I have been pondering how much has changed since then.
September 2009 found me sending off my oldest son to Kindergarten, having 2 little guys still at home and calling on my Mom to come and watch all 3 while I went out of town to the MOPS Convention in Nashville. I had an amazing time. God fed me in the training, the encouragement, and most specifically the confirmation that I was to bring a MOPS group to New Life for working and single moms. It was a wonderful time of celebration and savoring a new vision for the coming years.
During my time in Nashville I had an evening out with a woman I knew from years past. We had connected a bit on Facebook, but since I was going to be in the area, she packed up her four kids and came and took me out to dinner. We had a wonderful dinner at Rainforest Cafe and really precious deep heart conversations. Several times we both broke into tears of empathy, gratitude for God's bringing us together, and laughter. That long weekend in September was a turning point in my life.
My friend and I continued to talk occasionally, but when October rolled around and I looked at this picture of me, I knew SOMETHING had to be done. I felt alive, beautiful and full of joy the day this picture was taken, until I LOOKED at it.
So, I called my friend in Tennessee (yes, I have other friends closer but she was the one I felt led to call), who, by the way is a health and fitness focus person. She jumped online and sent me two books to get me started. They were a great help and so was her telephone and email coaching. I cried a lot. I felt embarrassed a lot. I felt like everyone in the gym was staring at me. I felt like I was trying to remove my fat, one cell at a time. It was REALLY hard the first few months. I had almost forgotten how hard it was...
I told you yesterday about my being nervous about going into the weight room. Well, it was worse, I didn't even REMEMBER to be nervous about what it feels like to start a new workout routine!
I did my warm up confidently. I walked back to the back corner of the upper level which is often pretty quiet and opened my book with the exercises in it. ALL NEW ONES! Ugh! I had read through them 2 or 3 times before but that didn't make DOING them any easier.
I felt awkward and unsure of myself. Some of them hurt and so I stopped. Others I could do and felt the fresh burn of carving new muscle out of puny flesh. When you work out for even a short time you quickly discover the difference between "good pain" and "bad pain". I experienced BOTH today. I didn't hurt myself but I was terribly self conscious of my body, my movement, and the people around me (who of course could care less what I was doing!).
Once I got through the ones I could figure out, I headed downstairs to the weight room. I walked around a bit, trying to figure out what piece of equipment resembled what I was supposed to use according to the book. I finally found it and there were 3 men in 4 spaces using it.
I walked out of there. I chickened out, whispering a prayer asking God to forgive me and knowing I would have to confess to all of you that I bailed on my workout today. He told me to just wait. So I did. I talked with the trainer I know and he brought me back into the weight room and showed me how to use the equipment I needed. He also adjusted some of the exercises I was trying to do and made them more "do-able" for me. I was so grateful! God knew I needed help and provided just the encourager and coach I needed. Again!
As I continue to reflect on the sedentary but content me from a year ago to the active, energized, NEW me today I find myself at a loss. Yes, I am serious.
Because, like I said at the beginning, I am doing something new AGAIN. I forgot how hard it is to chart new territory. A few months ago I wrote a blog about a painful workout. Again today I was in pain. Charting new territory emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Funny thing though, not once did I consider not going back and doing that workout again. I will be there. Monday morning. Working out. Pushing through the good kind of pain, letting go of the anxiety of transition and reaching out for the new places God has put ahead of me.
The verse that has resonated in my spirit during this season of incredibly slow weight loss, not hardly any changes in clothing sizes or fit, and barley a noticed change in the mirror is this one:
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
It translates to me this way:
Regardless of the outward evidence I see of my inward transformation,
no matter what size I continue to wear,
Despite the fact that I expected to have changed more by now,
I rejoice in the LORD, my joy is in God my Savior,
HE is my strength
HE makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
HE enables me to go on to the heights - the path HE purposed for me.
You see, it doesn't matter what the evidence is - according to my eyes. What matters is my heart obeying Him. Walking the path He has laid before me. Yes, there are a few changes, and I have lost 25lbs. I do look a little different
I press on and keep at it, because I KNOW He has called me to this, He is equipping me for this, I am walking this out, one step at a time. For Him alone.
A new season is just uncharted territory waiting to be discovered. Awesome!