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Why do many people seem eager to relate to and empathize with Simone Biles?
Here’s the situation: the greatest female gymnast of all time decided to withdraw from competition in the middle of the biggest competition in the world, the Olympics.
Here’s what I’m not commenting on: whether or not I think Simone Biles should have withdrawn from competition, what I think of Simone Biles or her situation in regard to mental health.
The response to her withdrawal reveals so much about how many of us feel right now. We want someone to validate our suffering. We want to be seen.
We’re on edge after a year and a half of the pandemic dominating our lives, of constantly changing circumstances, unprecedented times and decisions outside of our control.
We’re weary of fighting the same battles in our marriage, of waking up to the same issues that we seem to be stuck with for life.
We’re exhausted from the challenges of parenting – with virtual school making the already difficult things from potty training to teenage attitudes even more difficult.
We’re worn down by the daily demands of work, of constantly trying to get it all done while somehow being available to every employee and customer.
We’re weary with trying to make that strained relationship work, worn out with trying everything to make that person like us. We’re tired of them not understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing and constantly criticizing our decisions.
We just want someone to say “It’s ok. You can stop now.” We want to put on our warm up clothes, step off the competition floor and focus on ourselves for a change.
It’s definitely normal to feel those feelings. We’re human. But we can’t stop with our feelings. This is when we have to compare what we feel in our hearts to what we read in the Bible.
My heart says: There’s no hope for my marriage. It would be better if I started over with someone else.
The Bible says: If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
My heart says: Nobody understands what I’m going through.
The Bible says: And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:13-16
My heart says: I am enough.
The Bible says: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
My heart says: I need to focus on myself.
The Bible says: But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
The Bible says: Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
Jesus says: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
I love reading the Gospels and seeing how Jesus responded to people. Just as He saw their needs and had great compassion for them, He sees your need and has great compassion for you! If you’re feeling any of those things that I described, I hope you’ll spend some time allowing Jesus’ words to speak truth, love and comfort to your soul.
It is so important that we contrast what we hear from the world/what our heart tells us with what the Bible says. So often those two things are completely opposite.
If you are weary and ready to “step off the competition floor,” it is my prayer that you’ll find hope and rest in Jesus today. ❤
What truth can calm the troubled soul?
God is good, God is good
Where is his grace and goodness known?
In our great Redeemer’s blood
Who holds our faith when fears arise?
Who stands above the stormy trial?
Who sends the waves that bring us nigh
Unto the shore, the rock of Christ?
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death
Please remember that I am not criticizing Simone Biles or her decisions. My goal is to offer hope if you are at the end of your rope with a situation in your life. ❤