Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Forgiving, Forgetting, and Moving Forward

Long story short, within two months time, I lost yet another trainer to another company.  Fortunately, though, I'll be seeing Brant when I hit the classes at Camp Gladiator Arena.  I don't blame Brant for leaving, and he felt bad about it since he knew I was just transitioning to his style of training.  For anybody who is trying to lose weight, consistency is very important, and jumping trainer to trainer can be very difficult.  Consistency, though, can end up in boredom if not challenged too.  Luckily, though, my new trainer, Miguel, has made it rather easy for me.  To be honest, I think my two months with Brant was a God thing, since Miguel only started a couple of months ago at 24 Hour Fitness.  Laura, Scott, Matt and Brant, if you ever read this, know this one thing:  Miguel thinks I have impeccable form while training.  :o)  Miguel offers me a "no judgement zone" and I've been able to share things with him that I have not been able to share with many other people.  I have considered writing some deeply personal posts on this blog, but that time is not now, and perhaps those posts will never come.  I sometimes feel people can learn from my past experiences, though, too, no matter how difficult those times were.  Time will only tell.

I have learned a great deal about myself these past few weeks.  I can't say it is just due to the new trainer, but my life is moving in the fast lane these days.  In a matter of two weeks, I finished finals for my spring semester, I took my doctoral qualifying exam, and my boyfriend moved to Italy.  I'm still picking up the pieces - the house is a mess and quite frankly, my life is a mess.  When my boyfriend and I were prayed over at Austin Christian Fellowship a few weeks ago, I honestly believe that God has us in these separate seasons because we each need something different.  I think I know how God wants me to grow, but I'm sure it's going to be much greater than I expect.  For starters, I need to surround myself with goal-orientated, positive people.  To be honest, in my humble opinion and in most cases, people who complain like to put blame on the current situation onto others.  If I complain loud enough, nobody is going to notice when I fail IF I choose to try and fix it.  Yes, some things are out of our jurisdiction of "fixing," but as Mahatma Ghandi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”  At the same time, though, as Will Davis, Jr. preached the other week, we must be okay with being forgotten after we die.  I have been trying to pursue a legacy on earth, but the reality is, it does not matter because in 50 years, I will be forgotten.

Ghandi was a wise man, and some of the quotes that still exist should be life lessons.
1.  "There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever."  Ouch.
2.  "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."  True.
3.  "Nobody can hurt me without my permission."  Easier said than done.
4.  "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."  So so true.
5.  "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result."  I think this is my new lifestyle motto.
6.  "The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."  Let me further explain.
I started checking out a new small group with my church since the one I co-lead disbanded about a year ago, and now that school is winding down, I can really focus on this area of my life.  At dinner last night, we briefly discussed Philippians 3:13-14, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  You may be curious as to why I bring up this passage while I am talking about Ghandi and forgiveness.  Everybody has heard of the cliche "forgive and forget."  I'm not sure we are supposed to forget.  If your past is holding you from your future, then yes, that is a problem, but I think we also need to learn from our past.  Forgiveness, though, is the first step of forgetting.  And forgiveness, as Ghandi points out, is an "attribute of the strong."  And where do we get our strength?  Through God.  For me, the hardest person to forgive is myself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin

17 days and counting. I cannot believe that I will be back in Africa in 17 days. I have soooooo much to do still. Or at least it feels that way. I'm glad I got a head start on things earlier in the semester, otherwise I think I'd be in panic mode. I knew things on the other side of the were going to be easier, I just didn't realize how "stressless" I would be. The hectic semester is over. Qualifying exam done. Boyfriend getting settled in Italy. Africa is the place for me to de-stress and really remember what life is about:  serving. Serving God through serving others. It is the one thing that I've been missing this past year as I trudged through school. Life is good. I really shouldn't complain. If you truly follow God, you should not feel empty in any part of your life. Trust me, I know this is easier said than done. I still struggle in areas too.

To update those who may be interested. Support for my trip this year has trickled in; God will provide somehow. Out of the $1250 that was due last week, $250 came from raised support. I suppose I may not convey my heart when I speak of Uganda and the people, especially the children. Perhaps this is a test of faith, or maybe of sacrifice. I know it will all be clear when I get on that plane as to why I have been called to go back. Stay tuned to this great adventure.