Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I can relate

Did you see the women's Olympic team gymnastics competition? If so, you saw how well Alicia was doing for the first half of the meet. Then the US went to beam where Alicia went first, and fell on her mount. Things started to unravel.

Now let me just assure you that her mount is super hard to do - among the hardest in the competition. I used to do it myself. First, you have to run hard towards a long beam of wood that is sitting at about the same height as your chest. Then you jump onto a slanted board filled with springs, which will send you careening forward and up if you hit it right. Next you reach up and pull your knees up to your chin and rotate your body forward doing an entire somersault in the air. Then you are suppose to open up and land on the beam.

When you are flipping forward, you can't see the beam where you're suppose to land. You only have 4 inches on which to make that blind landing. Look down at your right foot. It is probably 4" wide or more by itself. So you have to land with one foot slightly in front of the other, nesting the ball of your left foot in the inside arch of your right foot to fit them both side-by-side on the beam. You also must keep your hips and your shoulders level and square because if one drops or twists, you will miss and fall. That happened to Alicia.

The sad thing is - not that she fell, but - that she really let it rattle her. She never mentally or emotionally recovered. She never forgave herself. She never let it go so she could move on unencumbered by that mistake. And therefore it negatively impacted the rest of her beam routine, and her floor routine, and many of her teammates. And now it threatens to haunt her Olympic memories with regret forever more, if she lets it.

I can so relate to Alicia. Not just because I too did the same mount. Not just because I too have fallen on it in competition. But because in my gymnastics career (which was not as stellar as Alicia's), I too had a very hard time mentally moving on after a mistake like that. The result being my poor ability to forgive myself and move forward so often wound up overriding my talent.

I've since learned that not letting go of mistakes so I can move forward well is an even bigger mistake. So I pray for Alicia to be able to let this go, and to have a positive experience in the all-around competition that will be broadcast tonight.

And I thank God that we can be forgiven and delivered from our mistakes. Our sins need not haunt us.

Is there some mistake in your life you're letting hold you back? Does some memory regularly fill you with regret? Lay it down in prayer, and let it go. Then you can run free.

For everyone that Jesus sets free, is free indeed.

I'll be watching the competition tonight ... Go, Alicia, go!


  1. Hey Rachel,
    I can sooooo relate to not letting go of my mistakes. I have an over-active good-girl gland. The worst thing anyone has ever called me was "mean." Can't stand to think that I might have ever been mean! Tough, strong, steadfast....but not mean!

    I'm glad that forgiveness of my mistakes do not rely on me forgiving myself. God is so much bigger than I am there!

    Glad your back You were missed!

    Pamela R.

  2. Me, too. I know that I've asked God to forgive me but I keep beating myself down thinking, I'm not good enough since I've sinned. When I beat myself down and start having a "pity party", I can reach for His word and spend time with God and realize that He has washed my sin away. Love Lifted Me! Thank you Jesus.

    I pray that all the teams from USA do great. I'm cheering for all of the swim team as I teach swim lessons and all my little students think they are getting ready to compete in the olympics.
    Thanks for your comments Rachel.
    Sharron in Louisiana

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  4. Blogger debrah said...

    Hi Rachel:
    Just last night during our prayer service I was in the back and weeping before the Lord - I was asking the Lord to help me repent-go and sin no more- I have asked forgiveness so many times but my behavior(attitude)has not changed..and soon find myself in the same sin...I am getting tired of my attitude -never mind how tired those who love me must feel...during this time of prayer I felt so refreshed and then others were speaking out prayers of God's forgiveness...How wonderful that God loves us and wants to set us free from sin through forgiveness...
    In His Love,

    P.S. while I am not watching the Olympics I am continuing to pray for Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus.

  5. I love the directive to write the mistake or unforgivable sin on a piece of paper and let it go! I have a stack of paper on my night stand. When I find that I am constantly praying for the same thing, I write it down. If it is a prayer that is heavy on my heart, I fold it up and put it in a little box that I also have on my night stand. This is my way of giving the prayer to God and not taking it back. periodically I will clean out my box and see which of the prayers have been answered. If it is a prayer for a "mistake" that I can't let go of, or what I might consider an unforgiveable sin, I rip it up reminding myself that it is through God's love and grace that I am forgiven of my sins and that every day is a new day.

    - Karen

  6. I tend to beat myself up over mistakes, too, or find myself asking God for forgiveness for the same thing more than once. I think it was Beth Moore I heard say one time that when we bring up our sin again before God after having asked for forgiveness for it that it shows a lack of faith -- we're not believing God to do what He said He would do by giving forgiveness when we ask Him. Kind of helps put a new perspective on it when thinking of it like that, doesn't it?

  7. Even though I know that I am forgiven I still have to live with the consequences of some of my sins every day. It would be the same if a gymnast missed the beam and came down on her foot in such a way that it perminently damaged her foot. Everytime she took a step it would be a reminder of what she had done.

  8. Rachel,

    I'm currently dealing with that same thing! Mistake after mistake, but I'm learning not to let it weigh me down, but to learn from it and accept the fact that when I confess and ask all my "mistakes" are forgotten and I have a fresh start.

    God is so wonderful, and thank you for that message. It really was exactly what I need to read at this moment.


    Ashley Marie

  9. Such a great perspective and one we can remember as we watch so many perfect events, and ones where the mistakes will just bog us down.

  10. I too have a hard time forgiving myself for not doing things that I should be doing.

    I have a special prayer request for my husband. He has been diagnosed with macular degeneration in his right eye, not bad right now just beginning, but he just called me and his eye is hurting and is bloody he said. Also he's having another problem and has reacted to the medication. The doctor called in another medication but the side effects are a lot. He's not use to being sick and it really bothers me when he is. We have prayed, but if you all would also pray I would so appreciate it.

  11. I need to correct something I stated before in my prayer request. It's my husband's left eye that has a torn vessel I assume. He was put on another medication for the other problem and reacted to it also.
    Thanks for your prayers.

  12. Beautiful illustration, Better application-I love it. It resonate well with me. In fact, I am having a hard time forgiving myself-mostly for the things I said to people or they say to me. I have to claim His promises of forgiveness and peace to get through the day. God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing He cannot do. Praise God.

  13. I have gotten so mad at myself, over & over, I will still do or say things that I for sure don't mean to say/do. I am quick to say I am sorry or to ask for forgiveness. But just sometimes I think that stinkin thinkin blurts before I realize it. But I have gotten alot better with this though, It's by me staying in the word, learning, and listening more.
    I know he loves me and is setting me free of all these sins.

    Getting ready for this storm here, I hope it's not going to come directly at us.

    Yes haven't missed any of the gymnastics either.
    One of my favorites.
    Have a great Week

  14. Also know that I am praying for your husband Alice.
    Blessings to you as well

  15. I have another prayer request. One of the adopted twins of my husband's niece was in a car wreck sometime Sunday morning. He is on life support. I don't know any details, but he needs prayer as well as his parents and brother. His name is Ian. They live in Ringold, Ga but are at a hospital in Knoxville. I talked with the niece this morning and she was going to call me after they talked to the doctor but so far I have not heard from her.

    One good thing has come from this, his niece and I have not spoken since 1999 except a very casual hello when they would come in. She and her sister are like my daughters. I called her this morning and made things right. She has nothing against me, just her own life and she is a very secretive person. Please pray for the whole family, the father is not a Christian and really needs to make things right with God. I know that God can raise Ian up and I'm believing and asking for that.
    Thanks to all of you, you have been so supportive to me and everyone. I love all of you and have a lot of confidence in your prayers.
    Love, AliceE.

  16. I am praying for your family Alice.

    I too would like to throw out a prayer request. Please pray for my son and his wife, they are expecting their first child in Sept, and have received some disturbing news, the babies legs and arms are developing as they should, they are 3 to 4 weeks behind. They go for another ultra sound tomorrow, to see if there has been any change, I am praying that the doctors are totaly amazed at the progress in the last 2 weeks. Please join me in praying for this mirical. Thank you all in advance! I will keep you posted.

  17. Lorrie,
    Thank you for your prayers. I will be praying for your son, his wife and new baby. With God all things are possible. You can click on my name and leave a message about the outcome of the tests if you would like to.

  18. Hi everyone,

    I so miss blogging with you guys. I think that I've missed over a month of this! With school starting soon, I know that my schedule should normalize again, and I can start "interacting" again! I'm sure that many others are in the same boat.

    One of my biggest prayers over the last years have been for me to get over my regrets of my past. I berate myself sometimes a hundred times a day on something I'm embarrassed about, something that could have happened 20 years ago or whenever. I think that there's so much fear of what people think of me, of the wrong things I had done as a Christian, and of not being "perfect" now. (Can't I just get over this already and get on with my life?):)
    As I'm reading over what I wrote I can see that my shame is to much to do with the "fear of man". If I'm so busy defending my character in my mind, then I'm self-centered! No wonder I can't move on! O Lord, help me past this! I need to ask myself why I'm doing "good works". I think that I have a good balance on the works end, but what's my motive. Part of "not living in regret" could be just just the need to verbalize whatever is bothering me, and I'd be over it. Thank you guys all for listening!

    Connie, Canada

  19. I just also wanted you to know that I prayed for the prayer requests listed. My heart goes out to you guys. May God show up strong on your behalf.
    Connie, Canada

  20. Alice and Lorrie, you and your families are in my prayers.

    Lorrie... I too, was told that my unborn baby was developing "disproportionately", and I was very scared of what that could mean. I want to encourage you though, as after a few more sonograms, everything was "on track". Whether it was "technician error" (a mis-measurment) or God's healing, who knows. But my beautiful daughter was born "just right". Blessings to you as you trust HIM and wait to meet your grandbaby.

  21. Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you 5skis, your encourgement has lighten my heart, I know that all things are possible through God. Thank you all again for your continued prayers, I will keep you updated

  22. Just a quick note to let you all know that the son of my husband's niece did not make. He is an organ donor so he is being kept on life support until they can get his organs. Please continue to pray for the family. They aren't leaving the hospital until the doctors are through. We will be going to Ringold, Ga as far as I know when we find out the funeral arrangements.
    Thanks for your support and prayers,

  23. Great post Rachel,
    I relate to this blog! It truly blessed me today! I will continue to come and be blessed by your timely words!
    Thank you,

  24. Hey, Rachel!
    This was such a great post! Thanks! I've seen my son--the extremely competitive one-do the same thing in swim meets and in basketball. It's so hard to forgive ourselves. My hubby and I try to calm him, and we continue to encourage him. We remind him that his attitude affects the entire team. Letting go and letting God is not always easy, but it is a lesson that we need to embrace.
    Love ya,

  25. I can very much relate! I've always struggled with letting things go and moving forward...especially when I need to ask forgiveness from others too. Recently at work Ive learned that I can't always take responsibility for the way people react to me...yes, sometimes I may have said something wrong but in my line of work a negative reaction may just be a client having a bad day with health struggles or other issues. Just one little experience with this has helped me so much.

    I hope your book is coming along!

  26. Thanks to all of you for your prayers. We left last Wednesday to go to Ringgold, Ga. Out oldest daugter was already there and our niece wanted to know when we were coming. We had planned not to go until Thursday, since the funeral was going to be on Sunday. Our daughter said we should come on that day so we called our other daughter and we packed and got there as soon as we could. Our niece was very upset but so glad we had come. The accident happened 5 minutes from their home. His twin did not come out of his room until the next day, but he came to my chair and I asked if I could hug him. He said yes. I think he was as happy to see us as his mother. She did a lot of crying which was good but it's going to take some time before they can come to grips with this. The rest of the family came in Thursday and Friday and two came Sunday. Please keep them in your prayers. There are times that I just want to bawl my eyes out. I may do a tribute to him a little later. They were special little boys.

    Thanks for your prayers for my husband. He is doing better.

    I am having a cataract taken off my right eye on September 3rd. Say a prayer that everything will go all right.

    Connie, I read what you wrote last week but did not have time to write anything. Remember that when Christ forgave you of your sins and you committed your life to Him, your slate was washed clean, never to be remembered again. So don't beat yourself up over past sins because they are taken care of. Read 2 Cor. 5:17.
    God bless you,

  27. Hello Rachel! I came to tell you I loved your devotion this morning and the other one I received from Charles Stanley had this verse with it:
    He had cleansing waters on his mind today too!

  28. Rachel, (anyone else too)
    Do you have any online Bible Studies you would recommend? I'd like to find one that is on a regular basis. And continue with yours. I love it.
    Thanks everyone!


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