Learning a lot about yourself is humbling.
Our body was designed to adapt to stress. The issue for me, I assume like a whole bunch of other people, our capacity of adapting to the stress we have been facing is hitting its peak. What happens when the body is fighting for survival? The body sustains energy, digestion slows, brain fog appears out of nowhere, sleep is not optimal, mood swings are all over the place, and anxiety grows.
When our adaptation slows we could lose empathy. We could lose patience. We could lose focus. We could lose hope.
I am a Christian. I confess that I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord. He died on the cross for my past sins, my current sins, and my future sins. He loves me. He is faithful. He holds me during the times of increasing stress.
Why does this matter that I should say this? It matters because that is my foundation for trials, anxieties, doubts, weakness, for everything.
Being a Christian does NOT mean perfection. It does NOT mean a never ending flow of happiness. It does NOT mean that I won’t have trouble in this world. It does NOT mean I can handle ALL MY STRESS at all times. My body was created by Him and sustained by Him.
He won’t let me go, even when the peak comes.
My peak came during Murph this year. The phrases that I’ve kept telling myself over and over, is “I’m so tired.” “I don’t have much more to give.” “I feel all alone.” Anxiety is the devil's way of reminding me (what I don’t have, what God hasn’t given me, or that God has forgotten me). This is the SAME THING that Eve experienced in the garden. The serpent told her (did God really say, you couldn’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge). The Devil’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. To keep me from loving God, honoring God, and trusting God. Because my stress was compounding (most of it was emotional and mental stress) all I could hear was these repeating thoughts. The Devil got loud.
During Murph, at the very beginning (half way through the first mile) I had doubts. My mind immediately went to the inner dialogue that I have been saying, “I’m tired”. Well I got through the first mile but it only got worse. The very first few push-ups were difficult. “I’m tired” got even louder inside my head. Then I heard, you can’t quit. You have to finish this race I set out for you. And each consecutive set of push-ups and squats... I kept saying, “but I’m tired.”... This repeated the entire workout. I got to a point about 30 mins in and started to cry during the push-ups. I had emptied my emotional tank. I finished the workout by comparing my previous years attempts. I finished feeling completely drained. I finished with more tears. I showed weakness to my community and that made me feel vulnerable and highly emotional.
It wasn’t the physicality of the workout. It wasn’t because of my lack of training because of Corona. It was because of what was happening inside my head and heart.
Hindsight 20/20; looking back… I am thankful it happened because I needed to be emptied for me to focus on God again. God didn’t step aside. He didn’t leave me in the valley, He didn’t leave me to my own thoughts forever. He was there but the noise was so loud in my head that I felt nothing but weak and tired. That’s all I could focus on.
During this time of anxiety and stress, I prayed for God to give me strength, I prayed for God to give me wisdom, I asked God to provide, I asked God to give me peace.
So many times, too many to count, I’ve said, “I cannot do this alone” and pleaded that he would help me.
Yet the longer I focused on myself and the “I’m so tired” voice. The longer I didn’t focus on God and his provision and his strength.
I know that every single day MUST start with a dependence on Him. I must decrease, He must increase. If I focus on me, I lose sight of Him.
I must choose this every day. I want too. And when I fail again, He will bring me back. He always does, he keeps me.
Control is a sin that I must fight daily.
“God is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
My friends, God’s word is powerful. It is more powerful than a double edged sword. It speaks right to the heart. God will change you when you read it. It changed me and it will keep changing me.