I've always loved a great workout.
The YMCA is a place that Coy and I have been hanging out since the day we got married.
Recently, our local Lakeland YMCA added some incredible weight training classes that have worked us royally, but we must like that sort of thing because we keep going back.
Good workouts change things.
What I love about one particular group weight training class is that 1) we suffer together 2) the music is great. Everything is better with music.
This week, during a challenging set of leg repetitions, recording artist PINK was driving us to hang in there. One lyric of that song stands out to me more than the others. One lyric reminded me of the struggle that makes us better.
...just because you get burned doesn't mean you're going to die...you've got to get up and try, try try....
Even though we feel like one more lift or one more squat is going to kill us, we try, even through the pain, because we know that it produces RESULTS.
I wish I could say that this is just an educated guess that these words are true in other areas of life beyond the gym routine.
I know that it's more than an educated guess because
all of us have been burned before.
Just because you get burned in
life doesn't mean you're going to die.
You don't have to give up.
You don't have to make a final judgment.
Judgment is heavy and it's not something meant for us to carry.
You can still believe. Hope isn't flimsy.
It's strong. It repairs. It comes back thicker when it's tested.
You can do things that you never thought you could do before.
I'm not being insensitive.
If you're hurting right now know that others hurt with you.
Being burned. Being let down. Being left out. Being misunderstood. Being something altogether different than you wanted to be. Being misrepresented. Being taken for granted. Being used. Being talked about. Being positioned. Being ignored. Being lied to. Being flat out wronged.
And you should feel pain.
You have a heart of flesh.
There are things in my life, in my past, in my ministry history, moments as a wife , a mother, a friend, and a pastor that I never wanted to experience or things that I never thought I would do to hurt others (but ended up doing them anyway) that have MADE ME BETTER.
I've been encouraged before, "Brooklyn don't let this make you bitter, let it make you better."
There are times for anger. But it doesn't need to own us. It's useful as fuel.
It can incite action.
There are days for hiding in closets, for tears, for questions greater than our answers.
Think of it as fuel.
It has been the times when I've felt the heat, or the conflict, or the rushing in of anxiety--and I've been encouraged to remain in it and worked through it and refused to die in it. It's in those times that I've broken through barriers and have emerged better.
I've grown. I'm healing. I'm considering these things to be a source of deeper empathy, compassion, and leadership. I've learned the richest leadership lessons from the mistakes I've made and from the mistakes others have made with me.
I thank the conflict. I'm crazy happy and filled with gratitude when I think about how far I've come and how each challenge has helped me see who I am and who I'm not, and how much love is involved in forgiveness.
There is grace.
Wherever you are.
Whatever you are feeling.
Whenever you are facing "it".
So, when it hurts like a mother.
When life bears down on you and you feel like you can barely breathe.
Look at the evidence, the goodness of God that's there with you in the fire, and thank him for the strength to be refined in it.
You're not going to die in this. You can get up and try.
John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
*Thank you Alecia Beth Moore--I believe you are a closet youth pastor--you and Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson--I'm certain we could team up and really change some things ;)