Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chloe's Karate Essay

Today is a very special day in our family. Chloe, our 11 year old tests for her Black Belt tonight. I'm so proud of her. It hasn't always been easy, but she has pressed through the tough stuff and tonight...

Tonight she has the test of a lifetime.

Part of the process was to write an essay about her journey and what having her Black Belt meant to her. I asked Chloe if I could share it with you and she said, sure.

Reflections of My Karate Journey
Chloe E. Parson
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Philippians 4:13

The Black Belt Test. For so long it seemed like a distant dream and now I am a few days away from the test of a lifetime. While I am excited, I am also nervous. I wasn’t expecting to feel so emotional about this. What an honor it is to be invited to test. For three years I have spent hours in class and at home practicing karate. It has truly become part of who I am. What a journey it has been.

My karate journey began in July of 2007. Before I began I thought it was the sweatiest and most disgusting sport on the face of the earth. I wasn’t sure if this was something that I would want to continue. It didn’t take long for me to become fascinated with it! When I was an orange belt, I realized that yes it is a sweaty sport, but there are benefits to studying karate.

As a white belt, I was very intimidated by what I saw the upper belts doing. They were able to do high flying kicks and what seemed like insane forms. Because of my size I felt like I would never be able to do those things. As a small girl sometimes people don’t think that I can do karate well. My instructors taught me that it doesn’t matter what size you are, anyone can do karate. Karate has definitely pushed me to do and be my best. Physically, I am stronger than I was before I started. I am glad my instructors push me to work hard. Today, I am physically doing what I thought as a white belt I would NEVER be able to do. That is proof that Philippians 4:13 is true!

It is easy to understand that karate is physical. What I did not expect was how emotional it would be. I have found that I love this sport. It is one of the first things I think about each day. Sometimes I daydream about the next test when I should be concentrating on my schoolwork. Sometimes I wonder if God gave me a crazy love for karate!

At each belt test I felt relieved to accomplish what was required, but at the same time I felt a little anxious about what was coming next. Especially after my red strip test. I was excited, anxious and a little overwhelmed at what I would be learning next. To be honest, I was afraid. God’s word says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God does NOT give us a spirit of fear! BUT He gives us a spirit of power, love and a SOUND MIND. Because of that verse and believing that I can do all things because Jesus Christ gives me strength, I knew I could accomplish what was required of me next. It wasn’t easy and I may have cried a few tears, but Jesus helped me do it. This taught me that God really does keep His word.

Over the last three years, God has used karate to grow me in my faith. Like I already said, I have learned that God really does keep his word, and that I can go to him with anything and everything. He wants to help me, and I want Him to!

There were two kicks that I struggled with. They were the 360 roundhouse and the jump spinning back kick. My mind knew what to do, but my body would not do it. It was frustrating, embarrassing and there were times I thought I would never get those kicks down. Then, I started praying before we would work on them. I begged God to help me. And you know what? He did. I saw Matthew 19:26 in action. It says “What is impossible for man is possible with God.”

I believe that God has given me a passion and the ability to study karate. I am learning that I have to be careful that my passion and enthusiasm does not come across as pride. I want to be confident, but I never want that confidence to come across as bragging.

My mom showed me Isaiah 32:17 “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” She says when we are spending time with Jesus and applying what He shows us in His word to our life, there will be a holy confidence in us. She says we should pray and ask God to give us holy confidence in everything we do. Karate included.

Becoming a Black Belt is a work in progress. It has been a passion, a goal and is now, very close to a reality. One of the reasons it is so important to me to accomplish this level of karate is to show younger girls that it can be done.
I want them to look at me and say, “If Chloe can work hard and become a Black Belt, then I know that I can work hard and do it too!” Another reason this test is so important to me is that I have proven to myself that with God’s help, I can accomplish what seems impossible. This is a lesson that will help me the rest of my life.

While this test is so very special to me, it isn’t the end. Really, it’s the beginning. I know that God is and will continue to use karate as a way for me to share Jesus with others. Let’s be honest, who would think that an almost twelve year old girl who is four feet four inches tall would be so passionate about karate! Some people see my size as a disadvantage, but I see it as an advantage. My size and my love for karate gives me an avenue to tell others that Jesus loves them and that with Him all things are possible.

I will wear my Black Belt with honor. I know that with it comes responsibility to myself, my instructors and school, and most importantly to my God. Thank you, instructors for not giving up on me. Thank you for pushing me to be my best. Thank you for showing me Jesus.

Thank you for teaching me.

(Jesus Saves!)

I'll be posting pictures on Friday. :) (As long as there are no broken bones!)


Melinda said...

Sweet Chloe, I bet people tell you all the time that you have a wisdom beyond your years. If, by some stretch of the imagination, they haven't, let me be the first. Your mind IS sound, as you've filled it with God's Word and the truths found there. And, what you've got stored up in your mind pours out into your everyday living, which is very evident. You don't know me, Chloe, but I'm really proud of you. If you live the rest of your life out just as you are now, it will be a life well-lived, indeed.

God's richest blessings on you darlin' girl (and give your mom a hug from me!),

Still Learning said...

YAY for Chloe!! It is a great honor to receive her black belt. We have one Tae Kwon Doe black belt in our family and my 18 year old will receive hers in November. Amber is still a red belt.

I am sooooo excited for her! Awesome job.I loved her letter too :) What a sweet girl you and your husband have raised. Love it.


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

How incredible!! That precious young lady will be a mighty warrior for our Jesus. I know you are so proud of her. Go Chloe!!!God bless you!!


Thank you for your prayers,my friend! I am doing so much better!!

Cheryl said...

Chloe, You are an amazing young woman of God!!!! You inspire and challenge me to do more for the glory of God!


Haley said...

Ok...I can't believe that little Chloe wrote this! She doesn't seem so little anymore. What a wise girl! It's hard to believe that it has been almost 5 years since she was the flower girl in my wedding. Love her!