In 2018, I joined (and committed to) Crossfit. I also met my physical therapist, who would not only help me overcome chronic knee pain and get back to doing all the things I love, but also later became my coach. I also met my nutritionist, who temporarily wrecked my whole life and taught me to like black coffee, avocado, salmon and life without dairy.
I was having the time of my life.
As I became stronger physically, my confidence soared. For the first time in my life, I even called myself an athlete.
A while back, Coach started saying he felt like my physical journey was more a part of my life story than I gave it credit for.
I tried the idea out, and fell in love with it. So much, in fact, that I began writing my second book about discovering the heart of a champion. The book reveals the process God has used to build character that helps me win in life.
While I drafted many goals for 2019, some of the ones closest to my heart are the physical/fitness ones.
I want to continue to build muscular strength and develop my running skills. And be able to do it all consistently well and without pain.
So it should be no surprise that it wasn’t too far into 2019 when my life changed. My active lifestyle disappeared before my eyes. My health continues to deteriorate. Disappointment set in from day one.
And the emotion visits often.
I believe whole-heartedly that my physical journey is part of the master plan God has for my life. Of course the enemy turned his focus to an area I was relentlessly pursuing the heart of God in.
Can I be straight with you?
I trust God’s plan. I do. I know He knows what He’s doing. But sometimes I forget. Sometimes, I just get discouraged and disappointed.
It’s a rollercoaster.
The thing I have to remember in my continuous state of surrender is that this season of disappointment is actually an appointment with Jesus.
The moments I begin to believe the lie I’ll never be active again are the opportunities Holy Spirit has to correct me, and further develop my champion’s heart.
Something is wrong with my body. There’s no doubt about that.
But much more tragically, something is wrong with my heart.
And I mean, there is definitely something wrong with my physical heart but I’m talking about my spiritual one.
This season of disappointment has been one long appointment with the ultimate Heart Surgeon.
I literally hate the word “rest.” Don’t believe me? Ask my coach. Or my doctors. Or my friends. Or probably anyone I’ve spoken to in the last five months.
I physically hate it.
Everything in me says rest is a weakness.
I don’t nap by choice. I don’t go on vacations. I don’t sit down and take a break. I don’t even rest between sets when I’m in the gym.
My Apple Watch tells me to breathe more than it should probably have to at almost thirty years old.
But every single time I’ve had an episode in the last five months, I’ve been told to rest. That’s not a coincidence.
Rest supposedly has healing properties. That’s still debatable because I’ve slept more in the last five months than I have in five years and I’m still sick.
I get the uneasy feeling that I continue to be told to rest because I need to fully grasp how important sleep is if I’m really an athlete.
Sleep is important, but you know what is even more important.
It’s a state of not being in motion – physically or mentally.
Rest is an act of bravery in a culture that praises busyness.
It’s to give our bodies and minds a break from the rat race we call life so it can reload for another day.
It’s not rest. It’s reloading.
Think about a water gun fight. What begins to happen as you get lower on water in your gun? Your water pressure begins to die down. But when you STOP and take a moment to put more water in the tank, you get full power back.
Seems like common sense.
You might even be rolling your eyes at me right now because it seems so simple.
You’re right. It is simple.
But it isn’t easy.
How do I know? Because if it were easy, you would rest more too.
I continue to have to surrender to God’s plan in this season of a mystery health issue, disappointment and continuous rest.
I have to release control sometimes moment-by-moment that this interruption in reaching my goals is ordained by the Creator of the universe. He *probably* knows what He’s doing.
In fact, God moves in the rest.
You might not be dealing with a serious and complicated heart problem but maybe you’re in a season of disappointment right now. Maybe you go to sleep every night frustrated that nothing changed that day. I want to say three things to you:
- It’s okay to feel disappointment, but I encourage you to remain steadfast in surrendering those moments to Holy Spirit. In the surrender is where you’ll find growth. Growth equals change.
- Take a moment to reload. Do it consistently. Eight hours of good sleep each night. A day of Sabbath each week. A weekend off each quarter. A week of vacation each year. Whatever it looks like, REST. In those moments of rest, you will find inspiration and clarity to do the next day, week, season even better.
- This season of disappointment might feel like it’s the whole story of your life right now. It isn’t. I guarantee it. It won’t feel like that forever. Eventually, it will feel like a chapter. Then a page. Then a paragraph. Then a sentence. And a word. And eventually, maybe even a freaking period. Don’t give up. Continue to take steps. And celebrate even the small victories. They matter.
Hang in there. You and I are gonna get through this. Jesus says so.