I’ve been drawn to write this post for a few days now, and haven’t had the chance to sit down and actually write it…I also think this will be a hard post to write and actually admit out loud, so bear with me.
I wanted to be the first tell you all, my faithful readers, that I am getting baptized again next weekend…July 19th, to be exact. I was baptized as a child when I lived in California, but all I remember from it is based on a video I’ve watched. I gasped loudly for air as I came up from being dunked under, but I can assure you that I don’t remember much else about why I chose to be baptized or what it really meant. This time, though, is very different. I know exactly what it means and I know exactly how I want to live my life. It is a completely different way of how I’ve been living my life up to now. Let me explain…
The picture above is a pretty good depiction of how I’ve felt most of my life. I considered myself a Christian and I prayed every night…when I remembered. Or when I needed/wanted something. I didn’t go to church unless it was a special occasion or my dad invited me to go. And I always said I wanted to find a church, but I never actively did anything to find one. So I just kept on doing what I was doing, saying all the right things but never actually following through.
And the longer I stayed away from church, the more I felt like a fake…like a fraudster. Like everyone who went to church would see right through me and my intentions. So I didn’t go. And worse, I was ashamed…I was ashamed of being a believer and wanting to live my life the way God intended. I became a follower. I didn’t want to stand out, so I just followed blindly along, hoping that things would turn out okay.
And let me tell you…things weren’t okay. I kept making the same mistakes over and over again…looking to outside sources (namely men and/or alcohol [sorry dad]…pick your poison) for approval and happiness. And I couldn’t believe when the end results were *exactly* the same. Let’s see…jumping headlong into a relationship, falling deeply, madly in love (don’t judge) too quickly, moving too fast and making irrational choices (think moving in together too soon, sleeping together too soon, etc. [again, sorry dad]), then having it end in heartache and anger and disbelief that I had yet another failed relationship.
I kept thinking that something was wrong with me…that I didn’t know how to be in a healthy relationship. That all I knew was anger and fighting and distrust. So I’d vow to make changes and to take things slow…and then the next guy would come along, saying all the right things, and the whole cycle would start all over again.
It. Was. Exhausting.
Once again, with my last boyfriend, I made the same vow…I would take things slow, make sure it was based on something more than sex and physical attraction. Except, you guessed it, we jumped headlong into it all…to lay it all out there, we started dating in August and moved in together in December. By March, I had moved out.
I was embarrassed and felt stupid and ashamed at where my life was going and how many times this exact same thing happened to me. I mean, I’m not a stupid woman…I know this was not how healthy, lasting relationships were built. Yet I continued to do the same thing again and again, expecting different results.
After this last break-up, I vowed, once again, to make some much needed changes in my life. It didn’t start out that way as I had a bit of fun, thinking it would distract me and help me feel better. But all it did was make me feel worse.
It was at this point that God brought an amazing woman into my life…she randomly invited me to a bonfire one night at her house. I didn’t really know her but for seeing her at the gym every now and again, but figured, why not? It didn’t hurt to get out of my house and to stop feeling sorry for myself. I don’t know why or how she was brought into my life, other than that God knew she was exactly who and what I needed at a desperately low point in my life.
This woman was very proud of being a follower of Christ and wasn’t ashamed of telling anyone or talking about Him or her beliefs. It was so refreshing to meet someone my age who was like that. So I asked her if I could go to church with her. And I cried so hard at that first sermon…it was like the pastor was speaking directly to me. And over the next several weeks, I continued going to church with her and diving back into the word of God.
I’ll admit, at first, I felt like I didn’t belong…like I was a complete fake for being so far away from Him for so long and now, all of a sudden, coming back to Him. In a previous post, I talked about how I felt like I wasn’t enough for God to love me…that I would never measure up to what He expected. It wasn’t until I attended the Hungry for Hope conference in Franklin, TN (which, by the way, this amazing woman invited me to go to with her) the last weekend in June that I realized I was enough. I was more than enough. And that I wasn’t a fake or being judged or ridiculed. And most importantly, that I was never alone.
I am finally proud to admit that God is the main focus of my life. For too long, I put other things in my life first…guys, alcohol, work, fitness, vanity, you name it…and I was never at peace. I was never truly happy. Since that weekend in Tennessee, I have felt more at peace than I have my entire life. I know He is first and I want to live my life for Him. I wish I could explain exactly how I feel, but I love it. I know I am loved and never alone and that my future is in His hands.
It’s really as simple as this…God is good. He brought this woman into my life at the exact point I needed her and would be open and receptive to her. I knew I needed a change; I just didn’t know what that change was. Now I see it was God along…He was the change I needed.
And let me tell you, I thank God every day for bringing that amazing woman into my life…I am incredibly proud to call her a close friend. She is actually the person I asked to baptize me…so at 1030 a.m. on July 19th, I am getting baptized again. This time, it will be at the beach…and it is 100% my decision and I know exactly why I want to do this…not just because my friends are doing it or I think it’s the “cool” thing to do. I want to publicly proclaim my faith and proudly announce that God is number one in my life.
I know I am not perfect…and I know that I am a sinner and have made too many mistakes to count. But I also know that God’s mercy is greater than my sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Seriously…how amazing is that?!
I hope you all have an amazing weekend.
With love and wellness,
So I just got home from a long weekend in Colorado. Usually, when I travel, I eat out every meal and I end up feeling bloated and awful, even though I choose the best foods and try to stay on track. But you know how it is…you end up starving and the “good for you” choices end up not looking or sounding good, so you decide “just this once” I’ll eat this or that. And before you know it, the whole weekend has passed and you’ve had several “cheat” meals. Then you get home and the struggle is real to get back on track. We’ve all been there, right?!
But I’m so happy that this time was different! For you see, my brother and his wife just had beautiful twin girls! And that whole going out thing became a WHOLE LOT more difficult! Add in a rambunctious 3 year old and it gets even more difficult! So we spent our weekend visiting and cooking all our meals at their house. Which, believe me, was MUCH preferred! So this time, it was super easy to stay on track and enjoy the weekend without feeling awful the whole time!
I also got in a couple bodyweight workouts at the hotel with my nephew. Usually, I like to try to find a crossfit gym to drop in at, but I knew I wouldn’t have time this trip. But no worries…the bodyweight workouts I did were enough to get me moving and sweating and feeling the burn! And it inspired my nephew to get up and get moving too. His version of butterfly sit-ups looked WAY easier than mine! Hahahaha. I could have used this weekend as an excuse to relax and be lazy, but that isn’t me. Working out is relaxing for me!! And it didn’t detract from my weekend of visiting family either! Plus it helps that my family knows how crazy I am without my workouts!! :)
This was a much needed weekend away from some of the things going on in my life. I needed the time away to reflect on things going on in my life and to focus on the bigger picture. Because family is really what it’s all about. I enjoyed my one-on-one time with my nephew so much, and I loved getting to snuggle and cuddle with my nieces…they are such little angels! God Bless my sister-in-law for being able to handle it all while my brother is away at work! Plus he is amazing when he gets home and immediately starts helping and pitching in where needed! It definitely takes a village!!
I came home with a much clearer head and purpose for where my life is going and where it should be. My focus has been off and unclear for a bit, but I now know where it should be. That’s such a good feeling to have…knowing that all I had to do was take a step back and away from it all to really help it become clear where I should be focusing. I’d definitely recommend that for anyone!
I’m excited for being back on track and having set goals that I’m working towards. I’m even more excited to be back on track with God as my focus. For too long, I’ve strayed away from Him and I know that He is exactly where I need to be. I finally feel at peace knowing that He is at the helm of my ship…I hand Him all my anxieties and worries and rest peacefully knowing that whatever is going to happen is exactly what is supposed to.
I hope you all had an amazing weekend, as well! It’s weird talking about my long weekend while we are heading into another weekend here in a couple days. But I’m not complaining! I only have to work two days this week :) Then I have another busy weekend of attending the Crossfit Level 1 Certification training. I’m so excited to get this training under my belt and get on my way to achieving my goals!
Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy your weekend!
With love and wellness,
Ooooh – how could I forget?!?! Here are some pictures from this weekend!!