Sunday, May 17, 2015

Focusing on Faith

 
Following the events that were from my Rejuvinated and Rejoicing post, there were more ups and downs, but God was always speaking through the situations.  I write these things down, so that I can have them to remember His works and all the things I'm learning along the way.  It's great to look back and be able to see His faithfulness.
 
The next race was a Saturday meet, but it was different because I only went for one race, the 3200.  the first 6 laps were a tight race with the top 3, but I fell behind a bit in the last 2 and finished 4th.  I literally fell across the finish line from sprinting as hard as my legs could go at that point.  The temperature was a bit too cool for me to go faster than I could push that day, as I knew my teammate--who I must say has an amazing kick--was coming hot on my tail!  This was painful for us, but I'm thankful that I have such fast teammates; we all push each other to get better!  I was pretty devastated and disappointed in myself.  It was a rough evening, if you can imagine.
 
Although bad times are, well, bad, they often bring about good things if you just take the chance to look for it.  Struggles often make us stop and think about the things we need to change in learning from our mistakes! This was the start of spring break, and my best friend and I joked the week before (yet meant it seriuosly):  "I'm gonna get my life together this week!"
 
Sunday mornings always give me tons of things to dwell on; Pastor Dean's sermon, the songs we sing, our small group lessons and talks, then the little things God just sends straight to my heart.
My favorite verse from that morning was "Not as I will, but as You will."  Luke 22:42  As Jesus prayed honestly to His Father, He expressed that the situation was not pleasant, asking to take it from Him if at all possible, yet he was still totally committed to whatever it takes.  This is also how we should pray.  Honestly pouring our hearts out to God our Father who cares and wants to hear, but also totally willing to accept the answer even if it is painful to deal with.
 
It's crazy how God sends us signs of what to do sometimes!  Patty always makes up hypothetical situations along with our lessons so that we can really apply what we're learning, and this day, she said one that had just happened to me the day before at the race!  My mouth just fell open.  Then we really could apply some things to our personal lives!

This was the day that I chose a verse to get me motivated and going again!  The cross country team has always used Hebrews 12:1-2 as a "theme" verse for the team, but this track season, it has come to mean a lot more to me personally.  It's hard to do anything the best we can when we aren't focused.  When we let our minds wander or get consumed with stress, confusion, anger, anxiety, dread, comparision to others, business, pain, disappointment, ourselves, or anything else, we inevitably spend less time with God.  Then things just spiral from there.  It can really make you weary when this life gets a hold of you.  It's not hard to get distracted.  That's why it says "so easily entagles."  I made a point to myself that my goal was to throw off all this junk that fills my mind and holds me back from being all that I can be for the Lord and fully focus on delighting in the Lord!  No matter what may come, it's just stuff.  God is the focus.  Keep going with eyes on Jesus!

I was also super thankful to my friend and cousin, Julia, who sent me a link to a perfect song for these feelings!  Through All of It by Colton Dixon