Let me explain:
When I was in 6th grade I struggled with a medical condition known as hypothyroidism, where my body did not produce enough energy to sustain the demands I placed on it.
Every morning was the same. My alarm would go off – and I’d ignore it. My mom would come pound on my door – I’d ignore her. I physically felt like all my energy had been sapped just from sleeping, and I lacked the motivation to make it out of bed. 10 minutes before my ride to school arrived, I’d roll out of bed and rush to get ready – late – again. The worst part was that I blamed my failures on others or on how I felt in that moment. I know this sounds victimizing and pathetic – it was, and I admit that. I allowed these physical struggles to take hold, and that resulted in a dangerous lack of willpower. I gave up control over my actions, my attitude, and ultimately the way I lived my life.
A drastic shift in my attitude began to take place when God called me to Dunrovin Retreat Center, which hosts leadership training retreats call DLITE (Dunrovin Leadership Intensive Training Experience). At DLITE I learned about something known as the “90/10 Rule”. This theory proposed that 90% of any situation we are placed in is in our control, and we have power over it. Only 10% is out of our control, which for me, was my thyroid condition. I realized that I had completely forfeited my 90% – the only control I had – and in doing so, I had become a victim to my struggles.
It was through this realization that I discovered my potential – and I began to dream again. I dreamed of being a state swimmer, a National History Day finalist, and making it into the Coast Guard. I used these dreams as stepping stones to taking responsibility for my actions. In order to accomplish them I knew I needed to improve myself, and that it would take hard work. I took control and dedicated myself. And in doing so, I uncovered the truth: that my “limits” were not placed there by my struggles. They were placed there by me as an excuse to fall back on when I wanted to give up.
It was at DLITE that I had one of the most powerful encounters with Christ of my life, where he shattered my perceived limits and called me to “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4). I prayed, put forth the effort and lowered my nets for a catch. In response, God gave me the grace to carry my cross. And so as I dedicated myself to my newfound goals, I used Christ as my strength to accomplish them. I choose to carry my cross because of what I learned at Dunrovin, and I found strength in God.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:14)
Christ did strengthen me, and in time I overcame the thyroid disorder, along with some other motivation problems I had in my life. I have not felt more alive and energetic in all my life! But I could not have done that if I hadn’t discovered my potential. And that is the beauty of Dunrovin! – it is a place of discovery – where young people become aware, and their eyes are opened – opened to Christ, and the the truth he speaks. And it is that truth that sets us free.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
Written by Katie Kostohris