For the past month our family has been doing our final training to earn our black belts. It has been challenging both physically and mentally. I would not have expected anything less or different, because to earn a black belt one must be able to rise above these types of challenges.
The beauty of martial arts is the individual nature of the journey. My test will not be like anyone else’s, because I have my strengths and weaknesses. Recently I have seen each of them as if through a microscope.
It does not take a microscope to see that push-ups and pull-ups are two things that challenge me. As they are both required for our test, I have needed to place extra emphasis on my ability to do them.
I have been looking forward to the time when they would get easier. I have envisioned myself pounding out my reps with ease and actually loving it.
No matter how many times I have done them, daily, I have not found that blessed place of ease.
As I sat outside this morning thinking about all of this, I was given some realizations. There is a lot of clarity that comes when I have a quiet moment, outside, in the sun, listening to the beautiful song of nature.
These tasks are never going to become ‘easy’ for me, however as I have worked at them, I have become stronger. As I thought about this, my heart filled with gratitude for this principle in my life. For if these things became easy for me, I would not work so hard to develop the strength I need to perform them.
This is something I have been thinking about for a long time. We have been on a personal journey that has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. There have been times when each day was a struggle to get through with enough faith to wake up the next morning. The daily fight has been grueling at times.
Yet, I would not trade it for anything.
We have become stronger. We have overcome. We have seen what we can do. We have seen prayers answered. We have seen the hand of God touch our lives daily. We have felt the power of our Savior pick us up. We have been given a gift of clarity.
Before all of this, our journey and the black belt experience, I feared things that made me stretch, grow and hurt. I would, at times, pray that life would get easier or that the challenges would be taken.
Now I see that this is all necessary for me to become stronger.