Thursday, March 27, 2014

Refuse To Quit

At the chiropractor recently, I saw a poster on the wall. You know those motivational posters? The doctor I see there works with a lot of athletes and sports injuries. It is not uncommon for an athlete to be injured at some time throughout their athletic career. For some strange reason, I always used to think that athletes were immune to injury. Until I started seeing this doctor and I finally understood that they get injured just like everyone else does. Sometimes it's sudden, and other times it comes after years to pushing their bodies to the limit.

Being overweight for most of my adult life, I do not consider myself athletic. I hate to exercise and there isn't a sport that I just love to play. Unless eating bacon can qualify as a sport. Which it should.

Physical therapy is much like athletic training, preparing a body to achieve something it might otherwise be unable to without it. While I've never been a true athlete, I have gone through countless rounds of physical therapy. Every single time it has been painful. Whether it be due to a surgery and all that comes with that, or trying to strengthen areas in order to heal others, it requires effort.

And when effort and pain meet, as they inevitably do, things become a lot more difficult. Unpleasant usually. As an athlete trains for a race, or an injured person works toward complete healing, I have found that effort and pain have collided throughout my marriage restoration.

It isn't easy. Uncovering the deeper pains in our hearts, digging up buried wounds, and subsequently opening them has been painful. Kris and I haven't come through this unscathed. There are scars. Scars that yes, can light the way to the hope we have in Christ. But these scars also can bring with them painful reminders of who we were. And while I hate to look back at who I was, there is beauty in it. Because I am not that woman anymore. There is accountability in observing these scars, because as I reflect on who I was and detest that girl, I become more determined to keep fighting, to refuse to quit.

So each time I see this poster at the chiropractor, it causes me to think. It never fails to remind me of what I have come through, and the joy that has already come, and promises to be on the other side.

Effort only fully releases its rewards after a person refuses to quit.

- Napoleon Hill

If you have been following my story for a while now, you may have noticed that a frequent theme here is hope. Never give up. Don't lose hope. These are things that I did, and they had disastrous consequences.

I gave up.

I lost hope.

I quit.

One of the greatest lessons that God taught me throughout this journey is to refuse to quit. To fight until it hurts. And then, keep fighting. To embrace the struggle, and then with his strength, to weather it. To hope until it seems utterly hopeless, and then to keep hoping.

I've tried it the other way. And I can tell you that living without hope is not only a miserable experience, it is a huge waste of time and the opportunity to make a difference in this world. God will restore the years the locusts have eaten. It may not come in the time that you expect, or even take the shape you envision, but He will bring beauty out of the mess we make with our lives. So the reward that comes from refusing to quit will far outweigh the struggle itself.

Our God is a God of redemption and restoration.

Everything's redeemable.
The God I know is capable.
--Jason Gray, Love's Not Done With You

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