, as well. So it was either death or fully enveloping myself in his love.

July 12, 2015, Evette went to her true home. She was always trying to get me to run. I’m not putting New Balances on, but I’m enduring and running the race set before me. There’s not a day that it doesn’t hurt, and how this fits into God’s eternal plan, I may never find out. But God’s promises stay true.