Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman
A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances
A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice’s future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running–something that’s become far too painful to think on.
Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy’s best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled…that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.
A dozen men in ugly white outfits and weird haircuts ran barefoot along the ocean’s edge, moving faster, faster, faster, as the music swelled until it filled the entire theater. Sabrina Rice leaned forward in her seat, clutching her bag of popcorn tight to her chest. Her feet tapped against the sticky concrete floor, twitching with the urge to run alongside those men. And then she saw him. The man with his head thrown back, arms churning at his sides, and a strange sense of joy shining in his eyes. In that moment, her life made sense. In that moment, she found her hero.
It made no difference to her that this movie was over twenty years old, or that the revival theater was mostly empty, or that it would have been far more convenient to rent Chariots of Fire at the local video rental store and watch it at home—as only a few hours ago she had complained bitterly to her mother—or that she’d really wanted to go bowling with her friends today. For the next two hours, nothing existed but Sabrina and the runners on the screen, particularly Eric Liddell. And watching him, face toward the sky, drinking in God’s pleasure as he ran, that’s when she knew. With absolute certainty she knew what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. As she walked from the theater, she turned to her mother. “I am going to be an Olympic runner and I’m going to tell people about God, just like Eric Liddell. Maybe not China, though. I don’t think they allow that anymore.”
Mom threw back her head and laughed. It wasn’t one of those grown-up kinds of laughs that let a kid know how stupid they were. No, this was one of those “I’m so completely happy I can’t hold it in” kind of things. She reached down and scooped Sabrina into her arms and spun around in a circle. “Sounds terrific.”
Sabrina was so happy with her newfound purpose that she wasn’t really too embarrassed by her mother’s public display of affection—thankfully none of the kids from school were anywhere near this old movie theater. “Can we start training now? You want to go for a run when we get home?”
“I think that’s a grand idea.” And just like that, they became running partners.
Much to Mom’s credit, she never balked when Sabrina insisted that they go for a run every single morning, rain or shine. It didn’t seem to matter that Sabrina was only twelve years old and according to most grown-ups, “couldn’t possibly be serious about what she’s going to do with her life.” Even long after the point that Mom had to ride a bike to keep up, she was always there and ready.
Every single day.
At five in the morning.
Rain or shine.
For the next six years.
Author Kathryn Cushman
Author Kathryn “Katie” Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy.
She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women’s Fiction.
She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh.
Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.
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