Lucy Van Dalen

Lucy Van Dalen
1500 meter run

I grew up in a family of Christians, and we’ve always been a part of the church. Being around other Christian girls my age really influenced me. When I went on a mission trip to Fiji at age 16, it really opened my eyes to the world. It showed me that I had been so blessed, and I realized that a relationship with God was crucial for me. That’s when it all clicked for me, and I realized it was a choice I had to make.

At about 16, I really gave my heart to the Lord, got involved and joined the worship team (song leaders) at church. That’s when I really knew it was more than just praying to God but it was about having a relationship with Him. From that moment, I’ve drawn on strength from God for every part of my life.

When I moved to America at age 18 for college, it was really a testing time for me. I had to draw on God’s strength. I had to evaluate what was important, and my faith was what got me through that. Those trying times in life are when you draw closer to God and depend on Him more.

I’ve always felt my running was a gift from God and I wanted to use it for Him. I depend a lot on God’s strength to help me improve and achieve my goals. When I reach a goal, I feel like it’s an answer to prayer and it draws me closer to Him. I feel like my running is a partnership with God. He is using me and favoring me because I trust in Him.

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It is the little things, like being able to be a good example on your team, that make everyday-living for God impact those around you. I’ve been able to have good chats with the girls on long runs about God and what He’s doing in my life. There will be other ways to influence others with my faith and be an example of Christ’s love.

I am totally inspired by listening to worship music before a race; that’s where I draw my strength, so I hone in on that before a race. I wouldn’t be a runner without God, so I feel they are so intertwined.