Thursday, July 9, 2015

Count it all joy

I experienced a deep revelation on my bike ride I hope you're ready for what I've got to say! (You've been warned) Some of you may or may not have heard the verses James 1:2-4. If you haven't I will share it now, "count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." I always had a love-hate relationship with this verse because, let's be honest, who wants to meet trials? This verse doesn't give us a few trials that we will face and then be done with our clearly says you will meet trials of various kinds! But what is the result of our trials?! Steadfastness in our faith! I looked up the definition of steadfastness and this is what I found per Merriam-Webster, "firmly fixed in place; not subject to change; firm in belief, determination, and adherence." How sweet is that? Now you may be wondering why I'm starting my blog off this way...but I'm gonna connect the dots here for you in a moment...first I have to share a little story...hang in here with me! :)

Today I set out to ride my bike 25 miles (the distance I'll bike for the triathlon in September). The first 19 miles of my ride were amazing. It was quite, breezy, a slight drizzle was going on for a bit, and I was enjoying my ride. Things were going great, not a fear or trial in sight...aside from finishing my ride. I was really happy with my pace. I had gone the first 15.47 miles in 1 hour. I wasn't feeling too tired. I stopped for a moment to capture the beauty of the scenery around me:

Around mile 19, however, there was a family out riding their bikes. I slowed down and waited for a cyclist to pass who was coming towards us...after that cyclist passed I announced to the first girl that I was passing on her left...she stayed to her right and I passed I came up on the next lady I again said, "on your left"...this time, however, instead of staying to the right so I could pass she looked over her left shoulder and turned towards me and collided with me! Our bikes crashed into each other, I went crashing onto my left side and she landed right on top of me. Thank the Lord I had a helmet on...and that the lady landed on top of me because she was not wearing a helmet. She was fine and able to get up right away...just had a little scratch on her arm. She tried to help me up right away and I just told her I needed a minute to collect myself...that I was fine...I just needed a minute! I kind of did a quick assessment of myself going from head to toe...I knew I didn't really hurt anything...just had some good flesh wounds and one aching hip! Thankfully a couple that was out cycling stopped and helped us get our bikes back in working seat had completely turned to the handlebars had turned to the chain fell off...but other than that there wasn't any real apparent damage. The lady introduced me to her daughter (the girl I had passed first) and her son (who was in the front of the pack) and said it was their first day out riding. I told them, "please don't let this stop you from getting out and riding! Accidents happen...that's why we wear helmets to protect ourselves...keep riding!"

Eventually I got back on my bike and continued on the rest of my ride...oh but I hurt. I couldn't bike faster than a 6 minute mile...where before I was biking about a 3:45 minute mile. I wished I could just "tap out" and have someone come pick me up...but given that I was on the Bosque Trail there's no real convenient place to just be picked I kept moving along. Moaning and groaning as I biked praying for strength to just finish...wishing I could go as fast as I had been for the sake of being done sooner...but it seemed the harder I tried to pedal faster the slower I went. It was in that moment that I was feeling sorry for myself that the verse I shared above came into my head. It's like God was saying, "Maggie, count it all joy when you fails trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness!" Through this trial I certainly did produce steadfastness...I had a determination, a firm belief that I could finish, and an adherence to finish the journey I had set out on. So while I didn't finish how I would've liked...what really matters is that I finished. 

Just like my bike ride things can be going so well...the sights are beautiful, everything seems to be in place and was going just as I had planned...and then...out of nowhere a trial, an accident, a difficult situation jumps out and wipes me out. We're all going to face trials. Things will be going well and then one day we get a call that a loved one has passed away, that someone has cancer, you experience physical, emotional, sexual abuse, a family member or long time friend wounds you and leaves you feeling broken. These things are guaranteed to happen...we are guaranteed to face trials of various kinds. However, how we respond to these trials, how we finish, what we do in response to these trials is what really matters..because in the end we can let these trials derail us, we can call it quits instead of getting back up, we can jump off the deep end...or we can let these trials shape us and mold us into the person God is wanting us to be. We can learn from our trials so we can be steadfast in our that we may become perfect and complete...lacking nothing! What an awesome promise. I know that I will not be perfect here on this earth...but I know there's a greater promise waiting ahead of me....that of a perfect and complete spirit...lacking in nothing! 

I don't know what's up with the goofy look on my face...all I can guess is I was trying not to cry

Got road-burn?

This poor knee has taken so many beatings and bruisings!

So my weight loss journey may not be going just as I would like. I've faced many trials and road bumps. But I know that these trials are strengthening me...fueling my determination and adherence...making me steadfast in my journey. This week I weighed in again at 207...and that's okay. I'd rather not gain/lose anything than gain 1 pound or 2 pounds etc. I'm making progress...and that's what really matters! Don't let the trials in your life stop you from obtaining your goals. Don't let the bumps, scrapes, bruises, broken bones hold you back from reaching your potential...from chasing after your dreams and what God has called you to do. It's a beautiful thing to press on...and it's such a relief when you finish what you set out to accomplish!