One of the most incredible journeys I have ever embarked on started 3 years ago right before Mother’s Day. My family had been doing karate and I decided it was time I needed to join them. Stepping on the mat for the very first time was nothing short of intimidating. It was one of the most scary steps I have ever taken…and it was one of the best steps I have ever taken.
One of the disciplines we study in karate is sparring. I will be honest, it has not been my most favorite aspect. Yet, I have learned so much from this. A couple of weeks ago it was sparring training night. After suiting up in the foot pads, hand pads and headgear (definitely one of my finer looks I may say), I was ready to go.
I made a decision that night that I would just go for it. I let go of the dislike and trepidation that I feel when I am all padded up. As the night would have it I sparred against some younglings and finally against my 6’6″ husband and our instructor, who both are pretty incredible at sparring. Regardless to say, I took some pretty good hits (I would like to say I dealt some pretty good hits too).
Now, we don’t spar to kill each other. It is a discipline of control, speed, power and strategy. I did come away with some pretty trophies, but not the kind you put on a shelf. These trophies were black and blue… honestly my favorite kind.
The best trophy I received, however, came as a quiet thought that entered into my heart and mind.
This knowledge is powerful. It tells me that I am strong, that I am capable, that I don’t quit. It tells me that when I make a decision to fight, I will have the strength and power to overcome whatever blow is dealt.
It is so true in my life off of the mat too. We have been in a perpetual ‘sparring match’ for quite sometime. There have been days when I feel like I have been hit in the face, kicked in the head, blitzed, knocked down and pulled up for more. I haven’t quit. I have simply adjusted my padding and assumed the sparring stance.
It is through little decisions, made on a daily basis, that has given me the power and strength I need to take a hit. Little decisions of prayer, communing with Heavenly Father, spending time with my family, searching His words and seeing the blessings…every little and last one of them.
Life is not easy. There will never be a time in my life when there is not something out there ready to strike. The best thing I can do is pad up and be ready.