Practicing what I preach

Hey guys,

Hope that you all have been doing well! It has been an eventful few days on this side of things for sure. And I am having that experience where I am learning things about myself that need some work, and I am learning about some areas in my character and in my heart that need some attention. And so it’s the painful, but the beneficial type of blessing. I am experiencing some unexpected side effects due to covid, and I’m not handling it as well as I thought I would. Ya see I am a busy person typically, the kind that struggles with slowing down. As of right now, I struggle to walk or even drive, at unpredictable times throughout the day, and as you can imagine, that has put quite the damper on my busy schedule.

While I wish that I could say that I have jumped gratefully into this opportunity to rest and spend time with God, as well as on the things that I love, that would not be in any way honest. A more accurate description would be that I have been dragged, kicking, screaming, and crying into a different kind of life than I am used to, and thankfulness has, unfortunately not been a natural part of the equation.

Instead of appreciating the respite from the insanity I was living in, and having the maturity to understand that it will only last a few months at most, I have let my mind dwell on the things that IĀ cannotĀ do. This, as you can probably imagine, does not lead to a grateful heart, nor does it leave me coming to the LORD from a place of joy and gratitude in suffering, which is a posture I have written about many times.

It is an intentional battle to be thankful and count my blessings when my cross country athlete body is shaking so bad that I am unable to walk.

My mind recognizes the opportunities, after all, this is what those inspiring sports movies are made of isn’t it? An athlete that faces unexpected circumstances but still finds ways to be a good student and a blessing to others while selflessly encouraging their team? You know the picture. I am understanding now more than ever why people admire stories such as that so much, because it’s extraordinarily beautiful, and no easy feat, to have a heart like that in the face of things that honestly just suck.

I’m not even in a predicament where the suckiness is permanent, so on top of the problem itself sits this somewhat miserable guilt that I’m not the reflection of God and His unshakable joy that I truly do want to be.

So it’s a fight. And it hurts. But it’s a good kind of hurt. The kind that tells you that you are doing something worthwhile. While my physical muscles may be on mandatory vacation, my spiritual journey is about to head into some hardcore training, as I attempt to make the most of every opportunity that God puts in front of me to use this situation for good.

Trust me when I say that I honestly am excited to see what comes out the other side of this mess. Even if it’s gonna take some struggle to get there. After all, we are to be refined by fire, rejoice always, and persevere, are we not? And even if it takes a mountain of effort, what else am I gonna spend my energy on, right? I really and truly want to move through the pain and reflect joy, because even when my circumstances are not, my God is good. Even when I don’t like where I am, or miss the things I used to do, my God is good. No matter what is going on in this world the God that I serve is so good, so worthy of praise and so worthy of everything that I have to give him, even if all that consists of is my weakest hallelujah and a heart fully surrendered to His service, trusting that the story that He is writing for me has the ending that He wants it to have, as long as I let Him take the reigns.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not yet see. -Hebrews 11:1

So if I ever said that praising God was simple and easy, even in the toughest of circumstances, I apologize for my mistake, but no matter what I have said I do stand on the fact that He is most certainly worthy of that kind of devotion.

That’s my heart right now y’all,

-Aubrey Batten

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