It has been a bit of a crazy year. I am sure it is easy to tell by my posts that I have been in a bit of a reflective kick this year. I haven’t seen the need to put on some mask. Instead I have tried to share with you all what is really going on. Life isn’t full of just highs. There are plenty of moments where we are all down, angry, or lost. So I have wanted to share those moments with hopes that others will find strength reading about someone else in a time of weakness.
I by no means write this with hopes of people feeling sorry for me. Instead I write this so they know that those bad days all have a purpose. Those days will only make you stronger if you use them as a chance to grow. There are many times on the bike where I feel weak and question if I can keep pushing. So I started telling myself to dig deeper and push harder. Those rides are the moments I can look back with appreciation because I know they made me a better rider. The suffering wasn’t permanent, but it was a reminder that success takes sacrifice. Would there be any satisfaction setting a personal best or doing something I didn’t know I could if it came easy?
The past 6 months or so I have seen a huge change in my life. To this day losing Copper still rips at my heart. He probably was the first thing I have lost that I really loved and cared for. Changing jobs brought on some anxiety that I didn’t know I could ever have. Alex moving to Knoxville made me realize how quiet a house can really be. I have had to change so much about how I interact with people, how I spend my spare time, and what I invest my time/energy into.
Instead of retreating to my house and to a place of comfort, I have reached out to friends. I have taken that step of uncertainty by being open to those in my small group. Sharing things that I previously would keep to myself. Using these men to become a stronger Christian. The things I used to desire or value has changed. It has caused me to question some things that are almost a foundation to my life and to be honest it scares me to death.
I know more about myself than I ever have. This comes at a price though. I have had some of the worst days because of these changes. Some days were difficult because I couldn’t find happiness in the simple things I used to. Being alone became destructive instead of a refuge. A night of video games lost all appeal. Relaxing on the couch mindlessly watching TV would drive me crazy. I have felt so lost on those days. So instead I started to ride more, get out often, and I have tried my hardest to be engaged with the people I care about.
Those bad days are worth it though. They give me the power to tell myself that I can conquer more than I think I can. But they also show me that I can’t do it alone. That I still need to listen to what God has planned for me. That all things have a purpose and it could take me months or even years before I realize what it is.
So for anyone else that is in the storm just know you can use it as an opportunity to change. Turn the loneliness, pain, etc into a reason to fight harder. Use those moments as a reason to praise God. Reaching out to Him in a time of weakness feels vulnerable, but it also makes it easier because you have someone that will listen. Someone that truly cares for you like nobody else does. None of us are ever truly alone. He is at the door waiting, we just have to open it to let Him in.