An 85-minute workout…
Over 700 calories burned…
Just 10 minutes before the dreaded call…
Last March, my body was in such great shape. I was diligently working out, training my body, and choosing to eat well. My mind was stronger and my body was loving the transformation. After I received the incredible phone call about the car accident, I threw off my workout clothes, changed into normal attire, and made my way to the hospital. My life changed forever that day. I stopped working out and began clinging to Jesus for my life and my every breath. This new journey was about my grief and walking with my kids in the depths of their grief. All of my mind, body, and spirit was taken over with brokenness, open wounds, and a desperation for healing. The normal in my life stopped and a new life began.
We Need People to Walk with Us
The last nine months have been a process of being “holy healed and wholly healed.” The Lord is healing me by setting me apart for His great glory. It is in this holiness (being set apart), that the Lord is refining me and putting me back together. My deep desire is to be whole again and Jesus is healing me from the inside out. I will be stronger and more refined than I was before entering this valley.
The holy healing comes from the Lord as I grow closer to Him each day. But being wholly healed means I have to deal with the rest of me too. We are complex people and everything connects to everything. Our mind, body, and spirit have to be dealt with or we will not be wholly healed. Our healing comes from digging deep into all these areas of ourselves. Grief is not clean and linear. Grief is messy and treacherous. We need people who are not scared of grief to walk alongside us and help strengthen every part of us.
A Friend, A Mentor, A Coach
In my new adventure, I hired a personal trainer. She is more than that though. She is a friend, a mentor, a coach, a shoulder for tears, and a hefty dose of courage each time we meet.
Lu Crenshaw, from Camp17, is the most amazing personal trainer. I love working with her but I didn’t always want her to train me. I was scared for months about asking her because I wasn’t ready to be pushed past my comfort zone. I knew if I worked with Lu, I was going to be pushed and I didn’t know if my broken heart could handle it. Then November came and I was ready. I was ready for more intense healing. I was hungry for change. One day, Lu shared on Instagram that she had an opening and I jumped on it. I told her I trusted her with not only my heart but my journey. I believe the Lord sent Lu my direction to help me heal in this valley.
My Hands Could Barely Hold On
Each time I am at the gym I discover more incredible parts of myself. The most intense lesson I am learning is that I have to let go and dig into my dark places in order to push myself to the next level. I cannot hide from grief while I am in the gym. Each part of my training touches the innermost parts of this valley. I cannot escape sadness, tears, fear, frustration, or anger. It is all there and it all wants to ooze out of me. There is no separation in working out and working through my grief. This is where my healing becomes the greatest and Lu knows how to walk me through it all. She lets me be me while pushing me to be more.
One morning, I was pulling ropes across the gym floor that were attached to a weight. I would keep going until my arms gave out and then move to the next exercise. On the last set of ropes, Lu was coaching me saying, “Come on girl you got this! PULL! Keep going!” My arms were spent and they would not pull anymore. My hands could barely grab hold of the ropes anymore. I felt embarrassed as a beginner and wanted to quit. With someone encouraging me to keep going, I was able to dig down to those dark places and find some motivation. In life right now, my motivation is my grief. I went back to the accident and pictured myself pulling my boys out of our wrecked car. I imagined them on the other end of those long, difficult ropes. I pictured their sweet faces and mustered up the strength to finish pulling. In my mind, I was saving them.
Trust God & Embrace the Process
I cried that day and other days too. The tears are deep and hard to let out. There have been several workouts that require the same kind of digging. I have to let myself feel and go to those dark places in order to heal there. Ignoring those places does not bring about the correct healing. Instead, when we protect ourselves from feeling those places we actually prolong the suffering and brokenness. In the end, we are hurting ourselves and not protecting anyone.
In January, I am joining Lu at Camp17 which is a “fitness course designed to address the whole person, not just one element of fitness.” I am taking my journey to the next level, trusting God’s plan for me and embracing the rebuilding process. These workouts are where I find the strength to fight through this valley. The tears that come from those dark places enable me to let go and move forward. I am learning that if I can do hard things in the gym then I can do hard things in life.
- I can celebrate Christmas without Jeff.
- I can do life as a single person.
- I can love my kids as a single mom.
- I can live, breathe, and fly.
GOD’S GRACE IS ENOUGH FOR ME.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” —2 Corinthians 12:9