As I healed from my divorce, my Spiritual Director told me to see myself as a new butterfly, exiting my cocoon of suffering.
The butterfly builds strength through its struggle to exit the cocoon. As it prepares to fly, it does all that it needs to do.
That means that I had to do the hard work, even though others wanted to help. My old life became like the black pulp within the cocoon, and now I feel I have the muscle to flutter and do what God wants me to do. It is such a liberating feeling to be thankful for suffering and see how God has used it for my growth as his child.
There are three things that have been so helpful to me over the last year or so.
They have helped to build my soul, body and mind. I work now part-time, I joined a gym, and have started the Ignatian Spiritual exercises. These wonderful new things have brought such energy, joy and sense of community into my life. I have found a passion for encouraging others in all my roles. I’d like to share a little bit about the newness for me of exercise.
I have truly never been athletic to put it politely! The thought of physical excursion was more a case of what I had to do, or some sort of punishment. I had a lot of sad childhood memories that revolved around P.E. lessons! Joining the gym, however, has truly been a gift from God. Before I even considered joining a gym, I felt stronger spiritually and emotionally, and wanted to get stronger physically.
I wanted to process through all the insecurities and grow.
I was overwhelmed with how to start. However, God placed people in my life who helped point me to the right place for me to grow physically. I met the owner, who has built a gym to encourage all members from beginners to advanced. His love of God and desire to follow Christ is very evident, as well as his love for people and helping them achieve their goals. It felt safe. To make the experience even better, I was joined on my journey from the very beginning by one of my dearest friends.
I now can do so many things that I couldn’t do before, hello side planks while holding a weighted ball!
I leave the gym with energy and joy.
In this one room, I am united with others as a community to encourage each other for 30 minutes. We cheer as each person reaches a new goal or achieves a new skill. When I look back to the version of Shona who began her 21-day Bootcamp, I am amazed at the confidence I have now in what my body can do. Isn’t this similar to our walk as Christians. Let’s find ways to encourage each other in our journey to heaven.