I was asked last week during an interview over the subject of my personal life why I was no longer posting my workouts, group selfies of people who ran, rode and swam with me and why during the entire interview I made no mention of my health and fitness lifestyle even when specifically asked about my most memorable experiences and proud achievements. She said she and many of her other friends were personally inspired and was surprised to see me so silent about something I was clearly so passionate about. I felt conflicted answering that.
I’ll address this in detail in another post.
I am very proud of my accomplishments not just for me physically but also emotionally and spiritually to know that I’ve helped others who are fighting cancer has brought me enormous joy. I am genuinely very happy and proud of the accomplishments of the friends around me who have done phenomenal things for themselves and others.
No, I am not a quitter. I know my body. I wanted this to be the last big event for me, not my last event ever. Running the Longhorn 70.3 to appease a heckler would have hurt me physically permanently .. Even more than her mean spirited posts about me hurt my spirit now.
No, I am not playing the victim. Playing the victim means I am allowing her behavior to control me. I postponed my event so I can heal correctly. It’s not an excuse. It’s the right thing to do and every healthy person knows that. And that angers her.
Have you ever found yourself in a season of wait? Where you cannot plow forward on your own but have to wait on God to coordinate, orchestrate and somehow make a way?
I’m in it too.
For much of my life I’ve been a go-getter. If I saw something I wanted, I dove in head first and made my way as quickly and efficiently as possible. That doesn’t mean it always turned out right.
Because far too often I went off making my own way, and I’ve learned that the faster I run in the wrong direction only means the farther I have to make my way back.
But despite all the ways in which I have fought and sought to prove myself capable, my greatest lessons have been the quiet moments inside the cavernous walls of impossible where God whispered to the still places of my heart: “Wait.”
Because the truth is none of the accomplishments I’ve had was without pain or suffering or trial. Not one was accomplished without finding a strength that was far bigger than me.
I look back over a life and see an endless track record of faithfulness. Unanswered prayers, heartache and heartbreak. Times I wondered and pleaded and begged: “Where are you God? Do you even see me? Do you even care?”
Every time I’ve waited on God, and even when I haven’t, He has come through for me.
Each of the impossible goals I have attained in my life happened in the order and timing of a God who knows what lies ahead and prepares the way. Each challenge or experience building on the strength gained from the one before. Each milestone charting the way for the challenge ahead.
And one of the most beautiful things I have learned about wait is it’s marriage to hope. Because in order to wait we must believe there is something to wait for, and hope is a revolutionary patience.
Today I am practicing what I know to be true and yet must remind myself over and over again. The art of waiting – not moving and striving and proving – and being patient on God, knowing He is already going before me and making a way.
Perhaps you find yourself in a season of wait. Maybe you are without a job and waiting for an opening or news on an application. Or you are ill and waiting for a diagnosis or treatment. Perhaps you are single and waiting for Mr. Right, or waiting for your spouse or child to find a relationship with God or freedom from addiction.
I’m starting to see that in every challenge we face, every obstacle in our way, He whispers to us: wait.
And I’m beginning to believe that it’s the greatest lesson we can ever learn. To sit in the silence of the unwritten story and find comfort in that space.
The intimate juncture where we find our faith.
To know that God, the author of all that is good, is working out the details in wait.
Softening hearts, preparing minds, opening dialogues, whispering truths. He is the one who makes impossible possible. He is the one who makes the way.
Here are 3 ways I am finding comfort in this season of wait:
1. Pray out loud
Each morning I try to have quiet time before my boys awake and chaos fills my day. In these moments I do a short devotional and prayer journal and then I talk with God. Because I am a verbal processor, I speak my prayers out loud before God. Too many mornings to count I find myself with tear-streamed face, splaying my heart wide open. Speaking aloud brings forth thoughts and prayers I didn’t even know I had before I began. And the coolest part is how much I crave that time with God. How much less likely I am to call someone else. After laying my burden down before God, the weight is lifted and I honestly don’t need to talk about it with anyone else.
2. Keep going
Regardless of what path we’re headed down, we know that God has already prepared the way. But that doesn’t mean we sit back and wait without action. For many of us who like to move, this is good news! We wait, but that is more a state of our mind and heart. It’s keeping the right attitude while we wait. We still must do our part. We must continue to work, to build, to plant. We do the part that is within our power to do – the part He has given us to do – and we wait on God to do the rest. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still. God specializes in the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable and the awesome. But we have to be ready for it.
3. Be expectant
If we believe in God then we know that He will fulfill the desires of our heart. It might not be in the way that we desire or think we want it to be, but He will come through for us. If there is one thing I am sure of, He is faithful. So when we fall on our knees before Christ and splay open our hearts before Him we must believe He will come through for us. We must walk by faith as we do all that is possible by our own strength.
One of my favorite verses that I have memorized and encourage you to do the same is found in James 1:2-6. “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Let us be women of courage. Let us believe in something for which we cannot see, and hold fast to the truth that while we wait, God is making impossible things possible.
(I had to edit this part because someone took it, twisted it, ignored what the paragraphs above this said and intentionally used this section to mock and ridicule me for it and for not participating in the Longhorn 70.3)
Chavez, I am so very grateful for your help. However, your competitive nature does not match with what is in my life right now or what I want from my life right now. Please stop demeaning me and my efforts simply because it’s not the way you did it. It hurts terribly that I am physically unable to complete what I had hoped to do and it hurts terribly that YOU are kicking me when I’m down. Our goals are different and that doesn’t mean that I’m better than you or worse than you. It simply means that people can have different but similar goals and tons of ways of getting there. I hope one day you can see that and accept that. I also hope that one day I can feel the friendship that was once there. Please focus your energies on someone else and something productive. Wishing you well and all the best.