Broken body, Empty Hands, Shattered Heart

I have lived most of my life seeking after things. These things that I sought may have been good things like a family of my own, a baby, winning a fitness competition, getting healthy, etc. But these very same things I had worked so hard to get, I also lost them and it left me empty handed and utterly broken. 

I’ll never forget what it felt like to win my second figure competition. I had spent years working out 4 to 5 days a week. I was working at Locked Martin back then so I would wake up at 3 am to be at the gym at 4 am and workout hard for one hour before going to work. I would spend hours preparing my meals for the week, weighing the meat and counting the protein, carbs and calories. A few months before my first figure competition, I even started adding in cardio 3 times a week on top of my weight training workouts. I felt like a well-oiled machine working out non stop and giving it all I had. 

When the time came for my first figure competition, I took 5th place. I was so happy that I took home an award, but it wasn’t good enough for me. I needed to take first place. So I worked even harder than before. I added an extra day at the gym and I started working out all my body parts twice a week instead of once. I ate more calories and protein than ever and I pushed even harder. I even design my own competition suit by gluing hundreds of Swarovski crystals one by one until I had a gorgeous competition suit. 

When my second competition day finally came, all my hard work, sweat and tears paid off. I took home 1st place novice. I was so incredibly happy! 

Way happier than the first time I competed, but it still wasn’t good enough. I needed to get my pro card. I was so close to getting it that day but I didn’t so I couldn’t help but feel like something was still missing and I wanted to go all the way. 

But in the midsts of wanting to get ready to compete once again, we started planning on having a baby instead. Which meant I could no longer push my body as hard as I was, and I could no longer be as lean as I was. 

Life took me another direction that I had been waiting for but didn’t seem to be quite ready. Surprisingly I got pregnant only a month after trying. My life quickly went from gym and competition life, to becoming a mom.

I was incredibly excited and even more so when we found out that it was a girl and we named her Honesty Noel. Instead of working out as much as I did before, I cut my workout days in half for weight training and I added more walking and hiking days. I had a blast going hiking on the weekends and spending the time exploring nature and admiring it’s beauty and even taking pictures. 

When I was 6 months pregnant, we were heading to get ultrasound pictures when a car veered into our lane and hit us head on. I was rushed to the hospital and they performed an emergency c section because my placenta had ruptured. We lost Honesty Noel due to internal bleeding. 

I’ll never forget the next day. I remember looking down at my belly and I seen a very large vertical cut down my stomach full of staples. Not only did I lose my daughter that day which was the worst pain in the world, but I had also lost my body and my health. The body I had worked so hard for and cared for over the years was gone. And you know what? The truth is that it didn’t even matter to me as much at that very moment. How could it? I had just lost my daughter, my hopes, my dreams of being a mom and my heart was broken into a million pieces. But that huge cut down my belly, my broken clavicle, bruises everywhere, a blood transfusion and the overall change in my body, still added to all I had lost and I felt like my competition journey was over. 

This time of my life was a reality check for me. All the years before Honesty Noel had flashed before my very eyes and I realized so many things I had chased after including competing was meaningless. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great accomplishment and it’s not a bad thing, but that took away from my purpose. My purpose of being more present with family, creating memories and helping others. For these are the things that will last forever, everything else will fade away. God created us to be in community, loving one another and helping one another. And after the accident, I was a different person. I started focusing more on my relationship with God and on His heart for other people. 

Thankfully after that tragic event, I felt like so much was taken but I still had Jesus. He helped me through the darkest times. But friend hear me out. Jesus says in the Bible: And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭25‬-‭26‬.

Think about everything you have been chasing after, is it worth gaining all this worldly things but losing your very soul? Having a child is a good thing and God’s plan, but what benefit is it to gain a son or a daughter or a spouse or a dream job if your soul is separated from God? 

As you already know we can’t take anything with us. The only thing we can’t lose is a relationship with Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is not just a verse, this is reality. Jesus Christ died for the sins of humanity, willingly offering himself as a sacrifice to save the world. It is a gift, freely given to anyone who chooses to accept it and it comes with a wonderful benefit: Everlasting life in heaven and a relationship with the God of the universe. The God who created you and loves you more than anyone can ever love you in this world. It’s answering the call in your heart.

And if you do have a relationship with Jesus, still think about the things that you have been chasing after. Will these things last forever? Every single thing that you have, you can lose it at any time. 

Having a family, buying your dream home, building your career, having a child, going on vacations are all good things that God desires to give to us or has given us. 

But don’t let your hope be in those things only. One day you may find yourself broken. I sure was: broken body, empty handed, shattered heart. I felt like I lost everything but yet, with Jesus in my life, I had it all. I had hope where it seemed hopeless, I had strength when I thought I would die, I had love that sustained me, and I had His beautiful promises in His word that kept me going and that were fulfilled. But even though I had Jesus at that time, I still needed a wake up call. My hope and my joy before the accident was based on the things that I wanted and chased after, and all the things that I had. I had it all backwards. The Bible says: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ .

Seek after God first and place your trust in Him, and all the things you need He will give to you. You don’t have to wear your self out chasing after them. They will leave you unfulfilled anyways when it’s you trying to make it happen on your own. This doesn’t mean we won’t face trials and tribulations. But at least you will be living the life God’s called you to live, and fulfilling His purpose in your life. And friend, there is no safer place in the world than living in God’s good and perfect will for your life.