Please excuse the cheesy cover photo, but it’ll all make sense. I look tough and somewhat annoyed with taking this photo. Do you ever feel that way when you’re waiting in line?
God sees the real me and He sees Himself in me.
One thing I’d like to experience in my life is getting to train in a boxing ring. I’m not a boxer, but I do use my brother’s heavy bag in the basement once in a while. There’s something liberating about letting out my energy and counting the number of punches I throw and at different heights and angles. Since one of my insecurities is the look of my arms, I thought boxing would help me with that – and I’m not wrong, but it’s not the only way.
As I progress in completing an 80-day fitness program, my arms have never been as defined as they are now. I’m learning that the consistency, despite how my mood was in that day – if I’m not sick or super sore from the other-day’s workout, I’ll get my workout done and feel good about it! My arm progress is allowing me to gain confidence in how my arms look, but more importantly, be more comfortable with how I feel.
After consulting a friend who used to train for boxing, I learn that training involves many compound, resistance, and cardio workouts! He said training consists of different combinations of high and low intensity exercises. Furthermore, repetitive movements are essential to build muscle, strengthen the core, and learning to block. I gained the understanding that training insists you put in a lot of work with the willingness to invest time in improving your overall strength!
Training requires consistency, and consistency demands time and motivation to keep building up from the previous day. I watch Manny Pacquiao and can only envision how many years it took him to attain the agility, speed, and strength he has to fight the way he does. The day of the fight, fans watch him and cheer for him, but did they see how hard he had to train before getting to that ring? I can only imagine how the cheering adds pressure on him to win the fight!
In life, preparing for something great takes time and consistency.
A lesson God is teaching me, is that being set aside does not equal being overlooked or rejected. Rather, being set aside serves as a preparation period for you to be set apart for something greater.
Within the last 4 months, I have experienced several new beginnings and endings. Leaving my work, starting a new job, and repeating that again. Sigh. This entire week I felt as if every step I took would make the ground beneath me crumble; as if everything I experienced through college training, completing my undergraduate degree, and all of my work and volunteer opportunities meant nothing. That’s how I felt, Beauts and it sucked.
In life, preparation process must precede being prepared.
How can you be prepared for something without preparation? Sometimes, preparation is ugly, and it hurts, but it’s worth it!
For me, when I deal with my frustrations, sometimes a good cry and talking it out loud is all I need to see things as they are. With a listening ear and honest advice, I’m sure to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture that I cannot see when I am only focused on what’s right in front of me.
Being ready for a fight means training by punching the speed and heavy bag, over and over again, while it’s right in front of me. However, those punches aren’t all there is to training. Remember how my friend told me training comes with a variety of exercises? You’ve got to target every muscle group to be an effective puncher. Similarly, the new beginnings and endings with my career development may be God showing me that there’s something He’s preparing me for. As I “train” with my skills and become resilient with adapting to changes of who my colleagues are and processes of how my work is delivered, I learn to bounce back and keep punching (no, not literally). My responsibility as God’s daughter, is to trust the training and allow Him to prepare me for what He’s preparing me for, that “something great”.
Waiting in line will be worth it.
Sometimes we get caught up in what others will think of our progress. We worry that our followers won’t like what we’re doing or look to our friends to affirm what we’re doing is good for us. I’m guilty of this sometimes, but who isn’t?
Proverbs 29:25 teaches me that what others say is a trap and trusting God is the safe way to go.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
Being committed to God by intentionally training for what He is preparing you will insist that you remind yourself you are not being set aside or overlooked. The preparation period of training to be a stronger puncher or boxer is difficult, require hours of practice and dedication, but the results will be worth it.
Training is going to take you away from doing other things because you are training. If you prioritize getting stronger, better, and more fit – you’re going to have a better you at the end of all the punches. The lunges, the squats, holding those planks that hurt to the core (haha, excuse the pun), will be worth it!
Accepting that I’ve got to be where I am, right now because I am here is what I need to do to be prepared for what God is preparing me for later. The serenity prayer is one that I’ve learned throughout my childhood and forgot about until a good friend reminded me of it.
Serenity, a sense of calmness, tranquility, and peace. There is a blanket of peace when you accept that your training is going to prepare you to be a fit and healthier you. Knowing that your effort will add to the process in training is worth every punch. The changes and adapting to the new job roles will add to the repertoire of life experiences no one can take away.
“…And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
Courage, the bravery, boldness, and valor to push forward and finish each workout with all you’ve got! Get that workout outfit on, strap on your gloves and get it done! Get to work and take a deep breath to do what your job description calls you to do. If you’re bold enough, feel free to do more than what’s required of you with humility.
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Wisdom, the intelligence, knowledge, and understanding you have for what you need to do. We all have wisdom, regardless of your age or stage in life. What you do with what you know is a choice you have the power to make – so make it wisely (haha, LOL).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” – Proverbs 9:10
So are you ready to wait in line while God prepares for you what He’s setting you apart for? Are you willing to go through the training to master the skills you need to be better, stronger, and more experienced in whatever it is you want to do?
I hope this life lesson I’m learning is able to shed some light into where you’re at right now in your walk with God. If you’d like to chat some more, please send me a message and I’d love to speak with you and hear your story.
P.s. I can’t get all the credit here. My Women’s Small group and the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst has helped all of us see that God is at work in our lives. Thanks ladies! Love you!