Let me tell you about the book...
This little book is not a roadmap. It's a compass. For the Christian in the fitness industry, any exposure to suffering or special needs or invisible illness has the potential to rearrange the furniture of his or her identity resulting in a change of direction. And “exposure” may come through spending time with someone impacted by a disability (with your heart blasted by their joy and purity); or it may come from enduring physical travail yourself, forever altering your expected trajectory. Either way, how you see yourself and, more importantly, how you see God will never be the same. The room will be different. The silly stuff common to the pursuit of health just won’t sit right. The fight for process and progress will be accompanied — if not replaced— by purpose and poise.
But I will say that in my journey and study, I’ve come to learn that there are varying degrees of suffering — down to the kind that’s accompanied by a pain you never saw coming. A pain you don’t know if you can endure because you don’t know if it will ever end. The kind of pain that’s disorienting because you can’t remember what it felt like not to hurt. The kind of pain that’s accompanied by excruciating, debilitating, humiliating misery.
“Suffering drags you deeper into yourself,” says David Brooks. “It smashes you through a floor you thought was the bottom floor of your soul, revealing a cavity below, and then it smashes through that floor, revealing another cavity, and so on and so on. The person in pain descends to unknown ground. Suffering opens up ancient places that have been hidden. When people are thrust down into these deeper zones, thrust into lonely self-scrutiny, they are forced to confront the fact that they can’t determine what goes on there. It shatters the illusion of self-mastery. It teaches gratitude. We realize how undeserving we are.”
FINDING RE2PITE is my diary. A collection of thoughts and short stories that describe the surface of the bottom floor of a soul when suffering breaks you (section one); the shaping of a life as idols are ripped from the heart like roots (section two); and the unprecedented journey back to the fight after the war. Health is a faith battle; often fought privately, painfully and with worn-out tools. But if we let the travail of pain inform how we live moving forward, a 2nd mountain will be found; one of significance, substance and eternal satisfaction.