I Will Be With You
This past weekend I participated in a local CrossFit competition with 3 other friends from my gym. In these competitions, there are several divisions to choose from. The most difficult division is called RX; a more “doable” division is called Scaled, and there is also a Masters division for older competitors.
In the past, I have always competed Scaled. My reasoning is that I am a smaller athlete, I cannot lift the heavy weight like some of the other girls, and some of the skills required to compete RX are just outside of my abilities. In fact, competing RX has not even been a possibility in my mind. Very early on, I labeled myself as a Scaled athlete, and that is what I have always been.
When we got ready to sign up this time, we discovered that the age to compete as Masters had been changed from 40 to 35. Two members of the team would need to be at least 35, and then the requirements would be a bit easier, and we would only be judged against other women of that same age group. Even though 2 of us are in our late 30’s, we decided to challenge ourselves and compete in the RX division this year.
When we first signed up, some parts of the workouts made me very nervous. I remember thinking that this was going to be very difficult, and my only goal was just to get through it. One of our teammates has only been doing CrossFit a few months and could not even perform all of the movements yet when she agreed and signed up.
But we took a leap of faith, decided to train as hard as we could, to show up, do our best, and see what happened. Typically the day of competitions (or just any day at the gym for that matter) my stomach is in knots. I get all in my head, worried that I won’t do well enough, that the other girls are more prepared than I am, that I should just leave the heavy weight-lifting up to the people who are equipped for that. Lots of people were collegiate athletes or gymnasts or are half my age, so who am I to think that I can do what they can do?
All of this thinking reminded me of the way I felt both times before we adopted our girls. As we started our home study and training classes and learned more about all of the challenges that not only go along with adoption in general, but with the adoption of an older child with special needs from another country (!) it made me feel very inadequate. I would look around at other people who appeared to be more mature in their faith, people who had more money or more time or more training in these areas. People who were more patient or who at least had experienced being a parent before!
When I was tempted to beat myself up for having these thoughts, I was reminded of Moses in Exodus 3 and 4. It says that God saw his children being oppressed by the Egyptians, and He asked Moses to go to King Pharaoh and have the Israelites released from his bondage.
Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Verse 12: So (God) said, “I will certainly be with you…”
Exodus 4:10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Translation: Don’t make me do this job. I can’t even speak well!
In verse 11, God reminds Moses of Who had made his mouth in the first place. Verse 12: “Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you should say.”
I can tell you that in our competition yesterday, God certainly was with us. I never once had a nervous feeling in my stomach. He kept us safe, He gave us strength, He helped us do our best and to form a closer bond as teammates.
I can also certainly tell you that God has been with Daniel and me every step of the way through both adoptions.
Now that our CrossFit competition is over, I will take one day of rest and then get back into the gym, training every day to get better and reach my fullest potential. And as a parent of these special girls, I will continue to train my spirit daily to go back to God and let Him remind me over and over again that He will be with us. That He will equip us. That He will show us. That He will provide for us.
Because, after all, He’s the One who formed us in the first place.