Saturday, September 29, 2012

Who I've Been

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
-John Newton

This blog is largely about my training, eating, and racing. But I wanted to give you a peak behind the curtain, so to speak. Many people today see me and think that I've always been an athlete, one of those people who are just naturally small. They also tend to think that I've always been a happy-go-lucky woman whose always had it all together. Well, not so much.
Who I am today has grown not from my own hard work and determination. Yes, I am pretty fierce and tenacious when it comes to getting something that I want. I love competition, but even more than that, I love to win. But who I am today has actually come from doing something very unnatural for me; it's come from surrendering.

I reached a point in my life where I was pretty miserable. Oh, sure, on the outside, no one saw it, but inside I felt lonely and empty. No amount of indulgence in anything was bringing satisfaction, and I tried pretty much everything I could to bring wholeness. Living to please myself was making me miserable. I was in a proverbial downward spiral for quite awhile. Just as it didn't start from any one devastating event, it didn't end from any bright light from heaven. 

I met my husband and his family, who showed me that marriage could work for more than a handful of years. I got married and had my first son, and then another one.  Like all moms, my world suddenly shifted from my needs to my families' needs. But it wasn't having my own family that changed my life. As I mentioned, it was about surrender.

Church was a necessary part of my childhood. But there I learned religion. Rules. Josh McDowell has said one of my favorite quotes ever, "Rules without relationship lead to rebellion." He speaks of families, but it's true of religion as well. I rebelled. It just didn't make sense to me to dress a certain way, act a certain way, so that everyone would see how good I was. Hey, I was a pro at doing that! But in my heart and when no one was watching, I did whatever I wanted.
One day I finally realized that there is no such thing as a good Christian. I can't make myself be at peace. I can find true happiness--joy-- on my own. On my own, I'm a mess. So I surrendered. I told God that I was exhausted, depressed and empty. I told him I couldn't do it by myself anymore. I was done. In racing terms, it was a DNF in life my way. And instead of panicked at the idea that I had just completely turned my life over to the control of Someone else, I felt complete peace and tangible joy.  



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