Dare To Surprise Yourself

(Photo credit MLive.com)

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
                                                                                                        -Matthew 5:44 

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. I know that certainly has been the case for much of my life. It seems far more people have seen potential in me that I never did. The sad thing is, I dictated what I was capable of by what I was willing to try and my constant fear of failure or completing something imperfectly kept me from trying much at all...

Last year when a dear friend asked me to sign up for the Frankenmuth Frankenmüdder 5k boot camp style mud run I kind of laughed at her like she was crazy. I mean, I'd run two 5k's before (albeit the summer prior without any training since), but it wasn't the run that intimidated me so much as it was the obstacles. 5k seemed to be my limit, now you want to add obstacles?! No way was I EVER going to do that!

But her inquiry left a seed in me. And in the time between God had been doing some amazing delivering in my life from the person I believed I was. And some how when the opportunity rolled around again this year I felt ballsy. I'd been stepping out here and there in faith and discovering new limits that were so incredibly liberating.  So there was a brief moment where I felt motivated to sign up and prove to myself that I am capable of more than I think I am. 

In the months prior to the event my friend and I set fitness goals to try and prepare for the feat ahead. But the closer we got to the race, the more discouraged I began to feel. "What was I thinking, I'm not ready for this." I felt like the more I focused on the challenge ahead the harder things I'd been doing all along became. And that just fueled my despair. 

Monkey bars... Yes, this was one such goal. And those childhood playthings were something I never conquered even in my youth. How in the world would I do it as an adult weighing far more? (Not just physically, but now mentally as well.) I knew my problem- I spend so much time thinking about being ready to let go and move forward that my weight simply becomes too much to bear then if I actually just reached out and used my momentum to cross over. 

Priscilla Shirer summarizes this quote by Harriet Tubman in her Breathe study well:

"I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves." (HT)

"Recognition is the prerequisite to liberation." (PS)

I knew my issue... thinking too much. Step 1. Recognition....I decided I would find a set of monkey bars and try to conquer them. Step 2. Liberation... My first attempt landed me on my butt in the dirt in front of a bunch of young girls who kindly pointed out the normal set of monkey bars I had missed and soothed my pride by telling me they were easier then the difficult set I had just succumbed to. The funny thing is, as I sat there on my buns in the dirt, slightly embarrassed, I noticed that that embarrassment was fading away as the Lord graciously bestowed a gentle revelation to me. My fear of falling had been far greater than what had actually just happened. Wow... I was starting to realize I can step out, failing is okay sometimes as long as you grow from it. And not trying is an even greater failure with a different type of pain

My next battle came in not just wanting to finish this "fun" run, but to finish it well. And my anxiety continued to grow up until the event.

This morning I faced the Frankenmüdder. I tried new things I thought I would NEVER do! (I mean I literally had already decided I would abstain from certain obstacles), but in those moments I found strength from my incredible group of friends that helped me to push my limits and give every obstacle my best shot, and in the end... I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

A quick shout out to those who supported and encouraged me and finished strong! I couldn't have done it so well without you. Thank you for helping me to push my limits, grow, and most importantly, surprise myself!

So why the scripture at the beginning? Well, I am learning in this season of life to be kind to 
and love myself as God does. Hooah!


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