So, the problem with working your body rugged, both by working out, doing homework, doing other work, and everything else you push yourself through, is that it all catches up with you eventually.
I’m pretty sure that’s what happened to me this morning.
Last night, sleep just wouldn’t settle on my brain. I talked to God for a while, trying to get to sleep. That’s when Hannah texted me, and I suddenly had something to distract myself. I was really happy that she had texted me; we had a good talk and my mind felt a little more at ease.
The other thing I did last night while I was unable to sleep was try to recruit my Dad to train for the Spartan Race with me, which I think would be a lot of fun 🙂 I’ll have fun regardless, but it would be even more fun if someone would do it with me. While I was staring at the ceiling, my mind wide awake, I was thinking about how absolutely difficult this whole thing is going to be, training for the race. On top of college, it’ll be even more difficult. But then again, it might not be a bad distraction and motivator. I remember the day before the first day of wrestling practice, and I’ve probably used this moment before but I’m going to use it again. I remember pacing through my kitchen, talking to Mom, telling her how absolutely crazy this was, my enduring an entire wrestling season just to write a book. I didn’t feel physically capable or mentally capable to do any of it.
But I also remember, that same night, asking God if I could borrow His strength, His determination, His commitment, and His discipline so that I could endure this. I remember throughout wrestling season, when I so badly just wanted to give up, when I was sick of being beaten up and thrown around, when I couldn’t handle the mental strain of practice on top of the emotional strain of everything else going on at the time, repeating that to myself, reminding myself that I am a child of God and I can do anything with Him. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). ANYTHING.
I did more than make it through wrestling season. I went to girls’ states and placed second place in my weight class, which, even though it was much less competitive and more informal than boys’ states, wasn’t bad. Wrestling is a difficult sport. The Spartan Race is a beast of a race. But it’s not too big for God, which means it’s not too big for me, because I’m His girl.
“But Hunter, God only effects the spiritual. He can’t physically strengthen you.”
You wanna bet? It’s through the spiritual that God physically sustains me. If I’ve already defeated myself mentally and spiritually, then there’s no way I’ll ever be able to win physically. The mental is always the biggest obstacle. But God is bigger than my fears, my emotions, my doubts. “Whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything” (1 John 3:20).
I’ve got this…or, more importantly, God’s got this.
Anyway, no sleep last night, at least not until about an hour before my alarm went off. When I woke up, I felt nauseated and every inch of my body ached. I stood up out of my bed and I’m pretty sure my abs imploded. I ended up texting Sam, Dina, and Charlene to let them know I wouldn’t be at church this morning and crawled back into bed, trying to get comfortable. Thankfully, there’s a podcast linked to the church, so I can listen to Pastor’s sermon tomorrow and not miss out anything.
I spent most of the morning in bed, not wanting to eat anything, until about one when I decided I needed to kick this. Against my body I ate food and tried to start my homework, but it didn’t really work. So I pulled out my Bible and my journal instead.
So, lately I’ve been doing this whole, “God, look, I’m a mess. I fall over things, I’m awkward, I’m mean to people sometimes, I’m emotional, I don’t know what I want, and I’m so afraid. Why would You use me? How can You use me?” and I’ve felt, in one particular area of my life, that if I say one wrong thing or make a wrong move then the future of this area will be totally ruined and it’ll be because of my faults. But then God’s like, “Hunter…you cannot put Me in a box. The heavens are My throne and the earth My footstool. When are you going to learn that I’m not limited by anything, much less any of your faults or clumsiness?”
Right. God isn’t limited by me, by anything of which I’m capable, by any amount of my running into automatic doors, slipping on sidewalks, or tripping over my words. He’s not limited by my over-emotionalness or my worry-wartness. He’s not limited by my stubbornness, by my lack of trust, by my doubt. He’s not limited by anything, and I cannot put Him in a box. Hallelujah.
After talking to God, I felt a little better. I got dressed and washed my face and went for a walk, trying to get some fresh air. I walked to PathMark and bought some envelopes (so I can write letters to people, because I’m old-fashioned like that) and bagels, because I really, really wanted bagels and I had a little bit of extra money. The walk was refreshing and the air was cool.
One of the problems of living in the City is that I always forget that some restaurants only accept cash. I don’t ever carry cash. I don’t know why; I just don’t. The other reason why not carrying cash is a bummer in the City is because a lot of homeless people, or people needing money come up to me on the streets and in stores asking for cash or change and I have none, but they often won’t accept a meal or food, only money, so it makes me wonder…
Anyway, I always feel conflicted when people come up to me and ask me for money. While I was in PathMark, looking at shampoo, a man came up to me in the isle and told me he wasn’t trying to scare me but he needed me to give him a single. I had no cash on me and told him I had none. He asked again. I felt really terrible for not having anything to give him, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how to feel. When I went with my family to Washington D.C. for the first time, we had lots of people coming up to us and asking us for money. How did they get that way? What happened? Where are their families?
How can I fix it?
I got back to my dorm and ate a bagel, feeling less weak and less nauseated than I had in the morning. I finally made a deeper dent in my leftover homework. I relaxed, trying not to move too quickly and stir up my stomach again and I wrote letters to my letter people. I would challenge you to try writing a letter. It’s really fun. I know, I know, it takes forever to get to the other person and things change and texting or emailing would be so much easier. But come on. It’s almost Valentine’s Day. You should write your man or your woman a letter, telling them how awesome they are, how the way they sneeze is funny or that their hair looks beautiful in the sun or what you think of when you hear their name. Writing letters is a romantic practice. Guys, if you want to be romantic during Valentine’s Day, write a letter, stick it to a bouquet of red roses (cliche, I know, do it), put it front of their door early in the morning when you know they’ll get it with an invitation to go to dinner. At six o’clock that evening, drive up in a 1960s model Porsche. Wear a suit and tie (white tux with black lining and bow tie would be ideal, patent-leather shoes). Do not honk the horn for your girl to come outside. Walk up to her door, knock, come in, walk her to the car, and take her to dinner. Ladies, if you want to be romantic during Valentine’s Day, accept the innocent gift of the letter and the bouquet, and upon the invitation to dinner, dress up in a red or black dress that’s modest but flattering. Curl your hair, let it be big hair, have fun with it. Let your man be the gentleman and come and get you at the door. Let him walk you to the car, let him open your door, let him pay for dinner. Do you have to rock the Porsche? No, I guess not. Do you have to dress like you live in the 50s? No, I guess not. But y’all want to be romantic for Valentine’s Day? Give each other an opportunity to be innocent, to be ladies and gentleman. That is all.
God has a really cool plan for me 🙂 I have no idea what it is, but I know it’s amazing. How? Because He loves me, because He wants the best for me, because I’m His girl, and He has a plan to prosper me and to give me hope and a future. He knows me and He knows the desires of my heart and the dreams of my soul. On top of that, He knows what’s going to happen in the future and only asks that I trust Him, since He’s the one who can see what’s in front of me. I’m not saying I’m not going to doubt or worry (I think it’s quite obvious that worrying is a thing I need to work on not doing), and I’m not saying I won’t get discouraged, but again, God’s plan won’t be any less amazing because of my doubt. The only thing that will change is whether I take part in it. All I have to do is trust Him. Well then, here we go 🙂
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” —Isaiah 43:2