About 6 years ago I sat in my doctor’s examination room sobbing. I was severely depressed and was watching my life fall apart around me. My doctor sat down next to me and put his arm around me to give me comfort and said, “Start with walking. Promise me you will walk once a day.” And I did. It was all I could do to get dressed. Seriously. My ex walked with me a few times but lost interest pretty quickly. He had a girlfriend on the side to attend to for goodness sake, and it gave us too much time to talk I think, and he really didn’t want to talk to me back then.
I had aches and pains for years due to inactivity and neglect, in more ways than physical. I was a broken woman. I was at the bottom. I had already taken too many tranquilizers hoping I would never wake up, only to panic and call a suicide hotline, and run to the toilet to throw them up before it was too late.
I could not…could not…imagine myself as lovable.
I was completely broken. But I had to believe God was putting me through this for a reason, so I listened to my doctor and I put one foot in front of the other almost every day.
As I type this, my face is wet with tears. I can’t help it. Remembering this time in my life is difficult.
But I kept walking and one day I thought maybe I could get to the corner faster if I jogged a little. My chest burned as my lungs gasped for air. I couldn’t run more than a few yards without feeling like I would die. But I kept going.
How many steps would it take to feel ok again?
I ran track in high school but always cheated distance running. I was fast enough and I knew it. I won races and made CIF without barely training.
Now I realize my folly.
“You want to fail.”
There’s something about the smell of perspiration, plastic, and dirt at a gym. When your hands get slippery from the sweat that is also dripping into your eye making you blink and squint as you grimace through that last set.
That’s Harry’s mantra at the gym. You want to fail.
No one could have told me I would feel sexier and prettier at 43 than I did at 33. No one could have told me that I would feel healthier than before I had children. I would have told them they were crazy. THERE IS NO WAY….
I’m trying to build some muscle – finally – after all those years of running. Now I’m sculpting and he’s helping. A set of 12 then increase the weight for a set of 10. Increase for another 8 and finally increase for 6. But on the 6 you want to fail. On purpose.
Failing was the single most horrible thing imaginable back in the day. Failing was not an option. I was a winner. And winning was as easy as just setting my mind on something. I could WILL anything to victory.
And now in my 40’s I am learning that you have to be willing for something to fail in order to make it as strong as you need for it to be so it won’t.
Think about building a bridge across an expanse of ocean. Wouldn’t you want to test the materials, design, and construction to make sure nothing would buckle or sway or twist into an angry mess? You wouldn’t build something like that without testing it?!
Training is testing. And testing builds strength and strength allows you to endure. WHY DIDN’T I GET THAT WHEN I WAS YOUNGER? And why does that remind me of the Scripture in James 1 that says,
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The pain and sweat I’m doing now makes me stronger. Failing actually builds me up.
Sadly the doctor that consoled me and gave me such good advice did not take his own. A few months after that hug he ended his life with a bullet to the head. I don’t know why. I don’t know why he didn’t listen to his own good advice.
Victory is not for everyone. And Victory does not come easily or in the way we would like it most of the time. But if you do not lose faith – If you persevere – it will come. With hard work…after failing time and time again and building up your strength. It will come.
I laid in bed – the same one I’m sitting crossed legged upon right now, typing to you, back in 2007-2008, thinking that my life was over. I fantasized about driving my car off the over pass every single time I drove over it. I played out my own death over and over in my head. I thought my kids would be better off without their screw up mom. The world would be better off without me too. I had nothing left to offer, nothing else to gain.
But I was wrong. There is much to be said about my life and it’s blessings now.
Not in the least – that there is this man who lights up when he sees me. There are these kids who are choosing to live with me and be with me and seek my counsel that I thought didn’t need me anymore. There is a light in my life that I hadn’t felt since I was probably 12 or 13.
When you hit rock bottom…WAIT…you will think there is NO WAY…but give it some time and perseverance and if you don’t lose faith it will happen.
Every man has his walk. We all have to take our own steps. Some of them are lonely. And sometimes if we are very lucky we have someone willing to walk our steps with us.
My ex lost interest in walking with me…but Harry is with me every step of the way. I know he loves me. I don’t know how I became lovable but somehow I did.
THANK YOU GOD.
This is my 500th post, and I thought it fitting to think about where I’ve come from since I started this darned thing. I’ve come from the pit of despair to victory in Jesus and in love. And I can’t imagine anything better than to celebrate the fact that after all the toil and heartache I’m realizing that in time – good things come.
I have someone who will walk with me now.
Enjoy the song it’s one of my favorites.