Want to Finish Your Race? Then Start Running!

When I was in high school, I put myself on a timeline. I was supposed to graduate college at 22 and start immediately after graduation in a fabulous and lucrative career, get married at 25 and have  my first child at 27 or 28. This to me would have been perfect…my ideal life situation. Needless to say, that is far from how my life turned out. Today I am 28 and attending grad school, I graduated undergrad at 26, and I have no children and am no where even close to getting married. For a season, this had me very down and depressed. Why was my life not turning out as I had planned? Why had my life taken so many different roads that took me off course from what I said I wanted? What I came to realize is that it’s because I am not the one in control. You see, God is not operating under my timeline. And, its not about what I want, but how He can use me. If taking me “off course” is what it took, then so  be it.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

This was a very hard lesson to learn, and I must admit that God is still working on me. I am a very independent person. I’m not used to asking people for help nor am I that comfortable with it. What I have found is that God will often break you down so that you are forced to lean on Him. He wants to know that you trust Him. He wants you to know that you can come to Him with anything and he will lead and guide you in the way that you should go. He loves us and He wants to know that we know that. We show Him that we trust in His love by being obedient. We show Him that we trust in His love by following where He leads us no matter how off course it may seem, because we trust that He has a better plan than anything we could ever hope or imagine.

So along with all of these “ideals”  I had for myself, came a lot of assumptions. One of those assumptions was brought to the light the other day. My sister in Christ made a suggestion that we might consider renting a house. Since my rent went up in my apartment, it would make better financial sense to pay a little bit more for a two bedroom house than it would to continue paying astronomical prices for a 1 bedroom apartment. Not to mention, we would have a yard and could have a dog and so forth. Funny thing is, my first thought when she mentioned it to me was, “I can’t rent a house I’m not even married!” What???!!! Immediately I was struck with how illogical it was to think that way. Not that everything has to be logical, but that was just ridiculous! I’m not married, so I can’t have a house??? I had never even thought about it until I heard myself saying it in my head and it sounded asinine. So, we immediately jumped in the car and started looking around the neighborhood for For Rent signs. As we were driving, I started thinking about why I would even think such a thing and I started to realize that its because I was waiting on perfection or my idea of the perfect situation. Then it dawned on me…If I wait until marriage to have a house of my own, I might never have one!

God placed it on my heart that too often we are sitting around waiting for the perfect situation before we try anything. We are waiting on the stars to align, the sea to part, and the thunder to clap just so we can begin to move. But that kind of thinking, most of the time, will just keep you stuck  in the same place…forever.

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not yet achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward for what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of  the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. -Philippians 3:13-14

 I. Press. On. This means you are active…doing something…anything…but you are NOT doing nothing! You are not waiting for everything in your life to be perfect! We can not allow ourselves to let the devil trick us into believing that our lives have to be perfect before we can do anything. You see, the devil wants to keep you stuck. It (yes I call it an “it” because thats exactly what I think of “it”) wants you to belive that unless your life is perfect, unless you are perfect you are not worthy of having anything, doing anything, achieving anything. The devil is a LIE! God wants us to live a life of abundance! God is NOT asking us to be perfect, but He is asking us to try and trust that He will lead us on our journey. Too many of us are stagnant because we have let the devil dupe us into believing that we can’t move because our situations aren’t perfect and the kicker is, they never will be. We as humans will never achieve perfection on earth…BUT we can strive toward it! That means we are actively doing something! That means we are making an effort to become the people that God has called us to be. Trust God…let Him use you…and get moving today!

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Today I am thankful for the understanding that I don’t have to be perfect to start running my race, because God runs right beside me.

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