30 Days of Faith: Day 2
I’ve grown up in a Christian family and have always believed that God is my Savior and my Shelter. He has brought me through numerous bouts of medical issues. Yet there is one emotional trial that I would not have been able to deal with, if I had not known God.
When I was six years old I joined a local karate school. I fell in love with it right away and excelled as I grew. There were many influential instructors there, but the head instructor/owner always stood as a major role model for all the young students. He acted as a father to many of them.
When I was ten, I went through the testing cycle completing four various tests to receive my first degree black belt. Three years later I went through another (more intense) testing cycle and achieved my second degree black belt. At this point, many of my friends began to drop out as they found interest in other sports and activities. For me, no sport could ever compare to karate. I was even able to help teach a few of the youth classes. As I continued, my goal narrowed and focused in on one thing, achieving my third degree black belt. I knew the other ranks I had earned were important and accomplishments in and of themselves, but I also knew that to earn a third degree at such a young age (17) was a major success. By then, students would have to have been in karate for at least 11 years.
However, the first time I tried, I was not completely prepared and did not make the cut for the testing cycle. It only made me work harder. The second time, I made it past the entry level test, all the way to the second actual test (or the physical test). Unfortunately, because I was still recovering from a long battle with anemia (an iron deficiency), my cardiac endurance was not where it needed to be to withstand the five mile run. I made it through the test, and a smaller routine test for black belts afterwards. However, my performance was not up to par and I failed.
The news was delivered to me by the head instructor. The fact that I failed was enough to send my world array, but regrettably, he did not tell me in a respectable way. I was devastated by what he said. I couldn’t believe he would ever say such things to any one of his students. Neither could my family. I tried my best to recover and in fact I did continue with karate for a while afterward. But soon enough, our deteriorated relationship took a tole, and karate was no longer a happy place for me. I made the decision to quit.
If it were not for God, I would probably still be holding a deep anger towards my instructor. God helped me (and is still helping me) to forgive his unkind words and to not hold the grudge. My instructor’s words haunted me for a while, even after I quit. But He healed me from them playing over and over in my head like a broken record. By saving me from their constant repetition, my confidence was able to recover from any damage done. God also salvaged my passion for karate and love for the art of fighting. He let me see that He was always going to be there for me, even when role models in my life failed or let me down. He also helped me see that I didn’t have to give up my love for karate even though I had been hurt so awfully.
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