So recently I experienced a major shift in my life because I was being triggered into having migraines. The whole issue about migraines is not only just the pain it brings, but also you end up changing your entire life because you have a fear you may have another migraine attack. You change your entire schedule so you are always at home, near medication, or able to just leave at a moment’s call. Some of the things that may possibly trigger a migraine, you immediately stop. And the things that you are having fun doing and the goals that you have set for yourself are now not the most important thing. It has to be about your health it has to be about this thing that’s happened to you.

Unfortunately, this is what causes lack of motivation, feelings of isolating, and in the end causing depression. I don’t want migraines to be a death sentence for me.

I’m currently reading the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth and in it the author states:

I learned a lesson I’d never forget. The lesson was that, when you have setbacks and failures, you can’t overreact to them.

This book, I’m only a tenth of the way into it, is truly inspiring. (I’m going to absolutely write an article for ChurchMag on it, so look for it there) Maybe the biggest reason I love this is that it speaks well what I have wanted to say for many years. In fact, I believe this book sums up my life as I was raised in my parents home, went off to college, married my wonderful wife, moved 2,000 miles away, and started a family. What does it share? You have to work for what you want and want what you work for.

Now, I will add a small addition to the book (again, only 10% into it) of how I see spirituality intersecting with grit. I believe that God’s calling trumps any passion and God’s will surpasses any perseverance. As James writes so well:

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2: 20-26(NIV)

Abraham was faithful, absolutely. But he definitely did not just sit around. He was faithful, but he was also passionate through the calling that God had given him many years prior when God called Abraham to be the father of a nation and he had the perseverance to continue to push at an old age. Same with Rahab who, in spite of how people looked at her and the life she had led, actually was used by God and ultimately because of her faith and grit, served God so well to become one of the biggest women to be written into Scripture.

I have a goal of wanting to eventually be able to take part in a 5k or 10k. When the migraines first started, I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish it… and I still might not. But I’ve gotten a lot out of being able to go workouts for my own personal health, for my energy levels, and for just my entire sense of self. In fact, I have begun to use that time as worship and reflection with God as I workout. I simply cannot let it go.

I don’t want to stop and so this week I have begun to work out again. This migraine thing is not going to get the best of me and I’m going to beat it. It doesn’t even stand a chance!

I would love your prayers as I attempt to continue to push on with it. It’s not going to be easy. But as we just read, it wouldn’t be worth it if it was.

I want to leave you with a benediction from Paul that pairs so well with this topic:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

Posted by Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is owner of and the Co-Occurring Program Coordinator and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at a community mental health center. Jeremy has a history of working as a ministry director for Youth for Christ for 8 years and then working as a mental health and substance use adult counselor in Colorado and Ohio, specifically running an Opioid Residential Treatment Center.

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