Monday, March 3, 2014

rewind and reflect.

If you spend any significant amount of time around me, you may know that I go few places without my trusty Moleskine journal.  To me, it is so much more than a journal.  It is my secret place with GOD.  (Which works out nicely because it's a secret place that travels well.)

In the pages of my journal, GOD and I interact. 
Every word-- formal prayer or scattered phrases-- has a place in our conversations.
For me, it's like breathing, writing in that journal.
I don't have to think much about it.
There's no pressure.
It's an understood place of union. 
Scribbled.  Scattered.  Sacred.

I like to look back at my journals.
It's like leaving a trail that marks my journey.
An effective way to see what ground I've covered.

Today, I looked back into some other places: the old blog.

It started as research to find a specific date to aid me in the writing of a slightly different post.  
However, I think I need to save that post for tomorrow.  
What I found today has taken me in a slightly different direction…  
One that gives a little history for what I am planning to write next. 

So, if you have the time, I invite you to rewind and reflect with me.


I used to think I couldn't be that girl: 
The girl that had a workout routine or was always going on a run. 
I used to think I couldn't be that girl: 
The girl that ate vegetables often and let "sweets" be the exception.

I used to think I couldn't be that girl.
Because I wasn't athletic.
Because I didn't like vegetables.  Or running.
Because I never had been,
I thought I never could be.

I used to think I couldn't be that girl.
But that was a lie.
And over the past several years, GOD has taught me a lot about the enemy and his lies.

It started about five years ago. 
I was finishing my first year of full-time youth ministry.
Wrapping up my first year in Huntsville.
Beginning the process of becoming a "real grown-up."

December of 2008 was when HE started stirring the desire to leap.
And that was scary for me. 
But if HE was guiding me to it, I knew I wanted to follow along.
I had no idea what was ahead.
(And honestly, I still don't!)

By the end of January 2009, I had started working towards being an all-around healthier me.  
I blogged about the struggle to find my motivation from within
Because it was a struggle.
But I knew it was important.  

It's funny. At the time, I had no idea how true my words would be when I said:
"I think all these parts of me are connected, and as I grow in strength and discipline in one area, I think the other parts will be strengthened too."

Young Jenna: how right you were.

In January of 2010, I took some bolder steps toward my goals.
I faced some fears and took some leaps.
By myself.
This was a big deal for me.
I established a routine of 5:30am mornings filled with spin classes and pilates.
In April of that year, I ran my first 5K!
And as I re-read my words during that time, it is apparent that GOD had started planting something in me.. 

HE was solidifying my foundation. 
HE was challenging my faith.
HE was preparing me for things that started five years ago and are nowhere near finished yet!

I could describe so much more…
I could talk about the excitement of that relationship that started in 2010.
And the heartbreak that followed a year later.
I could tell you about the devastation that tore through 2011.
And I could write books about the year of redemption that followed.
2012: The year that GOD revived my barely-beating heart, and resurrection became tangible.

Living through fears.
Finding myself standing strong on an unshakeable foundation.

In 2013, HE showed me how to choose better.
A journey that has, in so many ways, led me to where I am now.

Enjoying a year of being free.
Free to thrive in the nowwithout worrying about what will be.
Free to run forward, without fear of failure.

Free to continue on in absolute awe of HIS glory and grace.
In total surrender to HIM and HIS will.
In confidence. 

Yes: Faith.

It seems my core has gotten stronger.

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