Come On, Mama! Don't you quit!

“Turn to the right.  Turn to the right. Faster. FASTER. Come on Mama! Don’t you quit!” These are the words my beloved Spin instructor, Kelly,  loves to shout at me with a quick flash of an empathetic smile while sweat drips out of us like leaky faucets. She knows my limits pretty well because I’ve been a student in her class many times. She knows when to push me and when to hold back. She has no problem calling me to the table and telling me to turn the tension on my bike when she thinks I could be working harder.

What she doesn’t know is that my time in spin class takes me to church. Not only am I praying my legs continue to move in a forward motion without causing me to throw up, but in all seriousness, I find myself praying, reflecting, and truly hearing from God in the midst of the gym every day. I feel like He speaks the loudest to me when I am physically pushing myself to my limits. Today, while Kelly was holding me accountable to work harder, it made me think of how appreciative I am that she didn’t let me go into cruise control while my thoughts were drifting. She cared enough about my workout to say something.

Like Kelly, I am so thankful that I have trusted friends and family in my life that hold me accountable with my walk with Christ. People who love me, who know me, who are able to lovingly hold me accountable to a life worthy of the calling. Now, I am not talking about harsh opinions  or judgment but true Biblical wisdom sometimes shaped in a question and sometimes more like my spin instructor shouting it out –Come on, Mama, don’t you quit!

In the midst of aching legs, I did not grow weary. Quite the opposite in fact, I grew encouraged that my teacher cared enough to push me. That my health has finally returned. That the dark cloud of depression that engulfed me for the last year and a half has finally lifted. That Christ allowed a season of great suffering, but that he brought me through it with new purpose, direction and fire for Christ. The incredible thing about being on fire for Christ, according to Joyce Meyer is that “when the fire of God comes into your life, it burns up everything that's not consistent with His nature and sets on fire everything that's left.”

On Sunday at my church, Wellspring, our children's director spoke on a Summer Breakthrough. She spoke about how we  may grow weak or weary but that God never does.  The last 18 months have been a roller coaster of overcoming than growing weary, falling on my knees and crying out, Lord, you are God. You are good. I am not in control. Use me. Use my brokenness and your grace to make something beautiful. As I grow physically healthier and nourish not only my body but my soul, I begin to realize that His all consuming fire is burning up everything that is not consistent with His nature. He has sent me wise counsel to sharpen me. He has allowed me enough understanding of His grace to be vulnerable to share my story piece by piece, in all the ugly, all the struggle, all the hot mess and ALL THE GLORY TO GOD not for the sake of conversation or gossip but for the transformation of lives. For the salvation of Souls. For I am "confident of this, that He who began a good work in (me) you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 28-31

If you are feeling weary today and feel like you just need a break from it all, I encourage you to take 30 minutes out of your day to watch this: