Are you a marathon runner? Do you know what that moment feels like as you step up to the starting line for the big race? Do you ask youself, “Am I ready for this? Have I trained enough?”
I’ve never run a race other than as a child at recess against my peers but having a older brother that was an athlete growing up and now having a son that is a three sport high school athlete has given me some perspective to draw from but physically, I cannot relate.
Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be a runner but something always held me back…injuries, uncertainty…but mostly fear. Fear of not doing well, fear of rejection from others, fear of not being as good as the others…fear of failing.
Its the same fear I am choosing to face today.
Paul says in Philippians 3 verses 13 and 14, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (NLT)
Putting all that is behind…boy, what a load that is!! It not only speaks to fear, hurt, disappointments…but acheivements, success, good things…putting ALL behind and forgetting the past. Wow…not only is that liberating but a little awe-inspiring for me.
See…I have stuff that I’ve carried with me for a long time. Successes…failures…great accomplishments…dazzling crash and burns…and all have travelled with me like a comforting companion. Its been a sweet ride but Im also confident of this one thing…those things are no longer God’s best for me and I want nothing less. And He wants to give me nothing short of His best.
I have some work to do…and its time I get on it….and surrender to a greater extent to His process. One day at a time. I already see the fruit of it in my life and those around me..and its sweet. Im not blind to the fact that experiences, events, and those aforementioned items in the “stuff” category might not just “go away”…I’ve got to process through them in the endeavor of walking without fear.
I dont know your first steps to shedding your stuff but for me, I found my first steps at a Marriage Toolbox that my husband and I went to. The couple that was facilitating are both pastors and licenced counselors here in the NW with 15+ years of clinical work and a couple that has lived outloud their journey to health and wellness in a Christ centered environment…outstanding couple and tremendous examples to me. So there we were, spending the day learning and gaining tools for our marriage and they tell a story of someone who, in their journey, listed the houses they had lived in and the memories they had of their experience in each one…positive and hurtful. They began to see where they came from and how it impacted who they are now. WOW! That reasonated within me and I now find myself writing the same list for myself…and surrendering to the healing process of “putting all that is behind…” I dont know where it will take me but I know I’m headed in the right direction. You will, as you seek Him and ask for guidance and wisdom, find those first steps…and the healing He desires for you and you desire for yourself. He promises it is so and He is not a man that He should lie. Trust him, friend…(Prov 3: 5, 6). I’m tired of carrying this stuff around…arent you?
So I’ve stepped up to the starting line and maybe you have too…its going to look different for each of us as far as the race path…some may have twists and turns in the days ahead and maybe you are the one that needs to walk on the flat surface for awhile before taking the inclines ahead. Wherever that is, know that God is with you always…He promises in His Word to never leave us or forsake us…He also promises that while we make the plans, it is HE that orders our steps. In these moments of surrender, confidence may come slowly but have confidence in this, dear friends…that He who began a good work in your will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). You are a work in progress…give yourself some grace but keep sweeping!! Dig in…taste and see that the Lord is good and know that God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind! (2 Tim 1:7).
I love you…keep sweeping!