James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Let's just throw it out there. Every single person on this Earth has to deal with things, certain traits or circumstances that can hold us back from reaching our highest potential. It's no secret that we're not perfect, but really how beautiful is it that we're all imperfect differently. If we didn't have these flaws or quirks or setbacks in our lives, we would have nothing to learn, nothing to share, and nothing to overcome.

One of the biggest obstacles I've dealt with in my life since I was very little is asthma. You know the thing where your lungs decide to work perfectly sometimes until you hike that mountain or run that mile. Very inconvenient. I've always been the girl with the inhaler in her backpack and I'm still the girl that always has the inhaler in her purse. Sometimes you just don't know when it's going to act up. 

I remember one time I ended up going to the hospital because I felt like I couldn't get enough air out of my lungs when I exhaled. It was like I was suffocating from my own air intake. I was so uncomfortable and scared that I actually remember having my mom call my dad and tell him that I love him because I wasn't sure if I'd get through this. 

Sounds a bit dramatic now am I right? 😂 But at the time, I'd never experienced anything like it before and I really truly believed that. 

I sat there in the hospital bed asking Jesus to guide me through this. I was focusing on my breathing and what the doctors were saying. They had done multiple tests and attempts at a diagnosis before claiming to me it was due to severe allergies. My allergies had gotten so bad that it was restricting my airways and causing my asthma to act up.

I kid you not, they gave me two Benedryl and two more puffs of and inhaler and I immediately started to feel relief. The swelling had gone way down and I was able to finally regulate my breathing. 

So... basically now I'm the girl that always has the inhaler and Benedryl in her purse.

Dealing with asthma has been difficult, especially for someone who thrives on physical activity and fitness. A huge part of my life is working out and doing things to keep my body in the best possible shape and when you crave things like Chick Fila and Ben & Jerry's salted caramel core as much as I do, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 🤷🏼‍♀️

What I've learned throughout my life when it comes to pushing my body is that, like most things, it's trainable. You can train your body and lungs to overcome asthma, but you can't be lazy. It's hard work and it's challenging work. If you want to overcome something you have to work at it every day. Make yourself a routine, hold yourself accountable, reward yourself when possible, and you'll be absolutely amazed with where it gets you.

I know that if I skip the gym for a week, my lungs are going to have a tougher time adjusting when I get back into it. But if I'm consistent and push myself to keep it up, I'm able to do things that I didn't think were possible and I can accomplish it with minimal struggle. 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and we're so quick to embrace our strengths and pretend that our weaknesses don't exist because we're scared or mad or annoyed that they're even there. But think about how much stronger overall you could be if you built on those weaknesses like you do all of your strengths. Fuel your weaknesses by giving them what they need to get stronger. Spend time getting to know them and asking Jesus to help you overcome them, and over time you'll realize the steps that you need to take in order to make that possible. 

However! I feel like I must say this to you before I go because I don't want there to be any misunderstanding if you have asthma or suffer from some of the same things.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!

Baby steps, push yourself but start out slow. Test the waters by acknowledging your limits. Everything takes time, you can't expect results overnight. Be patient and kind to your body always so that you don't backtrack on your progress. You're going to get there! And the time that it took is what is going to make you the most proud of yourself in the end.