“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2.52 NLT).
When I first met my lead trainer, he asked me if I had ever punched anyone. I said no. Then he asked me if I had ever been punched. Again, I said no. I knew very little about MMA when I began training, except for the small portioned I learned while taking kickboxing for a semester during my college years. I was ignorant, uncomfortable and in over my head; and I had eight weeks to get ready. Thankfully, my trainers didn’t expect me to learn everything in a day. My body, mind, emotions and spirit wouldn’t have been able to adapt to the mass influx of information, skill, and change. Every day of my training spurred me into monumental growth, and there would have been no way for me to adjust to the transformation all at once. Each training session stretched my capacity to a centimeter of my breaking point, and I had precious little time to prepare for my next challenge. My MMA training taught me a lot about my spiritual growth. I’ve been very hard on myself through the years. Since I began my quest to live for Christ, I set ridiculous expectations and demanded immediate change. I have given myself no grace; and instead of taking each challenge as they come and allowing myself time to heal and strengthen, I expected perfection. However, I realized that I pushed the joy out of the process of development when I wouldn’t give myself room to make mistakes and grow. Life is filled with training sessions, and God doesn’t expect us to know everything in one day. He gives us seasons of growth and rest, and joy is found when we walk in step with the Master Trainer. Whenever I get discouraged about my spiritual transformation, I can rejoice in how much I’ve grown from the girl who knew absolutely nothing about a life of faith.
God, You see the end result of my life, and You see the potential of what I could be. I understand that my process of change won’t happen in a day, but You will accomplish Your design throughout the combined days of my life. Help me to embrace grace as I daily grow in wisdom and stature. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.