(cover photo: Jeremy Fokkens)
How often do you really believe what others say about you? Whether it’s compliments on your performance in the work place, or comments about your sense of style, humor or work ethic, it’s easy to brush things off and change the subject when others offer nice words to you. I think women are particularly notorious for this; even as I talked with a client about this a few weeks ago, someone walked by and complimented my clothes. I made a comment about how they were “on sale, no big deal!” and brushed them off – then caught my mistake because it was so glaringly obvious! It’s easy to respond this way, whether it’s out of true humility, a false sense of humility, or simply habit.
So when was the last time you believed something someone said about you and truly took it to heart?
As part of the Eat to Perform family via Facebook, we are given optional challenges to interact with the community and share stories – it’s more than just learning about fueling your body well for performance. One of the current challenges is to share how you are strong, so I thought I’d expound on it in a blog post and share a little more, building on what others have said to me and what I know to be true about myself!
In a word (or two!), I am strong because I am wild and free.
“Her messy hair a visible attribute of her stubborn spirit. As she shakes it free she smiles, knowing wild is her favorite color.”
– J. Iron Word
Sure, my consistency in the gym and resulting strength makes me strong, but being strong is about so much more than physical strength. Pulling from a few unconventional definitions, “wild” means:
“Living or growing in the natural environment,” (1)
“Going beyond normal or conventional bounds,” (2)
“Indicative of strong passion, desire, or emotion,” (3) and
“Deviating from the intended or expected course” (source) (4).
I connect in some ways with all of these definitions – I’m a native Californian living in Canada (1); I (along with my husband) have not lived a very conventional life with our journey through cancer and subsequent adventures that have opened up in our lives (2);
I’m characterized by a strong desire to live and love well (3); and I have not followed the expected course of life – marriage, explore, wander, go with the flow – vs – marriage, job, house, baby (4)! I love the quote above, about wild being “her favorite color” because there’s something so enticing that calls to me about the wilds that God created, and that is part of me (and, I’d argue, US) as well. I am wild…and I am free.
My freedom comes not just in being confident and content in who I am as a person, but more specifically in whose I am – I am God’s beloved daughter. There is freedom in knowing whose I am and not needing to prove myself or be someone else for others, and there is freedom knowing that I don’t have to be perfect because I made forgiven and made whole in Christ. I am free!
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
My future is in God’s hands, and I am tasked with living fully for him as I love others and pursue Jesus daily! I can laugh at the future because it’s ultimately up to God’s plans and I get to live out the story he’s writing for me one step at a time in strength and not fear. These things contribute to my quality of life and strength as a woman. There are many stories to share – from the daily ups and downs of life to our cancer journey specifically; from family hardships to navigating relationships in Calgary – that make me strong, but ultimately I’m strong because I am wild and free, and I am only these things because God created me wild after his own heart and free in Christ. Moreover, it’s being surrounded by a supportive community via family and friends that keeps me strong – on my own? I don’t have much to stand up on.
(photo credit: Jeremy Fokkens)
What makes YOU strong? Who makes you strong? Why are you strong? I’d LOVE to hear in the comments below – let’s celebrate our strength!
Live well & be well,