21 January 2014

Transitioning back into Wheaton College...

Wheaton College
This is a heartfelt-update blog post...vulnerable...so bare with me :)

It's been 3 weeks from today that Jeffrey and I finished our last races at the US Speedskating Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City and now we find ourselves enrolled back at Wheaton College, immersed in the college life once again along with our youngest brother, Johnny and two cousins, Justin and Mikey Swider. Haha, it's definitely a family affair and I love it. How many other people can say they go to college with 4 other family members who span age-wise over 8+ years? Not many, if any.

Now many of you have asked how I've been transitioning since the Trials, and being honest, it has been tough, even though I couldn't have asked for a better community to have jumped back into and learn alongside. To me, as I have been in and out of Wheaton since 2006 and working on graduating amongst my speedskating career, there has been no better place for building a network of friends (present & past) that have built me up and have kept me accountable all these years than here at Wheaton. So much appreciation for this institutional community has come from taking my time to graduate. And I know it's been by prayer (friends, family and mine) and by my faith that I have been able to work through the last weeks with a positive attitude and a smile on my face and seeing that the trials I've been though in the last 4 years are shaping and equipping me for what the Lord will use of me in the future for His service. But that hasn't stopped myself from having sad and/or lonely days...though, I have come to embrace these moments, learning how to turn to the Lord for complete comfort as my Savior. Like I quoted on my FB yesterday (sent to me originally from my best friend Renée Shear, from a devotional book called 'Streams in the Desert') this excerpt reveals the power of being at a low point in life:

"Sorrow, under the power of divine grace, performs various ministries in our lives. Sorrow reveals unknown depths of the soul, and unknown capacities for suffering and service. Sorrow is God's tool to plow the depths of the soul, that is may yield richer harvests. Sorrow makes us more more slowly and considerately and examine our motives and attitudes...God never uses anyone to a great degree until He breaks the person completely. Joseph experienced more sorrow than the other sons of Jacob, and it led him into a ministry of food for all the nations." -Streams in the Desert. 

With everyone leaving for Sochi (mom/coach leaves Thursday, training partner Brian Hansen is leaving today), yesterday was just one of those days where I was learning to be at peace amongst heartache. Learning to lean on the Lord, giving it ALL to Him because only He can be our strength. Surprisingly, it is one of the best states to be in...but truly tough. Being human, we can never see the bigger picture, but with the Lord's knowledge of the future and what is best for us, how can we not trust Him to know that current frustrations are for our own good, to prepare us for the future? 
I think this is my 6th (and last!) Wheaton acceptance letter?

Now I am set to graduate from Wheaton College in December 2014, praise the Lord! Haha, finally. As for Jeffrey, he still has 2 more years before he graduates, majoring in Art. He is currently still training for a couple more speedskating races mid-February and has continued to drive up to Milwaukee these last weeks to keep up his training at the Pettit National Ice Center.

Other TeamSwiderPeltz updates: Our training partner Brian Hansen will be competing in the 500m (Feb. 10), 1000m (Feb. 12), 1500m (Feb. 15), and Team Pursuit events in Sochi, which begins with the opening ceremonies February 7th!

And if you have not watched yet the recent (and very vulnerable on my part) segment on TeamSwiderPeltz as a family training group, you can catch it online here: http://www.csnchicago.com/article/inside-look-swider-peltz-family

God Bless,
Nancy Jr.

1 Corinthians 9:25

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