I am in awe today as I have been reminded how much God has healed and restored so many parts of my life. He's picked up all the pieces of life I shattered and placed them back together. I can't tell you how thankful I am that He has healed so many wounds and continues to do so. He has carried burden after burden for me when I couldn't even picture what the other side would be like or how I would get there. When it felt like He was all I had left, He covered me with His grace. He's made all things new.
When first coming into the fitness industry, I depended on my abilities and even my body to try and make myself feel worthy and to get the approval of others. But I just dug myself into an even deeper pit of insecurity. I felt like an empty SHELL that got a bunch of likes from people who really knew nothing about me. They didn't care about me. They didn't know me. And yet I put so much energy and anxiety into reaching for some kind of perfection that didn't even exist. It became too much. It affected everything and everyone around me.
I'm understanding more every day that I am a child of GOD and that I am loved and accepted COMPLETELY by Him regardless of what I do or don't do. He tells me that I am already ENOUGH because I belong to Him. I am secure because I am His. It's not based on achieving a certain look, weight, feat of strength or popularity like I once fell into the trap of thinking. I don't have to do anything to "arrive" to a standard--for myself or anyone! I don't have to do any of that to be worthy. What a relief--finally!
I'm telling you: Whatever that thing is that you work so hard for... that one thing that you say, "If only I had THIS, THEN, I'd be happy"..... No, don't count on that. It won't bring lasting happiness. It'll be REALLY GREAT for a second. And then it's not. Then it's, "Now what?" It's unfulfilling and insanely exhausting.
I no longer desire to fit a mold to beg for acceptance. There's enough of those who will. Maybe it won't bring as much worldly success or popularity as another way, but I know that I could no longer beat myself to a pulp physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally to do any of that. My "success" looks way different now. God continues to open my eyes to what's MORE. I can have fun (NOT STRESS!) with fitness in a way that helps me be a strong mom, wife, friend and teacher. I am FREE to do these things without extreme dieting or being a lean machine. I can find joy whether I have abs or whether I have cellulite. I don't take ownership for any type of strength I have. It was never mine to begin with. It's always belonged to God and I want Him to use it to help bring His goodness into other people's lives. Whether it is to help carry another's burden, be a source of light in a dark world, to be a loving mom and wife, to bless someone in some way and to show His love... that's the important stuff. I'm slowly coming to peace with being different and imperfect. It's a daily process and it's not always easy! Learning to embrace imperfection is hard but it helps me to be less anxious. I don't want people to like me BECAUSE OF my fitness. Or dislike me because of a lack of fitness. That's shallow stuff y'all. I am NOT fitness. Fitness is NOT me. I am a person. A human. One who still makes mistakes. One that needs to be forgiven a LOT. One that still needs to give forgiveness a LOT. One that wants to love BIG and spread joy. One that wants to share HIS love. One that is called to be different.
I was writing a verse on an index card for my kids' lunch tomorrow and this one hit me like crazy. And obviously, inspired this post and made me so grateful to be here today despite all of my wrongs:
<<But the Lord said to me, "My grace is ENOUGH for you. When you are weak, then my power is made perfect in you".-- Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.>> 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
For you that are still here and have been around the past few up-and- down years--WOW and Thank You. His plan and His purpose with you and me is so far beyond what we can imagine. Take up that cross and walk with Him. His burden is light. My own burdens, I've found though, not so much. I'm just glad I decided which ones weren't worth carrying anymore. FREE!