Friday, March 23, 2012

Week Three-Donezo!

Well, if you're wondering, after week three, I'm still alive. I certainly did not think I would get this far, but this just goes to show how sweet our Lord is and how much grace He gives one, when in need.
I started out feeling really weak at Crossfit this week. I was just flat out exhausted and mentally I did not think I could complete this week, but I just kept on going. Monday I had the greatest pleasure of working out with two of my dearest friends, Dustin DeLong and Bethany, who has joined me before. I was so nervous to work out with Dustin and I was so concerned that I would be super insecure, but more than anything, I felt blessed that my friend was cheering me on. On Monday we had to run and well, running just is not my thing, all the while Dustin runs like a gazelle and he thrives off of running. It was great being there with my friends and very encouraging. Wednesday was just really not my day. I had an anxiety attack on my way to the box and although I was praying it away, it was still trying to take hold of my thoughts. While I was warming up, I just felt nervousness and anxiety in my bones. It was a feeling and even physical pain, that I have become to know all too well lately. My friend Nicole laid hands on me and prayed for me and it was a blessing to have her there to come along side with me and help me fight those lies As for our WOD, it was my first time doing a burpee and well, I have realized I am NOT a fan of those. Not only did we have to do burpee's, but we had to do burpee box jumps and well, Stella cannot do that. (YET anyway!) So, I knocked the wind out of myself two times in a row and then had a panic attack during it because it scared me that I could not breath. I cannot fail to mention that I even cried. Yes, I cried. For about 1 minute, tears were streaming down my face as I was attempting more burpees and struggling to breath. (Now I'm laughing, then I hated my life) My coach Amy came to encourage me and motivate me, but I found myself irritated and just feeling defeated. I finished the WOD, but by modifying it and taking out the burpee's for the last two rounds. Not my best, but it helped me actually finish.
Thursday, I went to the 10 am class, which I prefer to do, but because of work I rarely get to go to. I had a decent work out, definitely better than the day before and then I spent the day resting because I definitely needed it. I spent some time with the Lord reading a little bit and just laying some things at His feet that I have been finding myself holding on to. Then I went to SKAD. Most of you reading this may not even know what that is, so I want to take the time to explain that because it is a HUGE part of my life. This will make me have to go back a few years, but since you're taking the time to read this, I figure I'll let you in more of my life than just Crossfit, because after all, this is a blog about the soul too!
I come from a rough back ground with drug abuse, alcohol struggles, depression, etc. From the age of 14-21, I found myself in a mental hospital 6 different times for various reasons like suicide attempts and substance abuse. I am a product of a kid who comes from parents who battled addictions and an absent Father. I was trying to find my worth in substances but that never fulfilled me and I was trying to find it in people and obviously that never helped either. Nothing ever helped me feel filled with joy, ever. The last time I ended up in the mental hospital, was June before my 22nd birthday. My mom and I got in a huge fight and I put a knife to my arm and cut myself so deep because I wanted her to see physically how bad I was hurting on the inside. I ended up getting sent to the hospital and had 17 staples put in my arm and I was told I was lucky to be alive because I almost hit my main artery. Then I was admitted to the mental hospital again and as I sat there for over a week, I was trying to figure out what my purpose was. Nothing made sense in life and I had absolutely no hope, but I wanted a reason to live. I remember thinking about God and how I have heard my entire life how much He loved me and had a plan for me and I remember praying to Him and saying "If you're really real, you have to show yourself to me, because if you don't, I will blow my brains out when I get out of here. Show me purpose in life." I know this is going to sound somewhat strange for someone who is not a believer, but it was in that mental hospital, when I was at the end of everything, it was as if He started showing up to me, started revealing His love to me and it was as if I knew about this Man completely out of nowhere. It was a radical change and He gave it to me, silly and undeserving ole me! When I got out, I was offered and opportunity to work with a non-profit that raised money for teens in poverty in Uganda, at a music festival called Cornerstone, in Illinois. I obviously took them up on that offer because I did not have any idea what to do with my life. As I was there, I was just captivated by God's love for me through other people and in His beautiful creation. He was cultivating something deep while I was there. As I was helping this organization, I was beginning to feel a heavy burden for teens struggling with things that I had struggled with in the past and I just knew something had to be done. When I came back to Texas, I prayed a lot and talked to many friends about this vision for starting a ministry to raise awareness about destructive decisions. After one night of chatting with a friend about it, I prayed that God would make it clear to me that I was supposed to do this; after all, I hardly knew anything about Him, but what I had experienced in my near month of new faith. The next morning I woke up to a phone call from a friend crying about one of our mutual friends dying in a drinking and driving accident and after that moment, I realized enough is enough and SOMETHING had to be done. So, after reading the word, I came across John 10:10 "The thief comes to Steal Kill and Destroy; I come that you may have life and have it abundantly." There it was. The Lord highlighted it and clearly spoke to me about this ministry. I made some flyers and printed them with the last few dollars I had to my name and started going to random places and passing them out. I started a Myspace that shared my testimony and those of others and it was so rad, but it was still lacking. I went to our local Starbucks, which I had only been once in my life and passed out flyers to a ton of teens that were hanging out there and the very next day 'Community Night' started. We met at 7 pm on the patio and had a conversation about life experiences and finding Christ. Let's fast forward to what will be almost four years now and here we are. SKAD has been having Community Nights for almost four years now and we have groups in San Antonio and South Dallas/Midlothian and there are more starting up. Our goal and vision is to meet teens where they're at and encourage them in a positive direction. There is SUCH a need for this! We meet with kids who come from rough homes, struggle with various addictions and many who are just looking for a place to belong. The vision over the years has been plucked and pruned and God has FINALLY made it VERY clear with what our goal is and it is to simply show kids that there is an absolute hope. We are the pre-kindle in getting a fire started in their lives. We are building relationships with teens in hopes that we can pour into their lives and find a place for them to get plugged in and receive discipleship. We are a 501c3 nonprofit and God has allowed us to do numerous things that I'm still shocked we've been able to take part in. We have set up a handful of festivals, been on tour a few times, and met thousands upon thousands of teens and it has been such a sweet journey.
So, I shared a lot about that because Thursday night is SKAD night and I went to Starbucks (where we still meet) and had a GREAT conversation with the teens about who they are. It was so awesome and my heart is just overflowing with joy for those kids because they are so worthy! I am very blessed to be able to be a part of these kids lives and I thank God for it daily. It blows me away that these kids continue to come and open their hearts. It is so awesome.
Now we are on to today-which is Friday. My LAST day of the week. May I be bold to say that I kicked butt today in my WOD and I could not be more proud of myself?! My sit ups have improved greatly and today I was cranking them out left and right. It is amazing how if you just keep on reaching towards a goal, you will eventually reach it. The entire time I was doing my WOD, I was just giving God the glory and thanking Him so much for giving me the strength to do it. Guys, I could NOT do this if it weren't for Him giving me the grace I need.
A wise friend once said to me, "He'll give you the grace you need, when you need it. Till then, wait for it."
As for my weekend, I'm looking forward to spending time with some great friends, working a little bit, and living my life as an act of worship to the One God who has given me life.
His love never fails, be encouraged in that.

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