1 Samuel 7:12
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the LORD helped us.’”
The back story, in a nutshell, was that the Israelites had defeated the Philistines and they placed a stone as a memorial or testament of what God had done for them. It’s a very small part of scripture, but the concept of the Ebenezer stone has stayed with me for nearly twenty years. In fact, I decided long ago that were I ever to write a book that ‘Ebenezer Stone’ would figure into it somehow. Well, I haven’t written a book and doubt that I ever will do so, but today I am placing my Ebenezer stone in the form of a tattoo!
Some reading this might be rather shocked that I am getting a tattoo. I can’t say that I blame you, as I never would have thought that I would get one either! At least not up until several months ago when the idea first sprouted. Once sprouted though, that little idea grew as quickly and pervasively as a weed, but I waited for a special moment to take place before allowing the idea to become reality. That moment was two months ago today, when I deadlifted 303.1 pounds, more than double my bodyweight.
This entire blog is a chronicle of my journey to know and love myself; however, even though I’ve had this blog for six years, the greatest growth has only been achieved over the past three years. Without a doubt, the catalyst for this was when I started training at Progressive Fitness, but I know that this journey, this growth and change, has not come without the Lord’s help. In ways big and small, God has been guiding, shaping, changing, and loving me. When I didn’t love myself, He did. When I doubted that I could ever change, He knew I could and He placed people in my life who not only believed I could but also had the ability to help me get there. When I felt lost and alone, He was always with me and gave me the most amazing people I am blessed to call my friends. For all the years that I felt useless and incapable, He has given me a passion for something that makes me feel strong and capable. For all the years that I felt invisible and insignificant, He has placed my name in record books and on television screens. Thus far has the Lord helped me!
So the idea for this tattoo took shape in my head and heart, and I am so excited!
First, there is a barbell, because training and lifting weights has been such an integral part of this journey. In the gym was where I first truly began to believe in myself and discovered the depths of my character. My husband had told me for years that I needed to do more than just run, but I was scared of weights. What a flip! Now I don’t/can’t run, but I absolutely love lifting weights. I’ve lost excess weight, I’ve improved my health and fitness, I’ve gained self-confidence and inner strength, and all that is the result of my time at Progressive Fitness, training with Michael.
Secondly, the weight on the barbell represents the 137.5 kg or 303.1 pounds that I deadlifted two months ago. How many non-strength sports women do you know who can pick up more than double their bodyweight from the floor? Three years ago, I would never have believed that I could ever do that. I probably wouldn’t even have truly believed it at the time of my first powerlifting competition two years ago. Lifting that weight two months ago was such a powerful experience. Without a doubt, my strength will not stagnate at that weight. I will lift more in the future, but that first time lifting more than 300 pounds, more than twice what I weighed…well, that’s simply momentous.
Finally, there is Ebenezer, because this is my Ebenezer stone. I am here, in this place, because the Lord has helped me get to this point. He will also continue to help me. This journey is not finished yet.