Pressing Through Dissapointment

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Have you ever been so overcome with stress and frustration that it has left you paralyzed? This is where I found myself a few weeks ago–utterly paralyzed and unsure of what to do. This is not like me at all. Those who know me, know I don’t do idle. I am the doer, the list-maker, and list-completer. I make the plan and execute it. I am confident. Not this puffy-eyed, ugly cried-out mess of a woman who is left raw and feeling defeated.

Whoever said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” in my opinion is a liar. That person has never owned their own business. When you do what you love, you work harder than for any other job you’ll ever do. I absolutely love what I do. However, every business has its ups and downs, and this has been a season of way down. I had racked my brain, looked at PNL’s, analytics, you name it. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why and where things had gotten off track. The thought of having to seek employment elsewhere to free up my income to keep the business out of the red has left me saddened and feeling like a failure.

One night I cried out to God asking for an answer on what to do or, at the least, some encouragement. Do you know what I got as an answer? Nothing. Just the ramblings of my own brain. I cried myself to sleep that night. When I woke up the next day, I thought surely I can figure this out. I searched through scriptures and found a few that gave some comfort, but I was still left feeling paralyzed and unsure. I left my Bible to collect dust and went through the next few weeks in a quite crabby and cynical state.

Honestly, I was mad. I was mad at God for his lack of response as I thought I had tried to seek him and was given nothing to work with. One afternoon I discovered Disappointment With God, a book by Philip Yancey I had purchased and then left forgotten on a shelf. As I began reading the book, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt comforted, then puzzled, encouraged, then enraged. For a full day I refused to pick up the book and was sure I never would again, but in the end, I did. My mood wasn’t completely lifted, but I did feel a little lighter.


“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9


Tonight, I suddenly felt led to thumb back through the book to look over my highlights and notes in the margins. One section stood out to me. Yancey explained that the Israelites lived with directives and signs from God, yet both did not serve to improve their lasting faith. He posed the question, “Why pursue God when he had already revealed himself so clearly?” In my hot pursuit to get what I wanted and felt entitled to (an answer from Him), I had grown impatient. I had stopped pursuing Him with the intensity that He desires. While I was never given the word of direction or comfort I asked for, I got more. I got silence and I had to pursue him with an intensity that I hadn’t done in a long time. I also discovered he was there all along. With that in mind, by pursuing and trusting in God, I can face whatever the future may bring in both my business and in life. I love my business and I’ll keep doing it, but I may have to do something else in addition to it. And that’s ok. Though things didn’t turn out as I’d hoped for, it isn’t a failure. It could lead to something much deeper.

Not Fitting the Mold

BrokenPencilI’ve blogged off and on for years now. I’ve written commercially about fitness, how to grow your gym, and how to motivate your clients. Somehow when it came time to write this blog (my first for #ThisIsLiving) I lacked the ability to motivate myself to do it. I’d write a few sentences here and there that I’d quickly go back and delete. I’d stare at my computer screen with the cursor flashing, daring me to write something. I even got a whole paragraph in comparing the spiritual pursuit to running- something that has way more parallels than you can imagine. Yet, I still found every excuse under the sun not to write a blog entry – something I had volunteered to do. Why?

After staring at the blank page for the better part of two months, I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom. I am in no stretch of the imagination what you’d expect a Christian to be. I am tatted up with a half sleeve, live in yoga pants, I curse more than I’d like to, I’ve been divorced, and I loathe the societal stigma that has somehow attached itself to being an Christian. So, who am I to write to you about anything to do with holiness?

…I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom.

On Sunday, the message at church was on Jonah. During which it became abundantly clear that like Jonah, I had been running from doing something that I feel God has called me to do. Don’t you hate that? When people say stuff like that? “God told me.” I used to hate that, too. It sounds totally cliché, but I assure you it is also totally legit. When I say that God called me to write this, I don’t mean I audibly heard him say it. It is more like something on my mind and in my heart that I can’t quite put into words. Obviously, it wasn’t something of my own creating. I’ve fought hard against it. Where is all this leading you’re wondering? Don’t worry I’m finally getting to the main idea.

Like Jonah, I was afraid and I had taken hold of a pagan idea and pretended it was true. I was afraid to put myself out there by writing and being vulnerable. I had taken hold of the pagan idea that Christians are supposed to be perfect. Since I don’t fit that mold, I felt I had no business in writing this. Then I recalled how Hebrew literature depicted some of the best of the best: David, Abraham, Jacob. None of these men were painted to be holier-than-thou and perfect. God used them in their imperfectness, and with their many sinful blemishes, to do amazing things. They knew what I’ve come to realize in writing this and through the message I heard…what I hope you’ll explore as well: “We can keep trying our plan, or we can yield to God” and “Sometimes, the thing you feel uncomfortable doing is the thing God’s called you to do.”