“Keep Going, Josie!” Friend, February 2020
Josie yawned as she slowed her jog to a walk. Today was the big race! She had been looking forward to this day for months. But instead of feeling excited during warm-ups, Josie felt tired.
“How’s it going?” her older sister, Christine, asked. She sat down with Josie on the grass so they could stretch their legs.
“I’m really tired today,” Josie said, reaching for her toes.
She had been sick and had to miss several days of school. So last night she stayed up late catching up on her schoolwork.
“I hope I don’t let our team down,” Josie said.
“Just do the best you can,” Christine said. “Looks like we’re about to start!”
The girls jogged over to join their teammates. As they lined up with the other runners, Josie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She knew her team was counting on her to run fast, like she usually did. The race time from the top five runners on their team would determine whether their team went on to the finals. She barely had time to get in position when the gun sounded to start the race. Bang! The runners pushed off the starting line and sprinted forward.
Josie pumped her arms and lengthened her steps. She knew she needed to get ahead in the beginning if she wanted to be a top finisher. At first Josie could keep up with the other lead runners. But when she tried to run faster, she couldn’t.
Josie breathed harder. She just couldn’t get her legs to move any faster. The runners behind her started passing her. Usually Josie was the one doing the passing! Maybe I should just give up, she thought.
Josie looked down at the ground as she heard another runner pass her. “Keep going, Josie!” the runner said as she ran by. Josie looked up. Then she smiled. It was one of her teammates.
“You can do it!” another teammate said as she ran past. One by one as Josie’s teammates passed her, they encouraged her to keep running.
Josie felt a surge of determination. Maybe she wouldn’t be in the top five, but she could still finish the race. She focused on her steps and didn’t stop until she finally crossed the finish line.
“I’m sorry I … didn’t help us … qualify for the next race,” she said between big breaths.
“Our team did qualify!” Josie’s coach said as she ran over to the girls. Everyone on the team cheered, and Christine threw her arms around Josie in a big hug.
That night as Josie knelt to pray, she thought about how her teammates had helped her. Their words gave her strength to keep going when she wanted to quit.
Josie looked up at the picture of Jesus hanging above her bed. Jesus does the same thing for us, she thought. She smiled as she imagined the Savior cheering her on. “Keep going, Josie! I am here to help you.” She wanted to help others too.
Josie thanked Heavenly Father for His help in running the race and for her wonderful teammates. She felt like she could do anything with Jesus cheering her on!