A Salute To Me (RJD Link #iamredeemed)


“Nothing else matters so much as being free to reach your dream. The obstacles we overcome are so often within ourselves.”

~ from my journal April 1992

This month for Random Journal Day I am sharing from a journal I rarely look back on. As a matter of fact, you might call this journal a turning point journal. This journal reveals a girl about to come to a crossroads. You might say in Twilight Zone manner, I was about to take a turn down a path I had not anticipated, into the… (enter music).

Many of you know that I was involved in the Fitness Industry for many years as a Personal Trainer and Consultant, but rarely do I like to talk about it. Occasionally I will write about it, but more in an abstract way usually making an analogy of some kind. But the fact remains, many of my “beneath the surface” lessons came while pursuing goals in the physical realm. God continues to use the many experiences I had coaching others and attaining my own goals as a way to elaborate and clarify His purpose for my life, even to this day.

Despite the audacity of my blog post title, and entry, I ask you to bare with me (as well as the pun and bikini clad body- long past, no less) as I share with you a piece of my Redemptive story, walk with me now into my journal and possibly The Twilight Zone…


Some journals are more painful to page through than others.

Well, that is if you leave out grace. Isn’t it harder to be gracious with ourselves when we know exactly who we are apart from a Living Savior? I know what it’s like and I remember it well. I had worldly applause, and approval. I had enemies too. I was still outspoken in these days, but my focus, and cause was different. I never anticipated meeting up with a Living God though I always suspected His presence. I had a life of my own creation, and my philosophy was one that could only be described as self-focused, self-made and self-driven. Self was the god I served and acknowledged. I was like the majority of people I knew. Oh, I served others in various ways, but ultimately Self was the God I bowed to, I can say this now, because I recognize this fact.

The truth is, I had a run in with the One True Living God who changed my perspective and my life has never been the same.

I don’t believe you can meet this God and remain the same. I do believe there are lesser gods. Always have been. But this God? There is none like Him. He is the ultimate Game Changer.

A Salute to Me

(Journal Entry from April 9th 1992)

Here’s to me for doing it 100% naturally

since the start

Here’s to the mistakes that brought me

to where I am now-

Here’s to knowing

that I am not a quitter

and that this year

I will be in my absolute best shape ever overall

Here’s to realizing what I knew from the start (yet doubted)

that I have within me

everything I need

to win,

to get what I want in life,

as well as competition.

Because it comes from within-

and these attributes

I have developed and had within me





have helped me become

the person I want to be

or at least

gotten me to tap

some of the potential

of what can be.


Friends, I had no idea what was around the corner. Because by the end of this year (1992), I would meet a fellow bodybuilder who would introduce me to the only One  able to coach this strong-willed woman. Make no bones about it, I was searching for salvation in a number of other ways – in fact you might say I was on the salvation treadmill. Because it was leading nowhere fast, but it sure kept me busy.

I had a lot of healing ahead of me, and a lot of self-made defenses that God needed to deal with…you do not survive childhood sexual abuse and come away unscathed no matter how hard you try to work at it. I had worked hard, and gone down all the self-help roads and philosophies. I’d studied Eastern Religion, and philosophy and I came away from all, in the end, empty-handed.

But, that was good, because once I opened my hands and realized how empty they were, there was a God-this Jesus ready to take my empty hands and walk me through to wholeness. He’s still doing it. Praise His Name!

I know this is a bit different in how I shared, but I never tire of telling the story. And this year, my One Word is Redeemed, and I can’t seem to stop sharing this story again and again. Every single time, I get goosebumps. Every time it leaves me awed.

Thanks for reading my words. Thanks for being here today. If you know someone who needs to know that God is still redeeming His people today then go ahead and share. If you are inspired to share your redemption story or a new version of it, or a different part of it- check out my friend Lily’s place Faith and Testimony! Be brave, you never know what God might do…through YOU!

Also, join us for this month’s  Random Journal Day happening all weekend through Monday at Noon.

Linking with Friends:

Deb @ Counting My Blessings

Grace and Truth : Weekly Link -up

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

14 thoughts on “A Salute To Me (RJD Link #iamredeemed)

  1. Dawn, you are now a Woman of the Word and I loved this story of how He prepared you and set you up to meet Him. I know He will continue to give you creative wisdom and ways to share this precious story of your redemption. He will be faithful to complete and perfect the good work He began in your heart.


  2. Dawn: It takes courage to shate something this personal. Thank you for having that courage.


  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! Praising the God of redemption with you! I love this Dawn. Thank you so much for sharing it, and for the faithful ways you continue to point us to the One who writes a better story. Blessings!


  4. This is so beautiful, Dawn. God has truly done a redeeming work in your life…and has made you to be such a champion for the rest of us. I praise God for the work He has done…and for what a blessing you are to me and the rest of us out here in blogland. Thank you for being YOU>


  5. Dawn, I absolutely love your story, and I too am praising God for what He has done in and through you! Thank you for your honesty, and for writing this beautiful post. When I think about my own journey and the moment I first met God… I can totally relate to what you said about being in awe of it, and never tiring of telling the story.

    And thank you so much for the shout out, my friend, and telling others about faith + testimony. It’s an honor to be mentioned in your post! 🙂 Many blessings to you!!


  6. You are an inspiration Dawn. Wow, that picture!! So glad you chose the black journal.


  7. Dear Dawn, my sis in Christ! Unbeknownst to you, and the general world, you have given me a lovely present for my birthday, today! Thank you, so much, for opening your heart through that peek into your past!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! This is brave and powerful, strong and full of muscle–your post, I mean. Daring to look at he belly of the beast of the past and see through it to what He was already doing. A true testimony to His grace, His work previous to you ‘getti g’ it. Thank you.
    PS. I bet we all have journals we avoid; I sure do. I consciously slide my hand only so far back in my long row of blue notebooks. This encourages bravery (but I’m not making any promises).


  9. Thank you for sharing this entry from this period of time – your transition period…I can still see some of Dawn in it; that time worked along with The One to make you the woman you are today! And your writing and testimony both inspire others!

    God has worked in and through you; and continues to do so…thank you for both your writing and your testimony – and we can NEVER share either “too much”!!


  10. Wow. Thank you for sharing such a personal story Dawn. Seeing what God has done in your life and what He continues to do through you is a wonderful journey I am glad to be part of. Love you girl.


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