31 “He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I don’t know if anyone has noticed but I have been hash tagging mustard seed for years particularly when it comes to track. I feel like I’ve always been an underdog and my faith in God has had me do unbelievable things especially in the track world. When I was a child, my father always told me all I needed was the faith of a mustard seed. He even showed me one once. My father is deeply religious and instilled many things in me that I cherish now in adulthood. And this mustard seed faith is just one of many that I have always kept close.
I know I’ve been MIA lately and I haven’t been posting much about how my season is going. To be honest, after my amazing break through race in May, I have been having a lot of trouble and I was trying to wait to have another great race before I posted again. But I realized that you guys are here for me during my best and worst times and maybe my battle can help to inspire others. So I decided to share what has been going on.
I started the season with some great races and recently I hit a bump in the road. In the last few races I’ve run some of my slowest times and I have been struggling to piece everything together. My practices have been solid but the races just aren’t really coming along. I would post them but believe me they aren’t much to see lol My coach and I are working diligently to get it all together as I prepare for the USA Olympic Trials next month but I won’t lie, I kind of fell into despair this past weekend.
As many of you know, I basically packed up my entire life and took a leap of faith to move to the desert and put my bid in for Rio. And watching my ranking drop week after week has been devastating. After the last “rough race,” I began to question my decision and whether I actually have it in me to be successful in the sport. I know I have you all cheering, rooting, and believing in me but I want to be honest and transparent about how I was feeling. The competitor in me was feeling like I was running out of fight. But the dog fights the hardest when its back is against the wall. And I shine the brightest when the odds are against me!
I had a conversation, an encouraging, uplifting, faith filled conversation with a teammate of mine and it just reminded me that it’s not my timing but God’s. I’m so blessed to have people who walk with God around me and for him to use them to speak to me when I’m discouraged. It’s crazy how fear, doubt and sadness are the devils best tools to use against us. God can give us all the grace and opportunities in the World and the devil can manipulate us into doubt and fear and have us beat ourselves, even though God has laid it out for us to have.
Even in the above quoted verse, Matthew 17:15-20, the disciples themselves, even after witnessing first hand the miracles, glory, and power of Jesus himself, they still struggled with their faith. Throughout the 4 gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) Jesus is constantly telling them they have little faith and need to trust in him. Heck he said in Matthew 17:20 they didn’t even have the faith of a mustard seed and I’m beginning to see how big a mustard seed is when it’s put into faith terms. I always thought surely I have that much faith but as I am being tested I can feel it wavering and true faith does not waver. True faith is certain and does not have a plan b because true faith knows that God will provide and God is with them.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I have not more faith than Peter had in the above scripture. All the faith in the World when I stepped out of the boat but as the winds begin to blow and my races weren’t coming as easy, I too became afraid and cried to the Lord to save me. Forgetting that it was he who had me walking on the water in the first place. The Lord didn’t bring me out here to leave me hanging and he didn’t have me run the Olympic Trial Standard to let me sink in the water. And just like Peter, he will reach in the water and save me and remind me to have the faith of a mustard seed.
I had a meet in San Diego this past weekend and I went alone with none of my training partners and coaches and as I was warming up, I had a sort of epiphany. Why did I want to run fast right now? Was it to actually glorify God like I tell myself or was it because of me? For my confidence, reassurance, or whatever? I realized in that moment that it was indeed for myself. Because I don’t want to be embarrassed or let people down or fail but not because of God at all. I realized this year, my faith was relying on results and not on God’s will or glory. I wanted to run fast for me. And that needed to change.
So, all of this to say. I am more determined and motivated than ever! Not for myself but because I truly want God to work through my life and reach others. When I do glorify God, I want everyone to know it was because of him. Not my own will but his. I want my story to be a testimony. The interesting things about testimonies is that you actually have to go through a test first. If things are easy, no one can relate, you can’t inspire people if you didn’t have downs. You need the test and then you give your praises. And that is exactly what I intend to do.
Thank you all for your love and support as I inch my way to Rio!