Chip Kelly was, at one time, the head coach of the Oregon Ducks. If you know anything about my oldest then you know he is a HUGE Oregon Ducks fan. [Incidentally, he is still mad at both Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota.] He had a shirt [that still fit when he was the size you see in the picture below....he's a man-child now] and on the front it said, "Win the Day." I knew that was a quote that was used by Oregon a lot but had no idea that it was from Chip Kelly: Our goal every day is to win the day. [Upon further investigation of quotes by Chip Kelly I have been sufficiently amused. He's an interesting character.]
I have struggled for a large part of my adult life with anxiety. [What the heck does that have to do with Oregon or Chip Kelly?] It actually began when I was in high school, with a panic attack that left me completely immobilized before a football game and landed me in the back of an ambulance. Other times, the fear that gripped me would cause me to check my cell phone at least 100 times during graduate classes. I have gone to bed at night only to end up in the floor of one of my children's rooms, fearful that if a fire struck in the middle of the night that I would not be able to get to one of them quickly enough.
For as long as I can remember, fear has been a part of my life. Real fear. Fear that was irrational and unfounded but had such a hold on my life that I could not function. I would take days off of work as a way to hide a particularly cruel stretch of insomnia from the anxiety. It is quite embarrassing when your emotions control you instead of the other way around, in any profession, but especially in education.
Over time, with the help of a doctors that were willing to listen and find the right medication and with counseling to learn to control the panic attacks, I have found that I can manage the anxiety.
[Back to how Chip Kelly and the Ducks fit into this story....] More than anything, my faith has grown not because of anything I have done or even deserved but only because I have been protected by God's unending grace. I no longer cower to fear, like that woman who felt as if she were losing her mind.
Now, I win the day.
I am a firm believer that God orchestrates
of our lives.
He knows our struggles and our triumphs before we ever experience them. He is writing my story.
And if your story is anything like mine then it is messy.
And full of harsh realities.
And overwhelmingly incredible.
In all of this life, through the anxiety and the fear and the worry, I have learned to be thankful and obedient [still working on that one] and hopeful that my story is still being orchestrated. Paul wrote so beautifully in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
When I surrendered, about 6 years ago, and really stopped trying to run from God and fix it myself, then I realized the weight of this verse. We [you and I] will do great things for God, not because of anything we've done or will do, but because he has made us to accomplish his purpose, for his glory. In my weakness, he is glorified.
Now, win the day.
God has set all of us on a course that is meant to do his work, for his glory, during our time here on earth. We [I, me, Missy] should be running, with infinite passion, towards our purpose, even if it is hard.
Or seemingly impossible.
Or on the other side of the world.
Or knocks us right out of our comfort zone into a murky abyss.
Or makes me [us, you, me] over the top excited and nauseous with apprehension all at the same time.
I do not want to waste another minute locked in fear.
Worrying about things beyond my control.
Not "being" enough.
Comparing myself to others.
Riddled with guilt over past regrets.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne.
Now, win the day.