I am a thirty-five year old Health and PE teacher at a high school in Oregon. Ten years ago I was that girl who played rugby. The time in between is when I seemed to figure everything out.
I didn’t start our wanting to help people. I started out wanting to help myself. I was smart, willing to try things, and loved to work. The recipe was always just short of perfect, exactly as it was designed to be. I kept striving and reaching and learning. I was good and did everything I could to get better.
Then I got hurt. I struggled and sputtered. I wasn’t good. Nothing seemed good. I was sad and lost and there wasn’t anything or anyone to turn to. The team kept going without me. And I let them.
My plans were spoiled. Through some dark and trying times, I succumbed to the thought that perhaps my plan wasn’t the one I was supposed to be following.
When I was 15 God reached down and said, “I’ll take you,” when it seemed nobody else would. It was twenty years ago now, but I can still feel the emotion come over me whenever I think about it. I was at a basketball camp in Cedarville, Ohio. My best friend and teammate brought me there. Afterwards we sat on the floor of a racquetball court and cried.
I was saved that night, in all forms of the word.
This Grace is what returned to me when I was suffering from Post-Competitive Depression. I sat in it, unafraid and searching, and thought. I was never again going to be the athlete I hoped to be. That inherent belief in myself waned. For the first time, I doubted who I was and what I could do. Never thinking I was good enough used to help motivate me. Now it was crushing. I needed to believe in something else other than myself.
Being in control made me feel powerful. He-Man and She-Ra’s transformative calls burned through my head. I was independent, self-reliant, and self-dictating. I was the master of my fate and my life and I was successful because of my planning and follow through. Sidelined, confronted with an identity crisis, and lacking purpose, however, I had no plans. I was stuck. I had no motivation and no goals. and I couldn’t plot my way out of it.
Tired and hopeless, I got out of my own way and allowed myself to be moved. I listened and obeyed to what the universe was telling me. I shifted.
My plan wasn’t the one I was supposed to be following.
Blinders off and telescope down, the signs and opportunities revealed themselves.
Unsatisfied with my treatment and progress, I got transfixed with rehab. I was my lab and I could heal myself. I road mapped how to take the pain away.
Teaching was my day job, and I wondered if I should invest more into it. There were these kids all around who needed things. People who were hurt and wounded and resentful and out of options. I was very familiar with their plight. Perhaps I could take their pain away too.
Joy has followed me ever since.
Joy has followed me ever since.
Knowledge, like love and experience, doesn’t get used up when you give it away. Amazingly, it seeds and sprouts in the most dark and desolate of places. The ones no one else would dare to go.
|photo credit: americanprofile.com|
Let go and let your purpose be revealed to you. Acknowledge the signs. Be open to the fact that you shouldn’t be doing it all.
You are here to give the best parts of yourself away. Not your sport or your art or your clothes or your money. You. The person behind all those things. Selfie your soul to the world. It’s been kept safe and hidden. You knew it was special all along.
“You can get everything you want in life if you just help enough people people get what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar