Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Today I’d like to talk about a topic that has been on my heart for quite a number of days now and it’s something that I have learned over the years. It’s not something that is learned overnight, it’s a lengthy process and it requires discipline. What I’m talking about is this idea of relying upon our own strength and resources to accomplish something. Whether it be a fitness goal, or a project, if the goal I’m trying to accomplish is not placed before God, then it usually ends up crumbling into pieces.
One key thing to be reminded of when faced with a goal of any kind, is to lay the goal infront of God and ask Him “Will this bring glory to Your name?” If it does, keep asking Him for guidance and direction. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know that something isn’t matching up with the will He has planned for your life.
I have definitely been one of those people who has just gone ahead and done something without asking God for his input and it has only led me to being disappointed and discouraged. I can think of a time specifically where I went ahead of God and “did my own thing” only to end up in a place where I never intended to be. Thankfully, the Lord has brought me out of that season and revealed to me that life isn’t about “thrill-seeking” but instead it’s about seeking His will for my life.
To find out more about how Jesus has worked in my own life, you can continue to read below. However, I understand that there may not be time to read every single detail of my story and that is okay. I just pray that where ever you are in the midst of your own “story”, that you will start to seek God’s best plan for your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it cannot be found in our own strength. We need to reply upon Him for the goals we have set out to acheive, because He designed us to be obedient and trusting in Him to help us in everything.
When I was about 15 years old I was going through a season of my life where I just wanted everything “now”. I wanted the looks, the recognition, the popularity status. I wanted to be known. I wanted to be known by my friends by other people who I never knew but knew that they were pretty well known. I wanted that that feeling of just being on top of the world because for a while I was feeling really low. I was feeling really sad about a recent break up that I went through and just feeling like I wasn’t good enough.
I really just wanted to feel loved and to feel appreciated by other people so I went on a quest, or you could say a mission, to make myself feel better and to make myself look better. I thought I could do that by losing weight because when I was a kid I was never athletic. I was always into singing and drawing and doing things that didn’t require a whole lot of physical effort. I tried out for several sports at my high school, I first tried out for rugby, and yeah, you’re probably wondering why in the world would you try out for sport like rugby? I just wanted to join something that I thought I could have a good chance at being on the team for, because I knew that a lot of people didn’t necessarily pick rugby is their first choice of sport. You have to have a lot of strength and endurance when you’re playing rugby and I thought that I could make it, but unfortunately on the second day of tryouts I didn’t attend. Instead, I joined the track and field team. I did sprints, javelin, and I also did shot-put. I was never ever a fan of track and field when I was younger. I would actually purposely skip school on track and field days because I just did not enjoy track and field at all.
As I began to become more involved with track at school, I started running on my own time. Eventually, I was running on the treadmill every single day and it got to a point where I was running for 40 minutes a day. People would commend me for running for such a long time, they would say I had “discipline”, and I thought I did too. I thought I was doing something good for myself. I thought I was getting healthier. But as the days went on, I started to notice a decrease in my weight, in my bone density, and a pause in my menstrual cycle. I began to realize that maybe I’m not being as healthy as I thought I was being. Maybe this whole idea of “relying on my own strength” isn’t what God intended for my life.
As time went on, I started to see a big difference in the way that I was thinking about life. I started becoming more and more depressed as the days went on and my friends started to notice that this was seriously taking over my life. I was looking very frail and very sick and family members started to notice and started to comment on my weight by saying “Sara you don’t look beautiful anymore.” I heard that twice, once by a family member and another from a teacher. When they spoke thos words into my life, I felt very confused because I thought that I was looking better. I thought that I was looking healthier. But deep down I knew I wasn’t healthy because I had lost my period, my ability to concetrate, and my body heat.
I went to my guidance counsellor at school who was incredibly helpful and always readily availbale to listen to my concerns. From there, I was referred to an eating disorder clinic where I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. From that moment, my life was changed. I was officially diagnosed with something that I didn’t want to be diagnosed with, and so I was monitored each day for my weight and my caloric intake and. I was just so obsessed with how much food I was taking in that I totally forgot about all the other things in life that really mattered. The only thing that mattered in life at that moment was when I was eating.
It honestly just got to the point where I was like “What is happening to me? Why am I going through this? Why why do I feel so upset all the time?” I started to realize that maybe this was God’s way of waking me up to realize that there are so many other things to be focused on rather than my weight.
When we place such a high focus on our out appearance, it begins to have really negative effects on your way of thinking. When we’re so focused on our body image, we begin to neglect all the other principles, values and morals that God teaches in order for us to live an abundant life.
When I was so focused on my outer appearance, I didn’t make time for family and friends, nor did I do well in school because I was so focused on my looks that nothing else mattered. I wasn’t treating people like the way that they should be treated. I was running myself into “calorie debt” because i couldn’t afford to spend any more energy without running myself into cardiac arrest, but I still continued to burn every morsel of food that I ate off of my body until there was nothing left to me.
We can see how this applies to daily life. When we have a goal in our minds that isn’t set before God, we need to reach down and dig deep to ask God “What can I do to accomplish Your will?”
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that there won’t be any obstacles along the way. I have faced a number of obstacles along the way and it seems that each obstacle isn’t necessarily something that’s holding me back from God’s promises, but it’s helping me to become prepared for God‘s promises. He doesn’t want you or me walking into something that he knows we’re not ready for, or else the whole thing will turn out to be a disaster.
He wants us to become more like His Son. He wants us to become more in tune with His Spirit which will result in being in tune with His will.
Sometimes, I need to slow down. I need to be stop. I need someone to just put their hand in front of me and say “Sara you need to wait for a second and just think about what you’re choosing to do.” I beleive that is totally what God is trying to show me right here, right now in this season of my life. He is saying ” Sara you need to slow down to see what I’m doing in you. You need to see what I have planned for you, because the more you try and go ahead and do things without my permission, or without my input the more you’re going to end up in places where you do not what to be.” I have learned from my past, and that is what I am trying to live out right here, right now. Just hold on, take a deep breath, and see what God wants you to do .
I hope this brings you some encouragement, and hope to whatever goals you have for yourself, to first make sure they are aligned with the will of God. If they are, continue to ask for the Lord’s direction, input, and guidance.