…and yes, I’ll report on Rev3 Williamsburg one of these days, like before my next race comes round, LOL.
Still plugging along, just easier to go on radio silence when life gets a bit tossed about than try to hash it out sometimes, we all know my head isn’t the most sane place to be. There’s been a few ideas that have been rolling around in the noggin that I’ve been wrestling with that I think easily get summed up in perception, peace, and perseverance. (Ohh…alliteration!)
Perception. This has been an interesting one for me over the last couple months. Myself included, it’s fascinating to me how people just see what they want to see and close their mind to possibilities. I get knocked from time to time that all people see is one version of me based on what I outwardly share on social media or in other arenas. I get it, it’s easy to draw a conclusion if you don’t take the time to engage with me personally. I also value the precious and personal nature of our ministry, the more we engage with people on a deeper level over the years, the more I shy away from plastering those things on my sleeve or in a public post. Therefore, what’s not seen can be considered something ‘less than’ in my life. It’s a decision I make based on real people served and the connections made with them, it’s not a news story or something you can really put in a box. I understand where those judgments come from, but at the end of the day, I serve a real and living God that has called me to the work that I do, there is a mission under the banner of the ministry that I serve, and I have been equipped to carry out my responsibilities to fulfill that mission. I wake up each morning and turn the day over to the Lord and what He would have for it–and each day looks is completely different, full of different activities, community engagement, responsibilities, activities, programs, etc. You wanna know where the bulk of my time is spent? Right there. It’s sleepless nights, tears shed, frustrations vented when in the times we are unable to meet the needs of every single soul that steps over out threshold for one reason or another. It’s visioning, thinking out of the box, being creative, and seeking every opportunity to serve people in Christ’s name and lead them to a relationship with Him. It’s mission that will never end until the day Jesus comes again, and I wouldn’t do anything else in this world. But I am also a whole and unique person too, created by God, and in order for me to fulfill His will, I need to remain whole too, and that’s carrying out some of the things that He wills in my life too. Balance. Holistic goals–it’s not solely physical change, it’s emotional and spiritual growth too. And I can say this until I’m blue in the face and I think there’s only a small handful of people that know me really well that “get” this: the work that I put in on those emotional and spiritual goals outweigh anything that I’ve possibly done in the area of physical achievement, and the physical change I’ve experienced is simply a by-product of the holistic journey, not a singular focus.
But, again, you’ll never convince people of things they aren’t willing to see or hear…so, peace.
Peace. Let go and let God. I’ll be the first to admit this is a huge struggle for an eternal people-pleaser. There are people in life that I’m simply never going to make happy. I’ve come to a place where I’m exhausted trying to meet such an impossible concept. Over the last few months, I’ve been in several situations in different areas of my life where I’ve been beating my head against the wall because I’ve met my human limits in trying to accommodate some (real or perceived…?) unrealistic expectations and I’ll never gain that understanding that I mentioned above. In the end, the only person it’s hurting is me. It’s stacking needless pressure, extra work, and halfhearted efforts on my plate with no return. Boundaries are hard sometimes, especially in my professional life, and in the realization that I won’t make everyone happy, I’ve had to figure out what those boundaries are and when to say no for the greater good and my sake. One of the hardest things ever. I’m so grateful that I have people in my life that serve in so many different ways (and I pray I do them as well)–from those that are there to listen to me vent or bounce ideas off of, that I can call into action in prayer for different situations, and even those that hold me accountable in so many different ways. I’ve talked about this before, but accountability is huge for me–it’s also very intentional. I have people and groups in my life that are there to hold me accountable in many different facets of personal and professional life. Some are friends, some are colleagues, some even are our leaders when we have to reach out for guidance, and some are even people I’ve met along the way that aren’t just friends–but good, honest, and trustworthy friends. I’m not sure what I would do without any of them–they’re all necessary. I am of course accountable to God, but by having these deliberate relationships in my life, I have the appropriate people to remind me of the “noise” in life is just noise, what’s really important, when to simmer down, when to charge like a bull, and when to just sit back and let the games play around me, because it’s not about me or anything I have done. Grateful probably isn’t strong enough of a word for many of these people, I love them, the peace and counsel they provide, and aim to be the reciprocal for them when necessary.
Perseverance. Boy, this one shows me just how hard-headed I am. There was a time in life when things get hard that I’d just quit, it wasn’t worth the effort. This is probably my biggest area of growth. How do I know? Accountability. Those that have my trust that can call me out. I don’t like admitting some things, but for the sake of discussion, in trying to control some of the things that I can’t control, it’s flared up a good cycle of depression and insomnia over the last six or seven months (this too shall pass…per usual, no frets). Part of it is a biochemical process from a larger issue I deal with that I absolutely have no control over, but part of it too is letting all those little things get to me. As the joke goes, “you can’t please everyone, you’re not bacon.” (or chocolate…man, I just need to go buy a stupid chocolate bar already, this is like a week of craving it already, LOL) Takes me a little longer to realize that…or at least let it sink in. There was a point recently where I just imploded, there was a wall of stressors that wasn’t going to budge and reached out for help. I’m grateful for the help that was received because it brought me back to a place that we are all human, I’m really doing okay even though I beat myself up over the things that aren’t worth getting upset over, and some practical advice in moving forward and the work to be done to get there. At the same time, when I confided in another one of those trustworthy people I mentioned, I was told to look back. How would I have handled the scope of things even just a few years ago? The answer is humbling, and a true testament to God’s work in me. It would look very different. And it wouldn’t look as good. The goals, the growth, the changes, in all areas of my life have equipped me for just this. I still have to walk through the tough stuff of life, we all do, but I have a much better grasp on the care it takes to do so–because honestly, without the changes I’ve made, life simply wouldn’t be manageable. As the quote goes, “with great power (knowledge) comes great responsibility.” I absolutely have to rise every single morning and before my feet even hit the floor praise God for the lessons I’ve learned along the way…and rest that He’ll see me through it, and in the end–good, bad, indifferent, it WILL be worked for HIS glory, and rest in the peace of turning it to Him.
So, in that, I move forward. One day at a time, one hour at a time, and depending on what’s up, it might just be a minute at a time. There’s goals to be conquered for good, and a few fun things too. On the fun side of things, I’ve got an interesting trifecta to close out the race season…an olympic distance tri to taper into the Chicago marathon followed a couple weeks later by my first century ride. Go big or go home, right? Thank God for smart people and those that kick me in the rear that believe I can do it–sometimes I have to ride on their confidence until I see it for myself. It’s even in the fun times that I learn so many lessons too (and vent, and laugh, take instruction, and ponder the crazy things that go on in this big world). How to go the distance, how to overcome, how to sustain myself for the journey. I make a lot of mistakes in these things, and in life, but I do know one thing undoubtedly–it’s all for the glory of God. He makes the way in all things. Just maybe I’m not as bad off as I call it in my head…