Let me just quickly share with you a snippet of the message my pastor, Glyn Barrett spoke this morning (22.215) in church (http://audaciouschurch.com/grow/#podcasts). It really encouraged me to remember and trust in how magnificent and big my God is. It’s a word we Christians all know about but sometimes forget to grab hold of in difficult times. He says:
Our experiences can distort the view we have of God. When we fail, we believe more in our failure than in God and our potential.
Now, how about that? My spirit jumped at these words, because as much as I profess with my mouth to not be anxious or worry, and to cast all my cares and worries on the Lord, I really don’t do it enough! I can read all the scriptures that should give me peace, yet without really allowing my spirit to be still; I entertain worry and doubt. And now I realise why – my experiences.
I chose to focus on the negative experiences rather than the good ones; the ones where time and again I have failed. There’s so many to choose from but I’ll go for this pretty prolific one that I hope I’ll get over at some point in my life (Rio 2016!)…
I jumped 6.80m in 2012, and then flopped two weeks later at the trials, finishing 4th, which meant that despite surpassing the Olympic A standard, and being one of only two British athletes with this qualifying distance, I was unable to actually compete at the home London Olympic Games. Gutting. BIG FAIL.
This experience previously made me believe that I was unable to handle pressure well, and that when I jump far once, I may not be able to replicate it. Thankfully, this past week I have competed twice with consistently decent distances, and this has certainly helped to eradicate my past belief and 2013/14 reality of being unable to reproduce good jumps. The pressure is off. So this week has been a blessing and a positive experience that can simply enhance the view of God I have as being powerful and able to do ‘immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20).
This negative experience in 2012 also made me believe more in my failure than in God! And I believe I’ve been holding onto this since those heartbreaking Olympic Trials. So that each time I do perform to a high standard, or come back to a glimmer of my previous best, I allow the pressure to overwhelm me – which has been reductive to my physical, mental and emotional health. So I’ve been believing in the wrong thing. The recognition of this has been super important to my growth these past few months. Thankfully being at WAC (@WorldAthleticsC) has positioned me in a great area of faith and positivity: from my training partners to coaches and support team. My belief in God being bigger than my negative circumstances has helped me to recover well following another surgery in June 2014. It has meant that I’ve believed that I can be as good and even better than my ‘2012 self’. And despite opposition I have faith that I will succeed. It isn’t a matter of ‘if’, but rather ‘when’.
Our ‘potential’, summarizing how my pastor put it in his service from about two Sunday’s ago (http://audaciouschurch.com/sunday-podcasts/ps-glyn-barrett-financial-wholeness-laws-contentment-822015/), is the power of God within us that we at times fail to access or grow because of our fear and bad stewardship of our God-given gifts and talents (see Matthew 25:14-30). So I owe it to myself and to God to keep nurturing this God-given talent to maturity. (Despite the gazillion setbacks I feel I’ve faced.) Only then will I stop. Because honestly I’ve come this far, I’m not stopping now. Watch this space.
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