I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. ~ Philippians 4:13-14
The first part of this verse I know pretty well. It is even on my computer at work. It surrounds me and it is one I remember more and more often these days when I am truly feeling beat up with nothing left to give or share.
It came to my mind to write a blog post with this as the subject yesterday while I was running wondering if I could go one more step. Asking God why am I feeling so off. When will I ever feel like me again. Will I ever feel like me again? I can't say I loved the response I got. Suffering is a part of life. Pick up your cross and carry it. It is Satan trying to knock you down. Make you feel weak and worthless. Make you doubt what you are able to do as he wants to stop you from this very thing you are struggling to do....run with me. Run with God.
You may not have the faith I do and that is okay. This message is perfectly fitted to you too. Negative self talk could be your translation. The I can't's taking away from the happy vibes of doing and when the tough days are coming out ahead of the good days, it is hard to see the good.
So today when I sat down to write this post I looked up the verse number again just to be sure I got it right and the second part jumped out to me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
Wow! I have read this verse so many times and yet this second part was buried somewhere in my mind not coming to the surface....or maybe God wanted me to really see it today.
Yet it was kind of you to share in my trouble.
Who is sharing in my trouble? I am running by shear determination. My whole body hurts. I have gained some pounds (totally thinking age and hormone related) and I feel just plan awful all around. I feel completely alone in this. Completely alone.
Who is sharing in my troubles when the depression and anxiety I live with daily is escalating?
Well, in a nutshell...there are a couple of trusted friends who I know share in my troubles. In fact, when I texted them this morning asking for prayers they were there immediately. If only we were all in the same state! But our friendship is so strong that the distance between Hawaii, Nebraska, and Illinois shrinks and I feel we are all around the same coffee table comforting each other along our own journeys. We all have struggles and we all need to be strengthened from time to time.
I am not alone. Most importantly, God is always by my side and He is always putting special people in my life to give me that sense of belonging and companionship I long for even if I am not always as grateful for it as I should be.
Somehow I need to find a way to take this ever present joy in my heart and convert it to a sense of happiness but the two are not one in the same. Maybe my heart will always be sorrowful and somehow I need to find a way to not let that define me in a negative way but to transform it into something positive.
I am changing in more ways than one but I still cling to the ideals of self-esteem that define me - the number of miles, the pace I nail, or the number on the scale - as much as I don't want these things to define me.
I am the rich man not willing to let go and follow Jesus completely....even if I really do want to let go. But as much as I try I can't see new or different metrics to measure my daily success or failures by....metrics to determine if I am on the right path, doing what I should be doing, growing how I should be growing. I am truly lost.
Why am I sharing this?
Because, I am not alone. There really is no way I can be the only 40-something year old lady feeling this way. Personally, I know others and know there are many more out there. Lost women feeling totally out of it with nothing left to give. I am not the only Martha looking for help.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him (Jesus) and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. ~ Luke 10:40-42
This bible verse is my stumbling block in life. There is so much to do and I do want to serve others after all, Jesus came to Earth to serve and asks us to do the same....even if this bible verse suggests otherwise. I get it, we should listen to Him as well but at the stake of doing nothing and not serving? I want to make Jesus dinner and tend to his needs AND I want to sit by his feet and listen to his stories. To learn. But how? I just don't get it.
And maybe if I finally get it I just may find the way to measure my progress each day with new metrics that fit a bit better versus ones focused on ego and pride (miles, pace, weight).
The last two weeks of September were very low mileage and beyond running, I wasn't doing much more. It is kinda funny how I know what is the perfect fix for me and I can still fall off target. I know mixing running and cross training is best. I know working out an hour a day is best. And I flop.
It is hard to keep things going with all the rest going on each and every day and it is all about balance. We each have 168 hours each week to do all we need or want to do. I just recently heard this on the radio when I was thinking I just don't have enough time. 168 hours. They challenged the listeners to think about those 168 hours and use them wisely. Don't waste them away in trivial ways and choose what is the best use of your time.
The thing is, I don't think I waste too much time away unless you count the time I am waiting at school, etc. waiting for darling daughter but I even try to repurpose those hours into functional hours - doing some work from home to round out my work hours each week as I have a flexible work week with not all my 40 hours in the office. That is a win-win. Reading devotional books and catching up with family but those waiting hours do not translate into fitness hours....well, not all the time. Sometime I do run while I wait. I probably should do that more often.
September I only worked out 19 of those precious hours. Not even close to an hour a day and when I look at those 168 hours, or 720 for the whole of September, I can't say I feel very proud of myself. But beating myself up and wallowing in self pity won't help much at all plus I don't think I would trade in much that I did do. Darling daughter had a horse show, and did AMAZING, and that took a good chunk of my time as she was at the stables more. In the grand scheme of life, that means more to me. And that makes me feel pretty good about myself. I am not trying to act like a martyr but I think it is a good place to be in to give up a little of me for her....or anyone else. Isn't that what we are supposed to do?
My goals for 2018 were to do 70 new workouts and to run 1,170 miles to break 10,000 streak miles. I only have 18 more new workouts to do this year! That goal is back in reach and in August it was questionable. 6 new workouts a month for the rest of the year. Totally doable! I logged 84 miles in August bringing me to 1,065 miles for the year!!! I am at 9,895 streak miles!!!! This goal is totally in reach too! Maybe I could even break it in October!
With all the bumps in the road, I am reaching my goals, and I think that is the big thing to focus on here. Life has bumps in the road. There are good days, there are bad days, but no matter what happens or how unmotivated I feel, I keep choosing to run at least a mile and keep pulling myself back to pushing play and doing what is right. Persistence pays off. No one is perfect and I am not going to sugar coat things and say living a fit life is easy peasy lemon squeezy. What good does that do for anyone? Lying won't make me feel good and painting a fake image does you no good. I care too much about you to lie to you.
So if you are feeling down and out, lace up those shoes, hit play, and get moving. Trust me, at the end of the day you really won't regret doing what is right.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being on target with my 2018 goals.
Daily Bible Verse: I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13