In reading a book written by a Pastor named Chris McMichael, he begins to write a chapter on weaknesses. “Everyone has a weakness,” he says… “humble people will acknowledge their weaknesses. But wise and prudent people will actually do something about them.”
This weekend was big for me. To the average person it was probably no big deal but to me, I can say it was life changing because of the quote above.
Let me set the stage: My boss scheduled a 2 day training this weekend. Day 1 was a mandatory in-classroom training on active shooters and basic medical treatment. On day one the instructor began to list off some of his credentials, which I personally enjoy when people do because I like to know I’m being trained by the real deal. This dude started talking about how he was former law enforcement for 10 years, former military, top secret clearance level stuff, special weapons and tactics certified, how he managed overseas high threat diplomatic stuff…he even threw in some pictures like you see in the movies of him in his suit guarding super important people (except his pictures were REAL.) So in my mind I’m like “okay dude, we get it – you’re cool and good at what you do…”
Then he starts to talk about day two training which is optional and on the gun range…with him as the instructor. Automatically my mind goes to “yeah right…I am NOT going to that training.” However, if I wanted the backing of my boss to carry I not only had to attend this training but I had to qualify with a score of at least 80%. Yikes.
I had a decision to make.
This is where the weakness stuff comes in. In the past several years I have had this mentality of caving to pressure, which most people would never see in me because I have a pretty strong personality. I’m bold. I’m aggressive. I’m confident. But then when pressure comes it’s like I bend and just throw my hands in the air and surrender to the situation. I acknowledged this in myself, which means I’m humble, right?….but I knew that it wasn’t until I actually did something about this weakness that I would become wise.
I decided to attend day 2 training on the gun range. I literally heard the Lord tell me “you.can.do.this.”
I haven’t felt like that in so long. I was so nervous that I couldn’t even eat my lunch that day in training and I barely ate anything for dinner. My stomach was all over the place.
The next morning we had to be at the gun range by 7:45am. I wanted to back out so many times in that 12 hour span, but I kept hearing the Lord tell me “you can do this!” In my mind I had thought I had reasonable excuses to back out:
Number 1: I was going to be the only girl there.
Number 2: I would be shooting with a brand new gun that I had never shot before.
Number 3: I was going to be the only girl there. Oh yes, I mentioned that already.
I’m not going to lie, I felt like the pressure was intensifying as the day went on and as I learned what it was going to take to qualify.
The instructor informed us we were taking a diplomatic security qualifying test (err something like that, and well, yeah that didn’t help either.)
I’m fast forwarding to spare more details…but in the end, I did it! I qualified! I started to critique myself on the shots that could have been better but I paused and heard the Lord say “you did it. I told you that you could do it.”
Here’s why this is such a big deal to me personally… (totally switching topics here…)
Early last week I looked at myself in the mirror and was truly not okay with what I saw. I know I’m not a super fat disgusting girl but I also know that I’m overweight and super unhealthy and unfit. I’ve battled with self image and eating disorders in the past and if we’re being honest, my mind was going there again.
Those thoughts were basically put on the back burner for 2 days as I went through this training but they quickly arose the next day as I once again looked in the mirror with that “blah” feeling.
This time, The Holy Spirit spoke to me saying:
“Didn’t it feel good to discover a weakness this weekend and to face that weakness and have victory in the end?”
Well of course it did. And then it hit. I knew exactly what He was about to say as I thought about wanting to make changes and be healthy.
“You can do this!”
As I spent time with the Lord He gave me my 2020 personal vision: this is the new you. Facing challenges and overcoming is the new Whitney. No more surrendering to pressure. Face the giant, cut it’s head off, and declare what the Lord has done!
So here’s to the new Whitney.