My Bible study this week has been focusing on Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. This study couldn’t have come at a better time for me. When God tasked Moses with liberating the Israelites, he was full of excuses about how it would NEVER work. Moses was a bit of a whiner. I’m not judging. To judge Moses would be to judge myself. Not that I think I’m ACTUALLY Moses reincarnated or anything like that (although…), just that I completely understand his fear and reticence towards the monumental task set before him. Moses basically attempted to dissuade God in three primary ways:
- Moses didn’t believe in himself or think he was good enough.
- Moses was afraid people would doubt his authenticity or credibility.
- Moses believed himself to be a terrible public speaker.
I am 45 years old and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve always wanted to be a mother. I’m not terribly ambitious. I mean I can be super competitive, you probably don’t want to find yourself my adversary in a board or card game, but in the world of business, not so much. I don’t have any desire to climb the corporate ladder or further my education. I always knew I wanted children. It’s the only life ambition I can ever recall truly wanting and craving. Part of being a mother, meant helping to support our family, so working outside the home was a necessity. I don’t have any regrets, but as I enter a new season in my life, I find myself floundering.
Our three girls are out of the house, adapting and thriving in a world outside of our little bubble. We couldn’t be more proud of them. Our son is only 10 and still living at home. I don’t know where we went wrong with him. I keep encouraging him to get a job and be a contributor in life, but he’s full of excuses (just like Moses). Apparently, he’s under the impression that 10 is too young to work or drive. I tell him he’s just not trying hard enough.
Obviously, I’m joking.
Or am I?
But seriously, most of the time, it’s just me and little man hanging out. My husband (in addition to working 2 jobs) is in Seminary, completing his Masters of Divinity degree. Unfortunately, we don’t see him as much as we’d like (never thought I’d say that!) I’ve taken the last year off from working outside the home, choosing instead to focus on little man, my health, my faith, my husband and my girls. We’ve focused these last few months on simplifying our lives. We will be downsizing from 3600 square feet to 1300 square feet of living space in a few short weeks. I feel like we are either selling or giving away our entire life and history, it’s both terrifying and exhilarating. Like many people, we have entirely too much STUFF.
I’ve been looking into part-time jobs and opportunities, not having much luck or finding anything I’m truly excited about. I feel lost and a little dejected if I’m being honest. I’ve been channeling my inner Moses and whining to God about it. I don’t do many things well, but I do think I’m a competent writer. I haven’t figured out how to make money doing what I love, second only to motherhood. I do feel I have a story to tell, and God has impressed this feeling onto my heart. It’s scary to put yourself out there, metaphorically naked and under a spotlight. I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I’m embarrassed when I get complimented or even noticed. I both crave and cringe that spotlight. Maybe if I could keep my clothes on…?
As I read about Moses this week, I’m struck by his three excuses to God. Why? Because they sound so familiar! Those same three excuses have been stuck on a loop in my head for months.
- I worry I’m not good enough
- I worry that people won’t like me or that I’ll annoy them
- I worry that I won’t be able to speak (write) confidently or authentically, that I will fall short and be judged harshly and found lacking
In short, I’m worried I will fail.
If you’ve followed my Instagram or Facebook posts lately, you’ll notice I’ve been posting more about my health and fitness journey. In my quiet moments of prayer and reflection, I feel like it’s this part of my journey that God wants me to share. I keep making excuses and trying to ignore that little voice but it’s not going away. I feel like there are so many people out there that have struggled with weight, poor self-image, terrible self-confidence and low self-esteem. People who look at themselves in the mirror and feel shame, even hatred for the person looking back. People who feel like they have tried EVERYTHING and nothing works. People who have just given up, thrown in the towel, trying to convince themselves and others that it doesn’t matter anymore, that they don’t care. People who are tired of failing. Tired of feeling ashamed and judged. People who find themselves spectators in their life instead of active participants. People who just don’t feel good enough or that they measure up against the ideals of others, stuck in the perpetual cycle of despair and recrimination.
The other day, I shared my 21 day challenge group with all of you. How it gave me new energy and focus, a sense of purpose and excitement. My accountability group is comprised of an amazing group of women, who are motivated simply by helping and encouraging others. I shared how in 21 days, I lost 3.5 inches overall. I spoke briefly of how excited I am for my next challenge group to start. In some ways, this group has given me a sense of belonging I didn’t even realize I was missing, a sense of purpose.
Over the last month, I’ve been reflecting and praying, listening hard for an answer. What I didn’t realize was that it’s been in front of me all along, but I, like Moses, gave God a million excuses why I was the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. I will fail. I can’t do it. No one will listen. No one will like me or relate to me. I won’t find the words. I’ll suck. It will just be another thing in a long line of things that I’ve attempted to do that I’ve failed or given up on. This time, I’ll fail publicly and spectacularly. I’ll withdraw into myself again, gain all the weight back and feed on self-loathing, self-pity and cupcakes.
For real though, this is the rabbit hole I find myself diving into, time and again. I’ve worked so hard to change my thoughts. Changing my thoughts has changed my behaviors. Changing my behaviors has changed my perspective. Changing my perspective has changed my life.
So I took the leap.
I decided to become a coach, a fitness consultant for Beachbody, run my own challenge groups, be a part of an amazing team, and see if I can’t reach the people who struggle just like me, need the encouragement and motivation of someone who understands. Someone who gets how hard it is. Someone who has to fight for every pound or inch lost. I’m living proof that perfection is not required, just a willingness to do the work, to show up, every single day. Celebrating both scale and non-scale victories is sweeter when done with people who truly want the best results for you. I love my challenge group because it’s not just about physical change. There is a heart change, a mind change, a willingness to believe in yourself because other people believe in you and are walking alongside you, cheering you on. Where I saw failure, I now see opportunity. I’m excited to embark on my new journey, this new stage in my life. I’m scared to share it. I’m terrified of not living up to my own expectations. I’m even more terrified of letting my team down. I feel I’ve found a beautiful way to share my journey, help others while doing what I love most, writing about it. I will still write about other things, participate in my writing challenge groups, share my thoughts and insights, but I’m focusing my energies primarily on my health and fitness journey. Even giving my blog and social media accounts a bit of a face lift, revitalizing my writing and sharing space with a new look and a new name.
I struggle with this concept that I could possibly know or understand what God wants for my life. I know that in those quiet moments of prayer and reflection, this direction, this path feels right. I feel God is telling me that I am the right person. This is the right time. And I’m in the right place. <3
If you are interested in hearing more about my next challenge group, please don’t hesitate to message me! We have another one starting on November 14th (prep week starting on November 7th) and it’s going to be fantastic. I’m beyond excited and I don’t get excited about exercise or eating healthy! So you know it must be good.