Did you know watching the Olympics can be dangerous? I mean really, one minute I'm enjoying a perfectly innocent Bobsled race and the next minute? I'm crying. Not like, "my eyes are watering" kind of crying. More like the ugly cry.
Wham! Didn't see that coming.
It wasn't like it was an inspirational sports movie moment or anything. It was just an interview with a a couple of girls from a USA Bobsledding team, who had just finished a very disappointing run and found themselves in 11th place. (Right about now you're thinking, "Yes, we know... you just talked about this a few days ago..." Yup, and I'm gonna talk about it again. Because if I had to guess, I'd say this struggle isn't a one-hit-wonder for you either. So on we go!)
As per usual, almost as soon as the athletes climbed out of their Bobsled, there was a kind and thoughtful reporter standing by with a microphone to capture their raw emotions for the world to see. (I get it, it's his job. I'm just really glad it's not my job... yikes.)
He asks the young girl competing in her first Olympics the first question, "You told me you had the first Olympic jitters on that first run, how did things pan out as you made your way down the track?"
I wasn't paying close attention at first, until I noticed that she was crying. Still, doing her best to answer bravely and positively as the tears streamed down her face, "It's just a great experience... I'm happy that we fought, and I'm so proud of my teammates..."
One of those teammates stood next to her, supporting her with a hand on her shoulder. When the interviewer turned the questions her direction, she did something amazing. Instead of talking about how she felt, she spoke the words needed to fight for her friend in that moment. "I'm thrilled to be Jasmine's partner... she's really getting down on herself. I mean, come on. My first Olympics? We all know what happened my first Olympics."
Then she stopped, grabbed her distraught teammate by the shoulder, looked away from the camera and straight into her eyes, and said these words, "Shake it off! I am not dismayed with you. I am honored to be your teammate. So you hold your head up high and you fight!"
I think there was some sort of record set by the number of seconds it took for me to spontaneously combust into a puddle of tears.
As I told the story to a friend yesterday, the same thing happened all over again. All I had to do was repeat the words, the fighting words, and the tears started to flow.
At first I thought my unexpected emotional response was all because of my amazing friends and how they are fighting for me in the midst of a struggle right now. While this is absolutely true, and there are days I don't know how I would make it without them fighting for me... today, I feel like there's more to the story. My friend helped me to see, there was someone else reaching through the TV that night, grabbing me by the shoulder, and speaking those fighting Words right to my weary soul.
"I am not dismayed with you!"
I am not ashamed of you.
"You hold your head up high!"
This is not the end of your story.
Because I won't stop fighting for you.
My friend looked into my eyes and said, "You know that was Jesus."
I nodded silently through the tears. Sometimes it's hard to hang onto those moments. Hard not to let doubt creep in and snatch them away.
So today, I'm counting on the fact that it's not up to me to keep hanging on.
I'll watch this over and over again until they take it down to hep me remember... He won't stop fighting for me.