Guest Post By: Corral Darrow
Have you ever thought you’re not enough or life is too difficult? Indeed, we’ve all been tempted to think negatively about ourselves. Every person has at least felt those words and even let them have a paralytic effect on personal growth. Yet, truth speaks into the heart of every person at the same time; our Creator counters slothful tendencies and affirms, “You are more than enough and I love you.” The crucial moment is in deciding which voice to listen to and which actions to take.
“We must fight the urge to let sadness arise from the fact that the good is difficult.”
Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas
While interviewing mother and athlete, Rebecca Dussault, I found her journey fascinating as adversity in life didn’t stop her but, rather, pushed her forward. Deciding at a young age to believe in herself left little room for complacency. “We must live in anticipation of Heaven,” she told me. True greatness does not depend on how worthy or accomplished we feel but on the work we’re willing to do. Like a seed, we must cultivate personal success and harvest the fruit later; delay gratification for the sake of reaching a higher place, a greater good. In essence, her efforts are not for personal glory but are means for reaching God. Adhering to First Peter 2:9 she aspires and inspires the pursuit of a peculiar journey, “Each person is innately gifted and responsible to love and share that gift.”
As a pre-teen she claimed her God-given dignity, embraced the message of Christ and His Church, and literally started sprinting to tell the tale. After her parents’ divorce, athletics became a large part of building her confidence and future lifestyle. The struggle and pain which was all too familiar to her as a ten year old from a broken home, providentially, pointed her in the right direction. She began to build her life on a sturdy foundation of faith and fitness rather than crumble under her present circumstances. Through the knowledge and awareness of her Heavenly Father’s deep love and support she understood her own greatness was only a matter of responding to the grace He was endlessly offering.
At age 19 she married her best friend’s brother, Sharbel, who was also faith-filled, passionate, and athletic. Recalling when she met his family a few years earlier she said, “Their household became my Heaven.” The Dussault family was a devout Catholic family and the practice of attending early morning Mass paired well with her morning athletic training. Over time she became more and more aware of the power of both physical and spiritual strengthening.
Not long after marriage Sharbel and Rebecca conceived their first son and became accustomed to traveling as a family. Many viewed their family-centered and faith-filled lifestyle as far from practical. Traveling globally was necessary for her sport as she continued to excel. Rebecca was determined to keep her family, faith, and fitness thriving. Their openness to life and devotion to Sunday Mass, for example, set Rebecca apart when she declined team parties to joyfully search for a Catholic Church. She reflected on how grateful she was for the universality of Catholicism, “I could find the beauty and truth of the Catholic Church everywhere I went… and this gave me much hope.”
Rebecca went from home-schooled-high-school-athlete to wife, mother, Cross Country Ski National Champion, and Olympic Competitor all before age 25! Today she is still training, coaching, speaking, homeschooling her four children, and preparing to give birth again! While it didn’t all happen overnight, the success she is experiencing today is still, in her own words, “The efforts of a weak and feeble woman who simply disposed herself to receive.” She began running the true race before many of her competitors; integrating her spiritual life with her physical life as St. Paul describes, “Practicing self-control in all things (1 Corinthians 9:24).” She emphasizes with her clients that ill health, lethargy, and excess weight are not merely physical issues, but they stem from a lack of practiced discipline. Without daily taking up the task to order our thoughts and actions according to what is good we inhibit our ability to steward our own person. “We ought to be attractive Catholics by the way we chasten our inordinate desires and take on the image of the Divine Life of Christ within us.”
“My spiritual life influences all areas of my being and they in turn influence my spiritual life,” she explained. While believing life is infused with unique beauty and purpose Rebecca knows she has the means to reach her goals but is also aware of her imperfections which have to be continually put in check so as to not get in the way of progress. With gratitude she shares this powerful knowledge, “You can be athletic and faithful!” The key is in your own disposition. One of the most important questions she poses to her followers is, “Are you putting yourself in a position of receptivity?” Going regularly to Confession and Mass, for example, creating time for prayer, devotions, and meditation etc. is the only way to stay humble, open, and receptive to God’s grace which in the end makes all the difference.
“Spiritual fitness removes vanity and makes room for glorifying God!”
True happiness is about remaining faithful to what is good and allowing the Spirit of God to enter! Each individual is called to a unique form of excellence but the fundamental principles remain the same. Either we choose to move forward in training or let ourselves backslide. The truth is that by remaining humble and committed we will not fail except by our own volition.
“Daily accomplishments may look very different from person to person,” Rebecca encourages. What many do not understand is that a belief must be followed up by action for true success.“Nothing is going to make you great – not even a gold medal,” she noted. Grace is infused when a person physically cooperates with a spiritual calling. Only some victories will be recognized by the world. All victories, interior and exterior, will be recognized by God. His judgement is just and his reward is proper. One day we will see the few who are truly victorious. In awe we will wonder at the beauty and radiance we did not see before!
“Let go of the distractions, time traps, and negative belief. Make room for the Divine Life of Christ to fully animate you for His good works.”
Pillars of a Faithful and Fit Family!
Nutrition – Give your body what it needs to thrive!
Exercise – It’s not about vanity; it’s about health!
Environment – Take care of the home God gave you!
Spirituality – Your heart and soul need time and attention too!
Fun facts! Rebecca and her family benefit from the use of doTerra essential oils. Her favorite way to use them personally is to take a hot soak with the precious “oil of truth,” Frankincense, and the “joy of the mountain oil,” Marjoram.
To learn more about essential oils Click Here or you can contact me on Facebook!