Is your faith strong?
Does it take hours, weeks, and even months to build?
How hard do you work at making yourself spiritually stronger?
My friend Liz Brisker, from Minford, knows a little something about becoming more powerful.
I have watched and noticed her change over the past two years at the same gym we attend. She also graduated high school with my youngest son.
The 25-year-old respiratory therapist used a wounded heart to catapult her desire to be a bodybuilder.
“It was always within me, I think, and when I brought it up to my partner, he didn’t see or appreciate the sport and the competition and didn’t support me,” she said. “It kind of ended right there.”
She called off the engagement and turned her focus on herself.
“I liked looking strong, especially after the relationship ended,” she said. “And it was the turning point in my life. I developed the strength not to care anymore about that.”
Liz hired a coach and her aspirations to turn pro are coming closer each week.
She recently returned from the NPC (National Physique Committee) North American Championships in Pittsburgh where she earned sixth place in the wellness division.
In mid-October, she is heading to Charleston, South Carolina to the NPC Universe where she has hopes of winning a card to turn professional.
Liz has a strict work ethic but admitted at times she is harder on herself than some of her critics.
“It’s kind of a double-edge sword,” she said. “People who don’t understand will say things. I’ve heard that I look like a man – I guess I need to smile more. It bothers me some days, especially when you get feedback you don’t want to hear, and someone says something negative.”
The gym is her refuge and where she goes to find confidence. “I can turn negatives into positives here,” she said. “I come here by myself and it’s kind of like a spiritual place for me.”
Her journey to become a professional bodybuilder describes the essence of faith.
People who are pessimists, will try to make fun of or tear down someone for having convictions. They don’t understand it because they don’t exercise or build up their own strength.
And at times, those who do have faith need it in times of trial and confusion. They seek it more when they are hurt and need to find shelter.
A hiding place for people of faith can be found in the Bible, or at church. There you can find peace and seek a safe place from naysayers.
You can strengthen your faith – but it must be your choice. You must possess the desire.
Liz is a bodybuilder because she wants to become stronger and compete.
Her attitude is what is needed by the person of faith who might be wounded and needs encouragement.
Someone might say something negative to you and hurt your feelings. Don’t let that stop you.
And just like everything else in life, there are scammers in bodybuilding.
“Some girls do this because they have a low self-esteem need to watch out for coaches and photographers who have other intentions,” she said. “It’s everywhere.”
You can build up your faith. You can become stronger.
· Trust: This is the hardest part. Believe in your heart that God will take care of you. Not knowing is difficult, especially when questions go unanswered. Trust anyway.
· Pray: Talk to your Heavenly Father and seek His guidance. Liz has chats with her coach and does what he says. You need to do the same thing. Obey the Lord and his regiment for you.
· Read: Find comfort in the Scriptures. Even if it’s a few verses, read His words.
· Attend: Go to church and Sunday School and be around like-minded people. Liz must go to the gym if she wants to turn pro. You are less likely to grow as a Christian at home.
· Examine: Look in the mirror daily and see where you can improve. Bodybuilders must examine areas they need to enhance by looking in the mirror. You won’t see your deficiencies unless you study yourself.
· Be aware: Just like scammers, the devil wants to take advantage of your emotions when you are down, and tell you lies. Don’t listen.
These are just suggestions, but good advice to develop a routine of hope.
Work hard and strengthen your faith.
And go get your card Liz.
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.