Currently just sitting here in my office as the catchy new Thomas Rhett tune “Life Changes” rings from our small JBL speaker. The biggest smile engulfs my face as we laugh and joke about. Oh how amazing is it to see how life changes?
Exactly one year ago today I was at one of the lowest points in my life. My relationship was going through turmoil and my heart was breaking every day, a torn meniscus was preventing me from weightlifting or running, I had no motivation to go to CrossFit, I was either riding my bike five miles to work at 0500 in the freezing cold or driving my dad to work at 0300 to have the car to get to work by 0330, I was working 8 hour days for minimum wage, I was exhausted all the time, and I was suffering from severe anxiety.
2017 had brought some of the absolute best days of my life but also some of the worst. I spent just over 7 months abroad, but the four months I was home were miserable. People I thought were good friends, reared their ugly heads, a job I thought would bring joy to others brought misery to me, and I felt like I was being tested all of the time. I had gone from an internationally successful athlete with a banging body, a smoking hot boyfriend with a foreign accent, and a world traveler, to a broken little girl. Most days, I would get off of work at Starbucks at 1130 am after an eight hour shift, eat lunch, and curl up on the couch, wrap myself in a blanket, and watch NCIS until I feel asleep. I had paid my own way through college and wound up in heaping mounds of credit card debt, with thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off. I had completely let my fitness go and was almost unrecognizable in the CrossFit world. I had turned down some pretty big job offers in an attempt to rectify some things back home. Life felt stagnated and so so hard.
In that time, I had to rely a lot on my family, my few close friends, and most importantly God. In that season, things went from being all about me, to all about everybody around me. I was humbled. I remembered where I came from. It was difficult but an incredibly important time of reflection and growth.
Exactly a year later I cannot believe what God has done. Spending nine months at sea, traveling across the world, seeing some of the most incredible places, meeting amazing people, and experiencing so much wonder – I can’t believe what can happen in a year. God blessed me with a job that uprooted me from California, plopped me in Florida, and sent me off into the abyss. From not knowing how I could pay for gas to buying my own Jeep Wrangler, from living at my dad’s house to buying my own place on the beach in Ponte Vedra, from being thousands of dollars in debt to paying off all of my credit cards, from being unmotivated in the gym to snatching 80 kilos and training in some of the most competitive gyms in the world – it is unreal how much has changed. Last year I would have done anything just to drive up to Lake Tahoe for the afternoon and this week we took our warship to Norway to hike up mountains and run around fjords.
Friends, we spend a lot of time wishing we could do things. But God doesn’t just want us to wish for things. He wants us to make them happen. Pray fiercely and act purposefully. Work hard and don’t settle. If you want something, go after it. Pursue it. Start making time, stop making excuses. “I don’t have the money,” “I don’t have the time,” “I don’t have the experience,” are all just excuses. It all comes down to your heart and your initiative. Bob Goff talks about an essential part of living a life of love and a life of purpose – doing. He says it takes guts. He says, “I’ve come to understand more about faith as I’ve understood more about whimsy. What whimsy means to me is a combination of the do part of faith along with doing something worth doing.”
You can’t be half hearted in your faith and expect a full hearted response. You can’t be half hearted in your aspirations and expect your dreams to come true. Life is hard work. Faith is hard work. But it is worth it. We only have this one life to live and you have the choice to be a spectator or a participant. You can scroll through images on Instagram or you can be the one taking them. Everyone’s idea of adventure and fulfillment is different but we were created for audacity not complacency.
At 23 years old, it has been a crazy ride. God has taken me all over the place and I have tried to carve my own path along the way. But when you trust Him, when you work hard, and when you know your purpose, amazing things will happen. My life is not perfect but man I wouldn’t change a single thing. I never envisioned this job, I never dreamed of spending my days at sea, I didn’t expect to travel the world, I didn’t imagine myself living in Florida, but I am so stinking grateful. When we leave our hands open to God and just allow Him to guide our lives, its a beautiful thing.
Don’t think that your current situation has to be your forever situation. Make the change. Bolster your faith. Read some new books. Make some new friends. Go for a hike. Get some perspective. There’s a big world out there dying to know ya and an even bigger God dying to love ya. Cheers to life’s changes!