Friday, May 15, 2015

Rejuvinated and Rejoicing (March)

(This post was started back in March, but I wrapped it up today, in May)

There has been so much lately that I have been wanting to share, I just don't know how to get started!  It's been insanely busy, but that's the norm now.  I've spent a little time each day over this past week trying to get organized.  I have a lot of studying to do, too, especially with the year winding down and ACT and AP tests coming up, but I have been dying to shine some light from my life into yours!
Life has its ups and downs.
When I get all wrapped up in school, I get really stressed out and overwhelmed, then everything falls apart!  However, when we turn to God, things start happening (sometimes later than we would hope) that are in no way coincidences!  Verses, songs, people we cross paths with, words people say to us, and just little things we see throughout the day start to make sense.  It's a real journey, but as things finally straighten out, it's impossible to put into words the feelings that God fills us with.  Here's a little bit of what I've been learning lately.
     Since indoor track season ended, my performances have been a rollercoaster!  It seems like sometimes I can't feel good two days in a row.  After one seriously frustrating week from how I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally, I was encouraged Sunday at church to see a bright, new bulletin cover.
This really made my day!  I needed some peace.  Sunday school with my wonderful small group brought more relief from God's Word.  Our lesson's "memory verse" was 1 Peter 5:6-7, "Humble yourselves therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  Not only was I feeling humbled already, it encouraged me that when I can be at peace with not being "big dog" because God will let us have "success" when it best goes with showing off His success.  God has to show us unpleasant times before we can be able to rightly see the glory sometimes.  It went on to say to just give it to Him.  Anxiety is something I struggle with, but hearing this verse alone helped relieve some of that pressure!  I decided that this verse would be my focus for the upcoming week.
     What Rob led the large group was also about God using our struggles for His glory.  As frustrating and confusing as it may be, it may seem that it makes no sense at the time because it's not necessarily someone's fault that unpleasant things happen.  John 9:1-5 is an example of where Jesus assures people of this fact.  A man was born blind, but Jesus replies by telling those who have asked him what sins caused such blindness that it was not the man nor his parents, but "so that the works of God might be displayed."  So you and I should not be so discouraged at our confusing circumstances, because there is always a reason, whether we know it at the time or not.

The next Tuesday was a small home track meet.  I actually enjoy these meets, too, because they are laid back.  I also like them because we usually run my main event first, so then I can get done a lot earlier!  We started this meet with the 3200 at 5:00, girls and boys together.  There was a guy from another school in front of me the whole race, but it really pushed me to keep going.  I felt good the whole race and pushed into the finish.  I just had to make myself forget the stress of competition I had been placing on myself and run with God's peace.  A couple minutes after I finished one of our dads asked me if that was my PR, and I laughed and said that I doubted it, and asked my time.  He said it was around 10:50, and I was totally shocked!  I ran a 10:51, just one second off my outdoor PR!  I had no idea that I was running that fast!  This was just one of those things that God gives us strength to do when we don't have the ability on our own.  I also see this as a message from God that even when I am struggling, He will give me enough to keep me motivated when I surrender to trust Him. 

Not only does being spiritually rejuvinated lift our spirits and mentality, but it really makes a difference in our physical health, too!  It is so important to have a positive attitude and relaxed mind in order to be able to really enjoy exercising, too.  I have found that the less stress I have in my life, less pressure I feel, the better my health is!  I feel full of energy and overall more motivated for life!  Think of it this way:  Do you want to be happy and feel good?  I'm guessing the answer to that is yes.  Why would anyone want to be depressed or stressed and tired?  The easiest way to have a life like that is simple, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4