It’s been 4 weeks since I have been home and embarking on this journey of raising support to get back to Arizona, and in some ways it has felt like I just returned days ago, yet in very many other ways it seems as if I’ve been doing this for years. There have been numerous ups and downs thus far and I am sure there are plenty more to come, yet this entire process is much more difficult than I ever imagined! I say difficult and immediately a negative feeling arises, as if to say, difficult and negative are synonymous. That cannot be further from the truth. I do not believe one ounce of this process is negative, only testing, and thereby strengthening.
I’ve reached a cross-roads where the trail I’ve been traveling on has now met up with 100’s of others, and to continue to move forward in this journey my path must converge with yours! I never expected that saying Yes to God 5 years ago would start an incredible new way of life! And then 2 years later another Yes to Him would bring about pole vault! And in-between a million little yes’s would all converge into a journey towards training for the 2016 Olympic trials! To every yes there has been a cost, but every thing that I’ve been asked to give up has been absolutely worth it, to know God deeper and more intimately. What I didn’t expect in this next step was the cost of my independence. I never expected to be raising monetary support to live, to train, to compete… It’s humbling and interesting because it rubs against the very grain of my pride which says “you can/must do this on your own”. It’s the American way to be autonomous and imbedded deep within me is the age old American dream to grow up, become a professional, make a living, buy a house and a car, accomplish goals, and become an independent successful citizen! So much of the American culture is about individuality and independence that it makes it really hard for me to not have the ever present mindset that I have to make something of myself, and to do it on my own…
“You can make a difference in the world” they have always said… The emphasis on You. Me. I. — Single. Separate. Independent. — I’m the first to affirm the truth of individuality, because it is true we are all created in God’s image, unique, with our own talents, our own giftings, and with our own footprint in the world… but there is also danger in becoming subtly prideful in all that you are and all that you’ve accomplished.
I SO desire to make a difference in the world!! Yet, in subtle ways I think that I can do it on my own. This is where God is stripping me of pride even deeper than I knew was there. He is showing me that I will make a difference in the world, but not just by myself, me and hundreds and thousands of others – together. There is SUCH BEAUTY in this! Where, in one moment God strips you of your ability to accomplish something, the very next moment He brings a hundred others to come alongside to encourage and strengthen! There have already been many who have joined paths with me, yet I know there are man more still to come! If you think you might wanna join: click here. Because I need you. You need me. We need each other.
The thing is, God-given dreams are never really about YOU; and dreams, big dreams, can never really be accomplished on our own. The more I read the more I realize that Jesus meant for His people to be a body, to be a team, to be a family. A family with one goal: HIS GLORY! Not prosperity, not happiness, not individuality… not my life, my experiences, my accomplishments. I do have a dream. A dream that those around me will be changed to the very core by the grace of God! And my opportunity is to be amongst some of the best athletes in the world while pursuing that dream! But my dream is no longer my own. And your dream can no longer be your own. We have to join paths. For His glory. And I am SO very thankful for that.