But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
I made a decision this week that resulted in me soaking in an Epsom salt bath tonight and asking God to give me strength to make it through the rest of the week. The Lord began to minister to my heart and reminded me of His promise in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
For the past 2 years, I have been TALKING about wanting to get back in shape, but there was little consistent action. Sean and I have had little spurts here and there of exercise. We have a gym membership that we don’t use. Sound familiar? I have had some aches and pains that I knew were associated with weakened core strength and just overall inactivity. I am a pretty active person by nature, but the last 2 years have had me behind a computer a lot. I want to feel strong, have sustained energy, and feel good about the way my clothing fits again. 10 years ago, I owned a martial arts studio, lead women through boot camps, and did one on one personal training with clients. I am far from where I was physically back then.
Sean had been talking about trying CrossFit for a while because of the good cardio and strength training it provides. I wanted the cardio and strength training, but I knew that I needed the community and the accountability. I am competitive and when I commit to something I follow through. I knew that if I committed to a community then it would provide the motivation and accountability that I needed to reach my health and fitness goals. I knew that if I told others that I would show up then I would not let them down. I would not go back on my word.
I made the decision that NOW is the time. No more TALK about WANTING to get in shape. I knew a Crossfit gym owner 25 minutes from our home. I reached out to him as my first step forward. Had I just inquired at gyms closer to my home (and there are many), I would not have been committed. It would have been easy for me to just get information and then never do anything with it. I didn’t want to leave even a crack for excuses to come in. Eric, the owner of CrossFit Templum, knew me via Facebook and had held a fundraiser for my missions-based ministry, I Will Stand International, a few years ago. We also have several mutual friends. I knew that reaching out would commit me mentally.
Sean and I left our home at 4:30 AM Tuesday morning and did our first workout in the 5 AM class. I felt pretty good after the class. It was tough, but I felt accomplished. I snapped a quick picture of the two of us and posted to Facebook as another layer of accountability. I knew that I would not give up so easily if I told others we had committed. I can be stubborn and try to use my stubbornness in beneficials ways. I struggled with energy on Tuesday from the new wake up time but got a burst of energy in the evening. I was ready for Workout #2 Wednesday morning.
This morning (Wednesday), we got up at 4 AM and headed to the gym at 4:30 AM. The work out was tough. Much tougher than the day before. We also pushed through the sore muscles from Tuesday’s workout. We made it through and gave it all we had. We hardly said a word on the drive home. We were exhausted. I went to step out of the car, and my legs nearly gave out underneath me. Today was rough. I was exhausted in every way. My muscles were/are fatigued and aching which brought me to the Epsom salt bath tonight and asking the Lord to sustain me. I was committed and needed him to help me get through this tough part. I know He will because He is faithful. I can always rely on Him. Without question.
I was talking to my Mom earlier today, and she had told me that we should have rested today and not gone back. She said that so many people get on a workout kick, do too much, and burn out too quickly. Perhaps, but I know me. I know that when I want to accomplish something that I need to make a decision and be all in. I need to put myself out there, create accountability, find support, and not hold back. If I ease into something, I am not fully committed and often it is too easy to just ease right out. Had I been this sore from a solo workout at a gym, I would have given myself plenty of time to recover before going back and honestly probably would not have gone back for months because I would not have established a routine. I would have let life get back in the way of wanting to be physically in shape. It would have been the continuation of the same cycle I had been in that I was committed to break.
The Lord related all of my experiences this week to freedom. Freedom from spiritual oppression is a choice. Battling inner demons is really no battle at all. It is a decision. It is a determination. The battle was already done on the cross. We just decide to walk in the freedom that was won for us!
Sometimes the actual battle is just making the commitment and filling out the deliverance request form. The battle is making the decision to be done with everything that is holding you back. The battle is finally accepting that you need help and reaching out to receive it. Laying everything before Jesus is setting aside pride and excuses and just getting the job done. One of the biggest hold ups for me joining the CrossFit gym could have been not measuring up and not being good enough from not having done much structured training in a while. I am competitive and don’t like to be weak or lesser than what I know I can be. I was determined to not let this get in my way. My desire to feel and be healthy was going to take priority. I committed myself verbally so I wouldn’t back out of showing up. Take a few steps of faith towards your freedom (or any other area you need improvement). You won’t regret it.
Again, deliverance isn’t a battle; it is a decision and just requires showing up surrendered. Sometimes, the battle afterwards can be intentionally or unintentionally holding on to those things you want or need to be letting go of that can cause you to slide back into some of those bad habits and ways of living (negative thoughts, actions, emotions, or behaviors) that keep you in bondage. I found early on that having accountability, support, and a community is what is needed to stay on track and keep walking in freedom. Several women kept coming back asking different questions and seeking advice on how to keep demons from coming back, how to retrain their mind, emotions, and actions, and how to stay walking in freedom when they were daily engaging with people who were not walking in freedom. Out of this need, Freedom Coaching was developed. Freedom Coaching has become the ongoing accountability and support needed to help, keep, and maintain freedom. Freedom Coaching is the strengthening and conditioning bootcamp that helps you establish all the healthy thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to help you make choices that line up with scripture and keep you out of the traps of the enemy.
Complete deliverance is done in one session. Bondage permissions are broken and ALL the demons are cast out. Staying free requires us to line up fully with the word of God, let completely go of everything that hindered us and walk in His complete and sovereign grace. Some go through deliverance and leave fully able to stay free and never look back. Some need help, training, and coaching to fortify them with God’s truth so they can counter the enemy’s lies and help them identify where they keep opening doors back up to the enemy.
So, if you find yourself like me this week, sore, hurting, and in need of a spiritual Epson salt bath, just know that His grace is sufficient. Know that you serve a faithful God. Know that if you are reaching out, He will meet you where you are. Know that He provides the help you need. Sometimes, it is just making the decision, putting pride aside, and asking for the help.