Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Faith

My faith is not something I've ever wanted to write about on my blog.  Well, actually it is, but it's not something I've perhaps had enough courage to write about.  Talking about religion or Christianity sometimes doesn't go over so well (just ask Tim Tebow), and in general I try to keep my blog about light topics - training, racing, Roxy (the dog) and other such things.  In a way, I'm a deeply private person.  I know it doesn't seem like it when I've been blabbing about all my comings and goings for the last 8-9 years on my blog.  But 99% of my blogs are superficial.  Which is the way I like it.  Again, I'm a private person.

Still, recently I can't get the idea of writing about my faith out of my head.


I don't really even know what to write!  (how's that for a good blog post?)  I guess mostly I just want to write about the importance of God in my life and how my faith and belief in God is what drives me, motivates me, directs all my decisions and makes me get out of bed each morning.  Yes I know, you thought TRIATHLON did all that.  Not quite.  :)

I'm a relatively new Christian.  I didn't understand God or who Jesus really was until I was college-aged.  I had a roommate my freshman year in college who was a very faithful Christian and I would go to church with her all the time, not really understanding ANYTHING that was going on.  I remember one time taking a bus trip to the Raleigh Relays in college (which were held at NC State) and it was around Easter.  I wanted to read about what happened at Easter in the Bible but I didn't even know where to look so I asked a teammate.  The thought of that just makes me laugh!  I've now read through the Gospels and the details of Jesus' death and resurrection hundreds of times.  I guess we all start somewhere.

I kept going to church with my teammate and somewhere along the way met Oscar and he would go with us too.  Oscar was already a strong Christian and would really help me understand what this stuff was all about!  At which time I would finally come to the point of understanding that being a Christian meant that I believed Jesus died on the cross for MY sins and that he arose from the grave on that 3rd day.  It wasn't a hard decision to come to.  Once I understood, I knew in my heart it was true.

Since college I've certainly done a lot of growing and learning and maturing and I will continue to do so for the rest of my days here on this earth.  I still shake my head at some of the stupid things I do or say.  Hurtful things or prideful things or selfish things.  I am far from perfect and never will be but with God's strength, will improve a little each day.

I know Christian athletes take a lot of heat.  Ryan Hall does.  Tim Tebow does.  People say that God doesn't really care if Denver wins or not.  Or if Ryan makes it to the Olympics.  But He does!  That's the funny thing about all the criticism.  God cares deeply about every single detail of all of our lives.  Ryan and Tim and many other athletes have been given great gifts and they glorify God by using those gifts.  You don't think God cares about that?

I also know God cares about me, about my racing, about my marriage, about the relationships I have with others, how I treat people and how I react to life's situations.  He cares about all my prayers, about the decisions I make and about the path I take in life.  And THAT is what drives me.  I want to glorify Him when I race.  I want to work hard in training and in my job to be the best version of myself.  I pray each morning for the strength to be the triathlete, the daughter, the wife, the dietitian that He wants me to be.

I'm certain I'm not making much sense.  I'm also certain I've probably lost a lot of readers by now.  :)  It's a hard topic for me to broach even though it's THE most important topic I could ever write about.  It's just seems very difficult for me to adequately describe something as big and amazing as our God.

I guess that's why I like Hillsong.  They do a very good job of singing it.  :)  One of my all time favorite songs (that I sometimes listen to on repeat for HOURS on my trainer) is Forever Reign.  Here's a YouTube video of them and below that, the lyrics of the song with my editorial notes.  :)

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me (definitely nothing good in me)

You are love, You are love
On display for all to see

You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in

You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling (I don't understand how one lives without God's comforting care?)

You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering (and I've had a lot of wandering)

You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing (you won't catch me singing any other time, thankfully :)

You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting (no reason to fear death)

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms

The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace (nothing ever, ever will)
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim

You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole (no win, no PR, no accolade, no relationship with others, no materal thing... makes us whole)

You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go (true bliss when you can just let go...)

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms

The riches of Your love
Will always be enough

Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

So, that's my weak attempt at writing about my faith and about our awesome God.  I'm sure many people don't agree.  This is the stuff wars are fought over.  But it is what I know to be true.  And it is what I know to be right.  And it is what I know to be my purpose in this world.  And now you know a little bit more about me.  :)


  1. Wooo hooo!!!!! I LOVE LOVE A THOUSAND times LOVE this post!!! Beth, it sure does take courage to step out and share your faith!! It is not an easy thing to do! But isn't it all about stepping outside your comfort zone and putting it all out on the line, esp when it comes to our faith? God has a HUGE calling and annointing on your life! It is soo evident! I truly believe you're where you are in life because of your obedience to God and placing Him first in all you do. After all, that is why we are here on this earth, to share the good news with others! Keep seeking HIM first and watch how everything else just falls into place, your races, marriage, relationships,job, friends, etc...but I'm sure you already know all of this! You totally rock and are such an inspiration to soo many around you!!! Keep letting your light shine Beth!!

  2. I actually admire the heck out of you for doing this. And you didn't lose me as a reader! xoxo

  3. "I'm sure many people don't agree.  This is the stuff wars are fought over.  But it is what I know to be true.  And it is what I know to be right.  And it is what I know to be my purpose in this world." 

    good for you for being courageous and claiming who you are and what you believe. it's a real demonstration of your faith to step out on the blog limb like that. I applaud you and am so happy for you that you find peace, strength and reason in the god of your understanding!!

  4. A hard topic to talk about and discuss. I have been pretty spiritual I guess at an early age. Drove myself crazy constantly with my failures, and would always return.

    In my opinion the Tebow's make us less than perfect ones job way harder, because you never hear him talk about his less than perfect ways.

    We all are imperfect, and the real message is forgiveness, not believe this, and do my best.

    The real message is acceptance too, and all the religions of the world don't do so well with that. IMHO.

  5. Oh, and one other thing on all my failings. I kept going back and forth to Church here and there, but everyone at church seemed to live a certain way in my opinion. I tried to live what I thought was the right way, but I had a different side to me too. One that is part of who I am. Maybe that was my whole journey. Eventually getting to the point where I accept myself for who I am. Not everyone at church is who they appear to be. That makes it hard too. The appearance of who people are at church means nothing. Who we really are in every day life means everything. It even says I desire compassion not sacrifice. What a hard lesson that is to understand.

    Oh well enough blabbering from me. Have a good one. :)

  6. Great post Beth!! Loved hearing your story, and it's awesome that what motivates you is your faith and bringing glory to God. Thanks for sharing and being a light to others! I know He has amazing things in store for you this year :-)

  7. :) needed this today beth, thank you.

  8. I don't agree & I don't disagree Beth. I LOVE that you opened up about your religion. In a way I can relate. I wasn't raised in a religious household & I continue to not be religious, but when I was in college I was frustrated because I didn't understand religion at all. My boyfriend was raised in a Christian household & I was fascinated by religion in general so I took a college course to learn as much as I could. I would talk to my bf's parents about their faith so I could learn firsthand what it means to them. They were so wonderful & open-minded & helpful & I was clueless. I'm so thankful for those experiences to learn about different faiths. You can continue to write about your relationship with God & I'll continue to read & learn through you. :)

  9. Beth! Rich and I were JUST talking last night about how much we admire Tim Tebow. And we just felt sad that so many didnt get him or what is purpose in this life is. To be the best that he can be and to thank God everyday for his life ( considering his past.) and then i see your blog.
    Rich just read it and said " GIVE HER A BIG THUMBS up."I am not vocal about this either, and maybe i should be. I get scared, as do you, that I will be ostracized. I have certainly become more spiritual as Ive grown deeper in my marriage to a very spiritual man, but then i wonder if that isnt a direct result of my love for God. As Christy said, it all goes hand in hand. Lots of affirmations coming to you from us Beth! Thanks!

  10. Beth, I think this is a great post! I don't know why, but religion/faith are difficult to blog about... I feel closer to God when I'm racing than any other time - because without His gifts, it wouldn't be possible for me to do any of the things I love doing!

  11. I am not at all religious but I repect that you are and are willing to stand behind what you believe in. Religion is an incredibly personal and complex thing and good for you for being so confident and sure about its role in your life.

  12. Beth, religion is not bad, it's just what people do in the name of religion. I agree that it's hard some time to decide how much to share in blog land, but I think you made the right decision and I'm giving you positive reinforcement! FYI, my good friends Troy and Robin Soares are heavily involved in this group:

  13. Michelle and I have this phrase that we say to each other when we are discussing difficult topics to blog about. We say "MY BLOG" in a sort of bratty voice. The truth is, this is your blog, if people don't like it, they can find a million other blogs. No need to lose sleep over what you think people will think about you because you discussed something important to you. Be you...because you're the best one at it!

  14. Beth I have always so enjoyed reading your blog (and Oscar's too!). And you know what? You do speak of your faith almmost every blog because of the Christian character you exhibit in your words and the way you live your life.
    And BTW I am a HUGE Tebow fan and cannot wait until Saturday night against New England. And although I hope Denver, against all odds, win it doesn't really matter because Tebow and the Broncos make it so exciting.

  15. I am not at all religious, but I totally admire everyone FOR their own individual beliefs and value systems....I have MANY good friends (non-triathlon) who are very, very religious and I love them all - so whatever centers YOU in your life is all that matters! I think it is great that everyone can be friends with ALL different belief and moral systems.

  16. Long time lurker/reader; new poster.

    Yesterday after a pretty marvelous day with my middle schoolers, hub and I went for a run in the woods near the water.

    Since he's a triathlete and I'm a trail runner, I get to navigate and pick the run while he speeds along and waits up at intersections for me. :-)

    At one point, the we were running through a valley with the sun angling light across the mountains and the water rushing from the night before's snow/sleet/no snow day precepitation.

    My response: walk and pray. It works for me.

    Yet, if you really dig deep- the run (and all other aspects of my life) are guided by God.

    Afterall, how did I know to run sprints on a bridge with the result being hub going, "wow, that was a great work out!"

    Note: I share my most precious resource before and after each run in the woods- water. It's an offering of gratitude.

    Hub is very spiritual, too, and one day in Washington at Christmas, he stopped me and said, "it's my turn" as he offered water to Mother Earth in a prayer. :-)

    Lest I need more "proof" of God and faith- hub was all but killed when a car hit him while riding 2 years ago.

    Bless that Ironman will and Special Forces reality mixed with faith- he's training for Kona again!!!!! (Full-ish story here...

  17. HI Beth, catching up on some blog reading this evening. Thank you for sharing your testimony. You are right on with everything!!
    Thank you, Jennifer :)

  18. love this girl. there's such a power in owning your beliefs and proclaiming them out loud. I'm kind of similar in that its difficult to talk about and fully express in a way in which people will understand- but I think you did it beautifully :)