Originally published Friday, 12 August 2016.
When I was a little girl, I wanted more than anything to be a gymnast. I remember spending hours practicing cartwheels and round-offs, back bends, and walkovers in my folks’ three acres of pecan trees. Oh, how many days I spent watching Olympic performances and wishing I could be just like those Mary Lou Retton (I’m dating myself here) gals. They seemed so powerful with their tiny, gravity-defying bodies, short and sweet but loaded with extreme unstoppableness. I remembered they seemed so happy, that plastered-on smile even when their coach barked, “Try harder!”
But, honestly, I was no gymnast. My long torso and lengthy legs were better suited for track or basketball, maybe dance.
There are days.
Days like yesterday.
Days when I feel like my dream has come true, despite my giraffe-like legs. And, as with most dreams that come true, it’s not what I thought it’d be!
Days when I go for the gold and give the floor routine of a lifetime. When I bend over backward to please others. When I twist myself into a living pretzel to conform to someone else’s idea of what I should look like, act like, think like. When I run as hard and fast as I can from one corner of this floormat called life to the other—all with that plastered-on smile and the hope of applause and acceptance.
Days when I struggle to hang on, swinging from a place of unevenness, sometimes going round and round and getting nowhere fast before my hands slip off. Days when I fling myself high yet plummet toward the ground, hoping I somehow stick the landing. Because, God forbid, someone see me wobble or fall. God forbid someone see my imperfectness.
Days when I forget what’s really important and triumphantly stick out my chest, throw my hands in the air, listening for the world to cheer me on, to accept me, to want me, to tell me I’m extraordinary.
Days when I hold my breath. When I struggle to keep my balance on this thin beam I’ve told myself I must walk.
Dare I lean too far to the left? Dare I lean too far to the right?
Oh, and to balance. all. this…
All this stuff.
All this stuff pulls at me, tugs at me, weighs me down.
All this stuff exhausts me, overwhelms me, promising to build me up yet leaves me hollow.
Only to hear the deceiver scream, “Try Harder!”
There are days.
Days like today.
THANK GOD THERE ARE DAYS LIKE TODAY.
Days when He lovingly convicts me, reminding me that the important stuff has little to do with a perfect performance.
Days when I crawl to the corner of the mat, pretzel these long legs underneath me, bend to Him. When I finally receive the rest He offers instead of running the race of the world and bowing to its demands.
Days when the plastered-on smile has been washed away by the tears that flood my face, for I am overwhelmed that He has accepted me, has forgiven me, loves me no matter what.
Days when I refuse to hang on and go ‘round and ‘round. When I let go and fling myself at His feet, allowing His love to catch me.
Days when He holds me close, whispers truth—I am extraordinary in Him. When I finally breathe again, emptying it all out and breathing Him in.
Days when He props me up. When I lean on Him, and He plants my feet firmly back on the path He’s chosen.
Oh, and to receive. all. this…
All His grace.
All His amazing grace that is sufficient, completes me, saves me, lifts me.
All His amazing grace that enables me, strengthens me, makes me whole.
Days when I, at last, get quiet. When I shut out the noise, shut out the lies and…
finally hear my Holy Coach whisper, “Be Still.”
Have you been performing Olympic feats lately? Let’s take time today to go to Him and rest at His feet.
And be sure to download your free printable of 7 verses to help you calm the chaos and ‘be still.’