Thursday, June 11, 2015

I Don't Know All the Answers (and I'm okay with that)

My goal last spring and this summer was to write more.

Usually, these words are inspired by a specific moment of clarity. During the last four months of injury, I figured that an amazing story of how God used me would become clear. I found myself striving to be this man who was known as by others as, "the man who went through everything," and came back a hero.

This explains my long absence from writing as I struggled to find this "amazing story."

I wanted my thoughts to be perfectly summed, like my life was altogether.

I am here to tell you, that is most certainly not the case. Today, I want to share with you a bit of unfiltered thoughts.

I find myself often showing the good part of my life to the world, not letting anyone into the depths of my true life that is filled with both joy and pain.

Instead of exposing our messy realities to the world, we showcase the "highlight reel"version of life, filled with adventure, happiness, and satisfaction. I find myself frequently in this boat of showing only the "good" stuff. But my life hasn't been an adventure the last few months, which is why I want to be real and share what's going on in my life lately in a season far from contentment.

Throughout college I have struggled. Struggled with balancing my school life, running life and social life. I've struggled with overcommitting and how to say no to things. Struggled with injuries and maintaining friendships and relationships, and still often struggle with having a consistent walk with the Lord.

During this time I couldn't help but ask, "God where have you been in these years? I thought we were in this together! Why do I keep finding myself injured, broken, and alone?"

(Photo credit Alex Miller)
Injury had been so commonplace that it was hard to see anything beyond my narrow horizons. Becoming healthy consumed me, and still often does.

People tell me all the time, "Put your identity in Christ, and everything will be okay." However, I've come to a realization. God's definition of "okay" is drastically different than ours. We hear truths of God's promises and think that an identity in Christ is a means for everything to go our way. I often fall into this mentality that God will grant me health, friends and relationships that I desire if I seek him. But what God really means is "Never will I forsake you, I myself will help you." (Duet 31:8).

The trials aren't taken away when we are in Christ, pain will always exist on this earth, but Christ promises to be with us during these storms.

Jesus says, "In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart, for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 ESV)

Hebrews 4:15-16 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need."

We trust in a God who understands and has been in the same situations we have. A God who knows the inner workings of you, me, and every single person on this earth. A God who shaped you purposefully, who calls you by name. But so often, I forget that truth.

I strive to be excellent in all things. That's why I've tried and continue to try to be the best runner I can be throughout my running career. This desire to be excellent is great, but when I turn it into a drive for perfection, the desire is corrupted and not for God's glory. My attempts to get healthy or be a great runner sometimes go beyond where the Lord has called me; my performance and healthiness outweigh trusting in the Lord's plan for my life.

 I've tried and tried, and I keep failing in running. I've had many folks in my community who tell me to just give up… quit.

But failing to me is okay. If the Lord wants me to be in the running world, I am going to keep at it until I am directed otherwise.

 The Lord says, "Though a righteous man may fall seven times, he will get up again." (Psalms 24:16 ESV)

So bring on success or failure--I welcome it. The world might not see my career as a success, but if God is glorified, it's all worth it. Worth more than any of the running goals I pray, dream or hope for.

So here is the truth: I don't have all the answers, but I trust in a God who does. The Lord may never allow me to understand His great plan for my life, and that's okay with me. Why? Because time and time again the Lord has shown me his grace and mercy, and rescued me from disaster.

All I can do now is trust the Lord and be faithful, even if I don't know all the answers.