There's a Lady at the Gym Who Hates Me

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson  || Top:  P  roverbs 31

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson || Top: Proverbs 31

There’s a lady at the gym who hates me. Well, okay… Not really. But, in Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Uninvited, there’s a lady at the gym who hates her for no “real” reason. Or, so she thinks. Because she allows the power of rejection to interfere with her heart of grace, she starts to believe the lady at the gym truly hates her. When, really, she probably doesn’t think much about her at all (those are Lysa’s words, not mine). Through this interaction, Lysa decides it’s time to “live loved.”
When you live loved, you surrender yourself to God. You put Him first in every encounter, action, and daily moment. You don’t do it in hopes for something in return. Rather, you do it because a life living loved offers the greatest gift of peace. “Living loved is sourced in your quiet daily surrender to the One who made you.” Living a life of love is something I want to do everyday; but, it isn’t an easy. 

You know what else isn’t easy? Running. There is nothing in this world that I have a love/hate relationship with more than running. I allow my mind to overtake my body and tell me over-and-over again to quit. It’s too hard. You’re too tired. You can’t do this. And for me, running is a lot like living a life loved. It feels impossible sometimes.
My sister is a runner. Unlike the rest of our family, she actually enjoys jogging for miles each day and participating in things like half marathons. I once asked her how she stays so focused mile-after-mile. I asked her how she is able to keep her mind from overtaking her body. She told me that for every mile, she picks a different person and prays for them. It helps her focus on her time with Him, while also pushing away the negative feelings that come when the run gets tough.
Living life loved is like running a marathon. It takes time, practice, planning, and patience. It involves serious commitment to devote each and every day to Him.
I’ve started using my sister’s running trick when I workout. Since I am not running miles, I try to pray for someone different every couple minutes or so. And you know what, it helps me live loved. It also helps me go that extra mile – not just in my workout, but also in my faith. So, however you need to live loved, I pray you find that first step. Maybe it’s devoting more time to him, or maybe it’s adding prayers to your run. Whatever it is, I pray that you will see that living loved is a life worth living.  

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." - Zephaniah 3:17