Lift Your Head Weary Sinner

Until REFIT® a few weeks ago, I had never heard this song. Though David Crowder wrote the song in recent years, its lyrics belong among the classic hymns. When my instructor first introduced us to it, she showed us that the choreography had been created so that we would do the song with a partner. It's a toning song in the line-up, so while the song is a nice moderate beat, we would hold on to our partner's forearms while lifting opposite legs for glute work. As we began and worked our way through the song, I was struck by several things that have stuck with me:

  • This song would be easier alone. If I could just stand there and do gluteal lifts, I would be more balanced rather than having to hold someone else up. It's really more inconvenient to do it WITH someone.
  • I don't like eye contact. But in this song, it's a necessity. You have to look at your partner or you're both likely to land on the floor.
  • If one of us started to lean too far, the other could compensate by helping to lean the other way. 
  • It would be easier to give up rather than finish the song with all the balancing, lifting, focusing, and breathing going on.

I think the Lord's favorite way to teach me is through metaphor. Relationships, specifically marriage, can be a lot like what I'm learning from this fitness routine. My husband and I have been married for nine years this month and we have come through some very hard years since our daughter came home through adoption. Children are such blessings, but they can also be a huge obstacle to continuing to grow as a couple. In our case, I became a stay-at-home mom and turned my attention to our daughter. Rightly so. She was a premie, has hearing loss, and several other medical/developmental issues that have been very consuming of my time and energies. My husband has continued to work full-time in the IT industry. Before we knew it, our lives were going in two completely different directions and our relationship turned into roommates who would share a kiss now and then, exchange information about the week's calendar and schedule, and have occasional budget meetings. If we tried to watch a movie together on a weeknight after kiddo went to bed, I ended up falling asleep and he woke me just enough to get me to go to bed.

I think that many of us end up this way with our spouse and by the time we realize it, it's too late. The lack of communication, money issues, anger, bitterness, and a child-centered home all contribute to parents who call it quits. As I talked to a friend recently who is a divorced mom, she told me that for her, it traced back to the lack of communication with her spouse. They never talked about anything important. So many of us choose our electronic devices and social media over spending time with the person sitting next to us. And in a marriage, this can be fatal. So, what did I learn from this song and the REFIT® choreography?

  • Life sometimes feels like it would be easier alone. I wouldn't have to help balance someone else. It's sometimes more inconvenient to do life WITH my spouse. What I'm learning is that we are meant to be with others. As awkward as their lack of balance might be, let me choose community over convenience. Let me choose to be with rather than without.
  • Eye contact is everything. Honesty and communication are the lifeblood of relationship. If I shut down and "look at the floor," how can my partner expect to really know me? How can I expect to move beyond myself and know them?
  • There are days that my husband has to hold me up. And there are days when I need to take on his burdens. But that's called balance. It's give and take. It's fall and rise. It's strength. "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
  • It is easier to give up. Sometimes, the messy of relationships is just too much. There are days I wonder if it's worth it. But something tells me it is. When the song is over, I'll be stronger and we'll be better than before we started. My husband told me just the other day that these hard times actually make him a little happy. When I looked at him confused, he said, "because I know that in the past, when we've been through hard times, we're always closer to each other on the other side." 

Thanks be to God.


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