Life changes daily. Curveballs can be thrown at any moment, and a lot of times they are. We can't prepare for those things that come out of nowhere. More importantly, when these things happen, reacting to them turns into the 7-stages of grief. At least, that's how it is for me.
First it's "yeah okay, this is fine" (positivity), moving into "Okay maybe not fine, but it will be" (optimism). Then it's "Wow I underestimated how bad this was" (defeat), which settles into "Okay, will this ever be over?" (confusion). You then feel like, "What did I do wrong?" (self-blame), with "Could I have prevented this" creeping in after (more self-blame). All this ends with, "What do I do now?" (motivated...sorta).
A lot of times, we forget these things happen for a reason, and there is no need for self-blame, confusion, or defeat. Revelations 3:7 says, "The one who is holy, who is true, who has the key to David, who opens a door that no one can shut, and who shuts a door that no one can open." Whether good or bad, God sets those seasons of events in place for a reason--but how we choose to respond to these seasons will prepare or set us up for the next season.
This past year, multiple curveballs have been thrown in my direction. Last year, after a couple stages of grief, I harbored in God when everything else seemed to go wrong.
I found peace everytime I went to church. At the time, the series in church matched what I was going through. I really felt like a lot of the messages were for me specifically. This helped in encouraging me to get through the "harder season" and believe that a season of goodness was coming.
Going into my final meet of the swim season, I stumbled upon the song "Reckless Love," by Cory Asbury. This song became a place of peace for me over that weekend; anytime I began to get nervous or doubt crept into my head, the lyrics from "Reckless Love" appeared, and all I would hear is the main chorus:
"Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
It chases me down, fights till I'm found, and leaves the 99
I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still, you give yourself away."
To this day, this song is still prevalent to me.
One year later, the Lord has been everywhere and his presence has been undeniable. In my relationship, where I live, church, and swim. Everywhere I go, He has become the center of why everything is falling into place (as it should be.)
At a recent meet, my best friend and teammate Annie thought of just praying before the meet. No special outcome, no hopes, but just to help us prepare and swim the best we could so the Glory can go to him.
On Monday, I heard "prepare the fields." This comes from Facing the Giants, as my team and I prepare to enter our mid-season meet. Everything within this season of goodness the Lord will provide and will come when it's time. The only job we have is to prepare for the goodness that is coming.
Through all the trials, it has been incredible to see little things fall into place. It's been fun to experience this with some of the closest people in my life. Watching the Lord work slowly through my life has been extremely eye-opening.
As this season continues, I'm excited to see what else prevails. And more importantly, I am excited about the opportunity to show the Lord's greatness through any success I have.