Written By Amber Lawton
Standing at the barre, facing my reflection in the mirror, I gaze at the beads of sweat dripping down my face. “Plie, and revere,” I hear the instructor call out. I quickly look to my neighbor’s feet in an attempt to catch on to the movements. The instructor continues, “Stay there, and pulse.” I quickly scan the room of 15 women to see if I am the only one struggling. There is nothing more comforting than knowing you are not alone when it feels as if you are failing. On this occasion, however, I am not fortunate to find my ‘fail-mate’. With pensive faces, each woman continues her gaze in the mirror as we change from one position to the next. Our limbs pulse to the upbeat tempo of the music as the cheerful instructor, a petite brunette with a dancer’s body, walks the floor. “What did I get myself into?” I think, as we move to mats on the floor to do planks.
Only 10 minutes into a 55 minute Xtend Barre class and I was ready to give up. But right in that moment when I wanted to drop my body to the floor and roll over on my back I heard: ‘I DO Hard Things!’
I wish I could tell you that I elegantly continued as a graceful ballerina; as if out of a scene from the movies I could magically bend and stretch effortlessly with the rest of the class. Not quite. At almost 5’ 1” and approximately 90 lbs. overweight, I tilted, wobbled, and careened my way through the class to the very end. When the burn became unbearable, and my thoughts tried to turn to embarrassment I thought: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
For most, finishing a morning workout wouldn’t require much thought, or scripture for that matter. I am definitely not like most. Walking out of the studio I felt empowered. My thoughts turned back to ‘I Do hard Things’. Why in that moment had that particular statement come to mind? What does doing “hard things” mean to me?
For me, a hard thing was being able to try anything unfamiliar, surrounded by people I did not know. The former me would not have been able to make it out of her bedroom. Too wrought with depression, and overcome with anxiety, if she did make it to class she would have burst into tears 5 minutes in. You see lovely, I had the desire to be alive, but was crippled by fear and uncontrollable thoughts. Paranoia, skepticism, nervousness, and emotion hindered me from wanting to actually live. Living requires going, doing, and trying. None of which I had the courage to do. Thankfully God has a bigger plan for me. With the help of His word renewing my mind daily and years of therapy, I was able to take control of my thoughts. As I regain focus on what is important I am able to overcome my past and live in the present, as I become who I am created to be in the future. I am sure many of you know this is hard work, and tiresome at times.
Quite possibly these are the reasons the theme of the upcoming Life Builder Conference came to mind while I was mid-exercise in a classroom full of strangers. “I Do Hard Things” is a statement, not a question. There is a call to action in the “do”. I have no idea what is on the agenda for the conference, but with a week away I am in great anticipation for some “ah-ha” moments, and inspired revelation.
Maybe you are not like me; eager and hopeful. Maybe you are saying right now: “your hard things are not anything like my hard things.” I would say you are absolutely right! That is what makes this conference so great. If Pastor Cathy did not grab hold of her God-given courage, talents, gifts, and wisdom to build safe learning environments to unlock every woman’s potential we would not have Life Builder Seminars or this conference.
From the founder to volunteers and attendees, we each have our own “hard things” to accomplish.
So lovely, what “hard things” have you faced or are facing? Share in the comments below! 🙂