Hello, everyone! Time has sprung forward and spring has sprung! At least in Minnesota. I just left the picturesque, pastoral campus of Crown College where the snow is melting, geese are arriving (only to be stricken by disc golf discs, according to my sister-in-law!), and sun is shining in the sixties (degrees, that is, not decade). Back in Texas where I’ll be landing in an hour, it’s been rainy and wintry by Texan standards. Good thing I packed my pea coat for my migration back south ;-).
The weather conditions — and all conditions for that matter — in Minnesota were absolutely perfect for my first-ever speaking engagement before a group of undergrad ladies! My sister-in-law and I first met last July over “bagels and joe” at a lovely Lincoln, Nebraska diner aptly named, well, “Bagels and Joe.” We immediately began chit-chatting about my upcoming book Fit for Faith and its relevant message of Christ-centered, worship-focused fitness for Anna’s peers back at school. On that day, the seed for this trip was planted, and by God’s grace, it was watered well with prayer and provision until the dawn of its blooming eight months later.
Since moving to San Antonio last December, I have so missed the fellowship I shared with my long-time friends from school and church, and the more recent ones God led me to through the gym and CrossFit community. As anyone who has moved to a different school, city, or workplace knows, it takes a fair amount of time to adjust to the new and unfamiliar, no matter what fun words we euphemistically attach to change, such as “adventure,” “exciting endeavor,” or “brand new chapter.” Transitions are always challenging, yet always incredibly rewarding if we persevere through them in faith rather than crumble beneath them in fear. I can’t say I’ve been transitioning “faithfully” and not “fearfully” one-hundred percent of the time. There are definitely moments, even full days, when I wonder if I’ll ever find friends and a faith family as fantastic as those I left behind in my hometown. But then the Holy Spirit reminds me of such scriptural promises as Proverbs 3:5-6:
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (MSG)
Thank the Lord that it isn’t up to me to “find” friends and put all the pieces together as Ben and I settle into a new city and I seek the Lord’s will for my ministry here as both a writer and a CrossFit coach/personal trainer. Of course, I can’t be stationary along the pathway of transition. God calls us to listen to His leading, and then obey that whisper, that call, that tug.
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest … He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.” –Proverbs 2:6-9 (NLT)
It’s clear from that passage that while we certainly receive wisdom, knowledge, and “common sense” from the Lord, we have a role to play in taking those insights and ideas and applying them, acting boldly upon them in faith, knowing His word is true and trustworthy.
My short time in Minnesota was a much-needed reminder and refreshing lesson in trust. My husband can attest to the fact that prior to my trip, I was no exemplar of a “cool cucumber”… more like a ghost chili pepper. I was nervous about speaking in front of these ladies, scared I was under-prepared, afraid I’d be unable to articulate verbally what I’d written in Fit for Faith, to name a few of the fears displacing my faith in God’s direction.
Immediately upon my arrival at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, I was met by the open arms and big, bright smile of my sister-in-law, Anna, and promptly introduced to her friends Elaine and Alison who treated me to dinner at a charming, healthy bistro called, “The Good Earth” (can’t get a much more wholesome name than that!). After prayer, fellowship, and the consumption of a scrumptious bison burger, I felt a warm mantle of peace settle around me.
The following day was spent primarily in prayer and preparation for Saturday’s retreat; throughout the day I received numerous facebook messages of encouragement from ladies I had yet to meet as well as sweet, exhortative Tweets from complete strangers! I thank God for strengthening me through these individuals and for graciously showing me His sovereignty.
There’s no place we can go where His grace cannot reach, no new experience we can endure that His peace cannot pierce.
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di