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  • Writer's pictureCalli Townsend

A lesson from hard things

I keep telling myself I’m grateful to be back on campus, back with my team, back to somewhat of a “normal.”

But can I be honest for a second?

Yesterday I sat with my team at our indoor track for a compliance meeting. And while I sat in those bleachers, I stared at the track and kinda wanted to cry.

Last season was definitely not my best. It’s not that I ran that terribly, but I just felt pretty terrible. And maybe I’m just remembering it worse than it actually was, but still. Staring at that blue, 200-meter oval brought back some unwanted anxiety.

But then today, we had team pictures. My friends and I took fun pictures, feeling proud in our uniforms and looking forward to the year ahead.

We laughed about things that had happened in the last three years and declared this would be our best year yet, season or not. I posted some of those cute pictures on my Instagram story.

I kinda felt hypocritical posting that, like, look how happy I am and how cute my friends are even though the thought of actually racing in that uniform still scares me.

I’m not the kind of person who likes to admit this kind of stuff. It’s a mix of pride and not wanting to burden others with my problems.

And then I got home and watched an interview I did last month about Semester Together and the SimplyMe Journal. I actually rewound part of it to hear the words come out of my mouth again.

“This past season was definitely one of my hardest, dealing with anxiety when it came to racing and feeling really tired. It was just kind of an all around rough season, which happens,” I said. “I really started journaling a lot more. Not just what I was doing at practice, but how I was feeling mentally and emotionally.”

And then I told the story of how the journal was born out of that season of trying to become all-around healthier and stronger.

And then I thought about one of my most popular blog posts that I wrote after running one of my most disappointing races (and throwing up in the most trash cans).

And then I remembered the many other opportunities and memories that have come out of being on this team.

And then I smiled.

Good things come from hard things.

Our God makes the hard things and hopeless feelings worth something. He makes them purposeful and glorious.

What if, instead of looking at the scary and hard things up ahead as sources of anxiety, I look at them as more opportunities? What if, instead of remembering the struggles, I remember the ways God used them for His glory?

That’s basically what His whole Bible is—the recounting of the hard times and the way He brought His people through them. It’s all about remembering His goodness, His love, His faithfulness.

And I believe that’s how God wants us to live. In remembrance, but also in pursuit, of His glory.

“Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with His godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in Him should ponder them. Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember His wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord!” (Psalm 111:1-4)


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