….But this story I am writing on here is far to be done, a pastor’s friend from the denomination I received the major wound send me this story in an attempt to encourage me to not give up on my health challenge. Even though his response was directed to my whining over the Crossfit classes, may be conscious or unconscious, he spoke into my heart and spirit when he wrote:
“One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?”
Those prints are large and round and neat,
“But Lord they are too big for feet.”
“My child,” He said in somber tones,
“For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.”
“You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt.”
“Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand.”
Then another long time friend read my Facebook status and wrote :
“We believe when you can’t, carry you in faith when yours is destroyed,and hope when you have nothing left…and love you through it all knowing God is good always. You would do the same for your friends.”
I have many people who are encouraging me and believing I can do this when I doubt about it. You should know that this former pastor is not only dealing with physical pain for all the years as a couch potato, but I am also confronting my mind that continuously tries to discourage me and tells me, “you are not good at this”, “you are not strong enough” “people will laugh about you” “what do you think you are doing among all those fit people”. I am also dealing with my spirit, a spirit who was hurt by the actions of some people who call themselves “Christians”, and for 3 years I have not even spoke to God. I have been upset with him and his followers. So I stopped reading, I stopped fellowshipping, and even tried to not believe in him anymore. So as you see this Iron Tribe thing is pushing me in many areas of my life: the body, the mind and the spirit.
I took the position in my current job because in a way I was getting closer to “ministry” because I am working with an interfaith non-profit and most of my co-workers go to some kind of spiritual community, and have a strong faith. Then I ended up at Iron tribe without knowing how many faith people were working on it. I do not believe in coincidences, I think everything has a purpose.
To finish all this long story this morning I went to Sara’s office, my co-worker who told the PUSH story to thank her for sharing that, and let her know how much it touched me. She grabbed my hands, and started to minister to me once again. “What’s going on here? I asked myself. This should be the place where I come work, not a place where I get broken”. Sara’s tender touch and words were again shattering my heart and letting the pain of the many wounds come out to the surface once again. She asked me: “Do you know who you are? until you know who you are, you are not going to be able to help others”.
-Of course I know who I am! What are you talking? I responded trying to be strong.
-“Do you know who you are?” She asked me again.
-“yes Sara, I know who I am” This time a raised my own barriers, so she could not go deeper. In a way I knew where she was going with her question. “Miguel, do you know who you are?” She asked again.
-“I know who I am Sara, but I do not know who I am in Christ if that is what are you trying to tell me?”
Then she said, “Miguel you are loved, and it does not matter what others have told you, or have done to you, you are loved”
“Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be.” (Brennan Manning, All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir)
I never thought that the moment I registered to Iron Tribe, the process of brokenness was going to start in my soul, heart and spirit. I thought I was coming to work out only, I think somebody else had different plans for me. In general Alabama ,while working with the Greatest Birmingham Ministries as well, is becoming a place of healing, and restoration.