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I went almost a month without going to the gym.  I blame it on busyness….or maybe just laziness.  But, now that I have started going back, I find that I am pushing myself more.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I’m working out some agression…..I don’t know.

Yesterday in my “workout” I did pectoral butterflies (impressive….I know…).  Other than the fact that it hurts to lift my arms today (There is a sign in my brother’s gym that says, “If you can’t tie your shoes, you’re doing it right.”  So I guess that means I did something right.), it made me start thinking about the miracle of our muscles.

I have always been fascinated with the anatomy of the human body.  It amazes me how everything works together so beautifully, and if the smallest thing goes wrong, the entire body is impacted.

God has given us the ability to grow stronger by building our muscles, which can only happen through pain.  We build muscles by tearing them down first.  This is done through putting weight and resistance on them, making them work so hard that they rip and tear.  Then the miracle happens…the muscles repair themselves by building little bridges of more muscle tissue where the little tears are…binding them…building them…healing them.

This morning as I was lying in bed, trying to wake up, and trying to get my very tired and achy body to move, I remembered my pectoral butterflies.  I remembered that my muscles were in the process of repairing themselves and growing stronger.

I hate it when people say, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” (Sometimes I wish it would kill me.)  Or in the midst of a difficult circumstance someone says, “God is building your character.”  I hate it, because when people say these things it’s usually to make themselves feel better than the person going through the difficult time.

It’s not that I don’t think God desires that we have good character, but I believe He is more interested in building our dependence on Him and our desire for Him.  And, many times God tears us so that we become aware of just how much we need Him and want Him in our lives.

And, He has given us such an amazing picture of how this works.  Just like our muscles are built through resistance, our faith is built through resistance.   We come face to face with problems that are bigger than we can handle.  We find ourselves struggling with emotions and fears and doubts that weigh us down.  We look around and find ourselves alone, going against the flow, knowing that what comes next just might knock our feet out from under us.  It’s too much.  We can’t do it.  The fear swallows us alive.  Our hearts yearn for something more, but there is no hope.

That’s when we throw our hands up in the air.  We give up.  And that’s exactly where we need to be.  It’s where I am.

Becuase only when I give up does God step in and take over.

He will let me fail.  He will let me be torn down.  He will let the resistance come.  Because it shows me how much I need Him….how much I love Him….how much I can trust Him….He is my Healer.  He is my Defender.  He is the One who is Victorious.

I feel the burning in my bones for more of Him, and I will rest in that.

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Yesterday, I became an official member of Health Plus Fitness Center.  I am quite excited about this, and if you know me well, you know that it’s a big deal for me to be excited about exercise.  I have tried the dieting and exercise thing many times in my life, but it was always half-heartedly.  I didn’t see results quickly enough, and so I gave up.  But, not this time.  This time I am invested.

You see, I am not getting any younger, and if I don’t start changing my life now, I won’t get any healthier either.  I have always wanted to be thin (I have always been a chunky girl), but I never really cared enough about myself to actually take the time to take care of myself.  Now I see the effects of that.

I have been thinking a lot about the things God did in my life over the past year.  In 2008, I worked on healing my mind and soul–making my insides healthy.  It was difficult and painful, but it was something I knew I had to do in order to survive and live the life God is calling me to.  Now, 2009 is the year to get my body healthy–my outsides.  It will be difficult and painful, but it is something I have to do in order to live the life God is calling me to.

I am making a life change.  I have been eating healthier for 2weeks now and have lost 10lbs.  This is huge for me, because in the past I have only been able to loose like 2-3lbs in a month.  I am invested in this, and I want to be held accountable.  I want to be healthy so that one day, when I have kids, I can run and play with them and not feel like my chest is going to explode.  I want to be able to keep up with these amazing teenagers I work with.  And, I want to feel good about myself.  This time next year I want to be training for a 5k.

I am ready to do this.  I am ready for my life to change.  It has been a long time coming.