Well, I sure have! Especially in the last five-ish years of my young adult life. And every single time, God has proved my brain thinking "Nah, I can't do that" oh so very wrong.
Lately, my crazy idea has involved something I've thought about for a while. As some of you know, when I went to Grad school I finally truly started taking care of myself and my health and got super into "fake jogging," as I refer to it... somewhere between a walk and a run. :) Well, as I started getting better at it, and doing it more often - craving that exercise and time to spend with the Lord (I'm an avid listener to worship music as I fake jog... it's one of the most incredible ways I can just "be" with God) - I started to think that I might like to do some of these races that I see my friends doing. The first hurdle was to sign up for a 2-mile race with my bff, Shaina. Then two weeks later, my first 5K. Another two weeks after that, another 5K w/Shaina (what an amazing friend to let me talk her into these things!).
I was seemingly obsessed with how I FELT after fake jogging. I felt restored, recharged, rejuvenated, and reconnected to my Father. I started "dreaming big" and thinking about a 10K or a half marathon... and then immediately decided that THAT was a crazy idea. I could never do that!
Or could I?
I had come so far already... I was already much HEALTHIER than I'd been in a long, long time. I felt AMAZING. Could I do more? In my heart I knew I could if I worked my tail off and relied on His strength, but everything around me was screaming "NO way... are you crazy? You can't "run" that much! Better stick to the label of "fake jog" because large girls like you can't ever do something like that."
And I believed those lies. I let them take root in my heart, and become toxic. And when life got seemingly INSANE this last school year, between the stress, physical and emotional exhaustion, and workload that was far beyond what any one person should be able to handle... I gave up on myself. I was too tired to workout, too tired to eat well because I didn't have enough energy to do so, and it was ok, right? My clothes would fit again soon... my heart would find contentment where I was and be OK with the fact that sometimes life is HARD and clinging to Jesus is just as hard, especially when you are overwhelmed with the lies of the Enemy. After all, everything that was going on in my life was making it excusable that I wasn't taking care of myself, right?
Then one day I realized I had given up. I stopped fighting. I let the Enemy win, and instead of clinging to Jesus, I was clinging to my excuses and exhaustion. I had stopped giving God my heart, and was selfishly locking it up for fear I'd have to take a look in the mirror, a step on the scale, and therefore a real, very sobering look at my own heart.
This was a major wake-up call from God. Was I giving Him my heart? Of course not! So, for a few weeks I battled with this ever-present need for Him and a major CHANGE on my part.
Over the last week, since school's let out, I've been striving to seek Him more in my healthy endeavors... remembering that I AM beautiful, worthy, and loved regardless, but that doesn't give me an excuse to not take care of myself. I started eating better, working out again, and have been getting involved with ItWorks Global! to take back my health!
I've even started fake jogging again, and that's when I got this incredibly crazy idea.
I wanted to sign up for a half marathon.
Now, I know. For those of you that have known me my entire life and watched me throughout my "healthy lifestyle" journey I know you think this idea is literally insane. After all, I'm still considered obese even though I've lost as much weight as I have. After this year, I've gained back 25 pounds and still feel sick over that. I'm not a "runner" by any classification, but fake jogging is something I utterly enjoy regardless.
A HALF MARATHON? Yup, I'm crazy.
A few months ago, when I was really struggling with my eating and exercising habits, feeling utterly defeated and worthless, I came across this...
|RUN LIKE A DIVA HALF MARATHON|
HECK. YES. #diva
But I couldn't DREAM of fake jogging THIRTEEN MILES. There's no way this still obese large child could do anything of the sort. So I gave up looking at it and went back to my stressed out and quite selfish unhealthy lifestyle dreaming of the day my pants would fit again.
This last week, as I have been getting back into a routine, treating myself better, exercising, fake jogging, and inviting God to take the lead again instead of my bad habits, I've thought again about this race.
And I decided to register for it.
Yup, you heard it. Jessica is going to do a half marathon.
I'm still battling my head saying I can't possibly do this, because my heart is longing to do it. I'm longing to give God my heart, and in doing so believe that by His strength, I CAN do this. It's an act of obedience, of worship, of giving Him my heart.
I'm giving God my heart... and training for a half marathon as a result of it. Heaven help me!
He calls us to the most mysterious and sometimes unbelievable things, which may seem like foolishness to others if we aren't qualified for whatever He is calling us to do. But that's okay, because HE is the one who qualifies us to take on that which the world says we can't!
What has He prepared for you? Are you willing to give Him your heart and your trust, as uncomfortable as it may be? Even if the world, your friends, even your family is screaming "No" at you, laughing at your expense for what He's calling you to do? Do you trust Him enough to break those chains and LIVE FREE?
I believe we can make His heart happy just by offering ours... in the everyday ordinary and mundane, and in our big breathtaking wildest dreams.
Will you offer Him your heart today?
"But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” Exodus 4:10-12
"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." - Hebrews 13:20-21
"Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone." - Ephesians 7-11 (MSG)