In February 2010 I delivered my third and final baby via C-section. Four months prior to that, I had seen my husband train, run, and finish his first marathon. It left me inspired and wanting to do a big race myself. I saw him push himself outside his comfort zone, and I wanted to try it too. It left me thinking, “What is the first step to improving my health and accomplishing that goal?”
choosing to improve my health
I had done 5Ks before and ran three-mile races in high school, but it had been at least a decade since I had run anything more than a few steps to catch up to a toddler. Our daughter was born on February 1. February 2, while still sitting in a hospital bed recovering from major surgery, I signed up to run a half-marathon.
Spoiler alert—I wasn’t ready.
It would be eight weeks before I was even cleared to do more than lift ten pounds or walk. When I was finally cleared to exercise mid-April, I went on my first run in over a decade.
I made it a quarter of a mile.
I had signed up and committed to running a half-marathon, and I was so far from being ready. There were six months to go from quarter of a mile to 13.1. I knew that this was a big goal that would push me into getting healthy. Running 13.1 miles doesn’t just happen. It takes time, planning, and a lot of positive self-talk.
the step of progression
Six months later, when the gun went off and the crowd of runners surged forward, I felt as ready as I could be. I had trained, planned, and prayed.
But the big kicker to why I was ready? Because I had committed to it before I was ready. There are a lot of things in life that never get done because we keep waiting until “we are ready.” If something looks difficult, we know it’s going to make us uncomfortable, or we are afraid we are going to fail, we put it off for another day. We tell ourselves we’ll do it when we’re ready. Except, if you put off these things until you are ready, you never will be.
the first step – even when we’re not ready
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” —Exodus 3:11 (ESV)
In chapter 3 of Exodus, we read the story of Moses and the burning bush. From out of the bush comes God’s voice, and He and Moses have a conversation. God is calling Moses to go back to Egypt, confront Pharaoh, and lead the children of Israel out of captivity and to the promised land. Moses felt inadequate. In fact, he had several different excuses that he fed to God, trying to convince Him that he wasn’t ready or the right man for the job. Moses believed that he wasn’t good enough, didn’t know the answers, people wouldn’t believe him, and that he was unqualified. But God chose him anyway. God knew he wasn’t ready, but God was still calling him to it.
What has God placed on your heart as something that needs to change? In this chapter, we’ll reflect on that question in regard to our health. Even the healthiest ones among us have something that can be evaluated or improved upon. Each of us has something that we’ve been thinking we need to change. For each of us, let’s ask the question, “What am I putting off because I don’t think I am ready?” What can we choose to change, or start, or stop that we can commit to, even if we don’t think we are ready to do it?
Living a healthy emotional, physical, and spiritual life doesn’t just happen. You need to be intentional about it. Let’s choose to be intentional with taking that first step toward health, whether we feel we are ready or not.
Recognize the temporal. When it comes to changes in my health, where have I become consumed with the here and now and lost sight of eternity?
Reconnect to the eternal. How can I take this area of my life and reconnect it to eternity?
Refocus your intention. How can I be intentional with this area of my life, that it may give God glory and point others to Him?
Father, as part of Your creation, my body’s a temple for Your Holy Spirit. I know You do not ask for perfection, but even how I treat my body physically, emotionally, and spiritually can be a way to bring honor and glory to You. Show me if there is something that I need to change when it comes to my health. And if there is, give me the courage to start even though I may not feel ready.
The above is an excerpt from my newest devotional: Numbering Our Days: Combating Anxiety in the Power of Small Intentional Moments. If you would like to purchase the full devotional, you can get it on Amazon HERE – or a signed author copy from me HERE.