Whom Shall I Fear; I am Yours

Growing pains.

Let’s be honest, they suck.

I’m not talking about the kind you got between the summer of 5th and 6th grade when you shot up like a bean stalk.  I’m not talking about the kind when you suddenly are tripping over everything in sight as you get used to the new size of your feet.  I’m talking about kind of growing pain you go through as you transition from one point in your life to another.

Back in November, my sole focus became finishing school. I literally had blinders on, alienated everyone in my life, quit CrossFit, hardly slept, and became a STRESSED out basket case.  My day looked a little something like this: wake up at 6 am, eat breakfast, get to work by 9, eat a bag of frozen veggies with a canned of some sort of fish (yum…ughhh), leave work at 2 pm, coach from 3 to 4 pm, head home, study/read/write a paper, go out to eat because I was too exhausted to cook for myself, go back to studying/reading/writing a paper at some coffee shop, get some of my consulting work done & hopefully get to sleep by midnight.

I couldn’t handle anything else on my plate.

Having friendships became stressful. I couldn’t commit to see anyone because I could not for the life of my figure out when in my schedule I would see them.  So it became easier to just shut people out.  This makes life miserable by the way.

Over Thanksgiving, I went home to see my family and had a mental breakdown the day of Thanksgiving.  I was a sobbing, blubbering bundle of emotions. Due to the immense pressure and stress I had caused myself back in Austin, it expressed itself outwardly when I got home. I felt like a failure and couldn’t face my extended family. No one knew what I was going through but I felt as if I was being judge anyway.  Just another set of false stress that I placed on myself at that time.  Heading back to Austin, the blinders went on even tighter. I was determined to finish out the last two weeks of December in ATX and then get the heck out. At the time, my body was rejecting me so much that I couldn’t even do 10 minutes of Cindy. Looking at weights made me feel sick. The height of a box jump was unfathomable.  The things I used to enjoy seemed meaningless.

Why CrossFit when you suck at every thing else in your life? You don’t have time for silly WODs.

That’s what the little voice (aka the Devil) in my head was saying. And I went along with it.  It was easier to not fight it.  Shortly after the holidays, I left for Dubai and India.  It was the escape from reality that I needed.  As 2013 loomed in the future, I needed to find myself.

Who was I going to be once I got back? I have been in school for the past 19 years… What is life like NOT as a student?

As my time in India dwindled away the last bit of 2012 creeped in. I fell extremely ill and I know that it was my body purging itself of all the stress and anxiety of the previous year.  God was not going to let me go back to Texas without hitting rock bottom. So I crash. Hard.  I was hospitalized 3 times, poked with IV after IV and finally on Sunday January 20th I was a new person. Completely reborn.

How?

I couldn’t wait to get back to Austin. I couldn’t wait to get back in the gym, a feeling I hadn’t had in a LONG time. I couldn’t wait to get back to work. And mostly, I couldn’t wait to make amends with the people I had hurt along the way.

My first Sunday back in Austin I went to a new church and heard the most rewarding sermon. It was as if the topic was chosen specifically for me. I was convicted. The sermon was called “2013. Still here; Now what?” and focused on living WITHOUT stress. Living WITHOUT worry.

AHHHHHHH yes. There is such a thing.

As I enter this new phase in my life I want my focus to be on bringing glory to GOD. I have been so wrapped up in ME that I forgot who is responsible for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream.  One of my favorite songs that really encapsulates the reality of what I experienced is “Who am I” by Casting Crowns.

What I’ve learned through all of this is life is SO much bigger than me.  We are on this Earth to develop relationships. To build communities.  To love one another.

Here is to 2013! A brand new year. A brand new life.  Let’s all be reborn and copen up our hearts to God’s plan.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

The path God has for us is often hard to spot, difficult, and definitely not the easiest.  But it is the best option, we just have to be open to it.