“Hebrews 12:1– “therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin in which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance that race that is set before us”
life comes with ups and downs. i know, i bet you have heard that one before, but please stick with me. maybe it would have been better if i worded it like this: “life breads its fair share of both afflictions and enormous blessings.” would everyone have be more interested in the thoughts that come after it? well, no matter what terminology you use to express this thought, i think everyone can agree with one thing, and that is that life can be hard and life can be great. i consider how we handle the contrasting experiences life throws at us to be what is worth it in the end.
throughout my life, especially my teenage years, i have found many times where God turned my cant’s into cans. i have found many times where He taught me to stay faithful to Him and to find peace in the fact that He will direct my path.
in light of this, i wanted to give ya’ll a little backstory, a very concise one at that.
my life began with a near death premature birth, which lead to delayed walking and speaking, which lead to insecurities and struggles.
BUT!!! there was so much light that i could not simply see at the time, which has lead me here at 18, living an abundant life and learning every step of the way!! i was delayed in school, leading me to believe that i was less than the other kids in my grade. & by the time i was about two years old, i found my feet in the dance room. i had dreams of dancing just like my older sister and the other dancers i saw in my studio whom i looked at with admiration. despite these wild dreams, i suffered from joint issues causing me to take many pauses in my growth as a dancer. there would be many nights where i would lay in bed with extreme pain and cry out to God asking him why all this was happening.(i’m sure we have all been there, right?) but nevertheless, God prevailed, allowing me to gently see that He was not finished with me yet. His plan was greater than mine, the light was on the other side. the “light on the other side” came in piece by piece, starting in the 8th grade when He brought me to my new school. this new community allowed me to bask in an atmosphere where i began to grow in the Lord, my academics, and my confidence that had been so shaken at the time. throughout the following years, i began to realize what it truly meant to “run the race set before me” along with the fact that everyones race is so unique. the race set before us is not to be peaceful and full of content; rather, it is promised to be full or joy and mourning:
“James 1:2-3– Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
although a new school was a blessing, that did not simply mean i coasted through the rest of my years up until now. around sophomore year, a rare medical finding was thrown at me due to my premature birth, taking me away from what i loved most, taking me away from the one thing that i placed my confidence in, dance. sadly, this wasn’t just a temporary pause in dance, but it was a pause that would last forever. BUT!!! once again, God had what i would consider only a God sized gift on the other side of my sorrow–
God allowed me to walk through adversity so that He could present me with experiences completely out of my comfort zone, just so that more people could see His glory in the end. He took away silver and gave me gold.
God’s sovereignty shined through in such a wild way, because guess what!!! through all of these experiences, He allowed me to learn more about Him and rest in His peace and understanding, not my own. i quickly came to realize that i was put on earth to expand the kingdom by running my race, no matter if that race brought learning curves and took away things i once loved. because trust me, HE WILL REFILL YOUR EMPTY CUP! HE CARES FOR YOU!!
for example, my learning difficulties turned into relationships built with tutors that gave me a chance to magnify His name. my countless injuries allowed me to take part in different communities at my school. i began to run cross country, which has gifted me with a love for running and some of the greatest blessings i consider to be my best friends. my dance career was not over as soon as i though it was, as i gifted with the chance to teach a class of younger dancers, allowing me to love them like their savior does.
so, what was the point of this? (i hope it wasn’t too much of a ramble) well, i say this to remind you all to count it joy, and to remain peaceful in times of uncertainty and in the times that feel uncontrollable. HE HAS IT UNDER CONTROL! the same God who painted the mountains with such exactness is the God who has painted your race just for you, with such exactness that all it takes is the faith to say YES and follow Him. God will place you in a dark place, test you, and strengthen you so that His light shines through IN THE END! your race will be filled with troubles which produce an eternal faith that reaps and sows what is GOOD!
God has overcome the world already, and all we have to do is not lose hope and spread His Word, through both the hardships and abundance of blessings. I challenge you all to go and find your path, faithfully say yes to Him, and run your race as fast as you can. I promise it is worth it.
keep on keeping on, ya’ll!!