A month has roughly 30 days give or take. Within that short time span who would know that so much could happen? I feel like that is my life these days, no two days are the same and I’m ok with that. I think things are in a constant state of change and it’s never ok for us to stay in one place. I’m not talking about the life changing moments (although these are great also) but it’s the tiny details of growth that move us toward the person we were created to be. Sometimes these involve moments of great pain through perhaps lessons learnt or saying goodbye to someone or something, it could be a rejection from a person that only actually made us stronger. The moments of growth could also be joyful opportunities. No matter what the circumstance, every part of our journey should be embraced.
I have been back in Bangkok over a week now and an aray of different emotions have been felt. Firstly there was that small detail of jetlag that I had to get over. I always say it never hits me that bad but my sleep was hitting roughly 3 to 4 hours throughout so that didn’t get me off to a great start making my hormones shoot all over the place.
After the initial moments of soaking up time and dinners with friends it was time for me to crack on back to the grind. This is what I love, I love to set goals and hit them. I love to wake up each day and see what God has in store for me. This week I certainly didn’t feel this was the case. I fully expected to hit the ground running but reality brought me swiftly back down to earth. Feelings of anxiety clouded my mind. I was uncertain of what I was doing. I felt a little on the useless side and a lot of my Thai language simply would not come to me in moments I needed it most. It was fair to say I had a few meltdowns in my room each night I returned home. Luckily for a few pals that love me and are good at calling me out when I get ahead of myself I came to the realisation that this week especially, I needed to be kind to myself. I had to take each day at a time and slow down. It’s important to begin taking everything in and being aware of my feelings. Transitions are never easy no matter what the situation. Staying away from this culture for 2 and half months is a long time! I surely could not rush back in to take on the world so suddenly. By the grace of God my soul is feeling more settled and I am learning to take things a little easier if needed.
It’s been a tremendously busy week with readjusting different parts to my role within my job, getting back into the swing of things, attending an event for women on the street and competing in a CrossFit Competition ( More on this later )
Last Wednesday an event was held for women on the street to come and spend some quality time together to relax. It was a beautiful event held at a hotel and a few hundred attended all with a unique individual story. It was an opportunity to get to know some of the women in the red-light bars and build deeper relationships with ones that we had previously met. Words do not do justice how stunning the night went. Despite being on one of the days when all language had left me, being able to hold hands with these precious women and speak words of truth and life over them was beyond a blessing. To look into the eyes of a girl who comes with a story of shame and rejection and to be able to claim that she is infact a warrior and a child of God is a gift that I do not take lightly. Sometimes when the language of the culture we are living in escapes us all that’s left to do is a smile or a touch which affirms that you see them, you do not see what they see, only beauty in its truest form. Not only this, we got to eat together and pray over them which was a special moment. I know that there have been follow ups with the women we spent time with on that night and I only hope it strengthens and builds deeper relationships for the future.
The following day had me back in the coffee shop where I was able to re-connect with the beautiful women I work with, this is always a joy for me and I enjoy the precious time we get to spend together. Alongside this, outside on the street I had an encounter with a woman who I had an opportunity to have a conversation with. At first, the walls she had placed around herself were high, I didn’t expect her to trust me from the off. Having learnt that I was a Christian she was under the assumption that I wanted to sit and preach to her. This couldn’t have been any further from the truth. I simply wanted to get to know her and her heart. To start, she talked a lot at me, it was clear that she wanted that wall to stay put between us but after a while and a few questions later , she began to show little pieces of herself. What I saw was something quite special. A woman that had had so much taken from her. It was obvious that this had cost her heart an expensive price. When we see someone that has been broken into tiny little pieces, it can be quick and easy to dismiss that person, especially when that person lashes out at us or is not quick to receive our love. It takes time and energy to invest and it most definitely requires us to give a piece of our heart, this can be where the problem lies. We can be so scared to give our hearts to the broken because there is a risk that it will break ours, but one thing I have come to learn is that whilst boundaries are of vital importance, we cannot hope to shine light in a broken world if we are not willing to take a risk and love radically. I serve a God that showers me daily in his love so that I might be willing to share this with those around me. I hope, and I pray that I will have the opportunity to meet with this girl on the street again.
With everything going on in the week it was time to round it all off with some heavy weights and a whole lot of fun! I attended The Thailand Throw down which was an opportunity to compete in the sport I love most- CrossFit. Battling jet lag and just returning from the UK had me thinking that this perhaps was not the best things to do, but I know there was absolute purpose in me being there. I cannot express how much fun I had being around some incredibly special people who both push and inspire me. If you want to meet some of the most determined, smiling, strong people you simply must come and watch a CrossFit comp!
Not only was there a ton of fun to be had but this year meant something a whole lot different to me. At last year’s competition, I was a different person. My identity was trapped in the wrong things, I defined myself with fitness and affirmation from all the wrong places. My mind was a whirlwind and I did not understand that this was a gift and blessing from God. I abused it and it took me to a dark place. This year could not have been any further off the spectrum. I went in to this with pure gratitude that God has given me a strong body that he wanted me to use for his glory. I took times to be alone before workouts to reflect on just what a joy it is to be able to move and move well. Every workout was a testimony to this, even the skills that I struggled with. During the day I spent a lot of time in prayer and just thanked him for everything that he has blessed me with. God doesn’t care what position I come In. What he cares about is the state of my heart and if I am kind to people. Am I giving attention to the person in front of me? Am I loving well? I was able to be fully present during this weekend and God blessed me by taking 3rd place on the podium. I had not checked the leader board the whole weekend, so It was a total surprise and it filled my heart with so much joy. Ultimately, the position in which I came was irrelevant, but my biggest achievement was my mindset and the calmness that swept over me. I felt a peace and an excitement that was not there last year and that is something worth celebrating.