“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b (NIV)
I huffed. I puffed. I hunched over in pain. I wanted to make it to the end of the run. Yet as much as I tried to go, my legs, mind and oozy head wouldn’t. All this was too much.
I hobbled home with squeaky, worn, blue shoes and a defeated spirit.
I don’t know how I ever thought I was cut out for this. How I ever thought I could do this … others are stronger. I’m weak. I don’t have the energy. I’m embarrassing. A loser.
For me, running is a battle. But, so is life. One battle after another. Early in my life, I faced an eating disorder, depression and debt. More recently, I hit a near-debilitating health scare, relational issues and a never-ending waiting period. And, I continually battle the idea, I’m not enough.
Do battles tend to defeat you, too? Or, do you rise up victoriously?
We all face battles, especially within our mind. Here, emotional reactions, quick insults and worst-case scenarios tend to speak louder than God’s truth. They leave us feeling defeated, demotivated and discouraged.
Where do your thoughts stand?
Take a moment to “mind your mind.” Ask yourself: If I audibly voiced my thoughts in a day, would I be proud of them? Would they be honorable and of good report? Would they convey Christ’s heart or my insecurities and fears? Do they cause me to run all-out for God or sit-it-out on the sidelines?
Hebrews 12:1b encourages us: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
To run a race well, we must continually mind our mind. Why? Because renewed minds lead to transformed lives. Lives mentally prepared to run.
Are you prepared? Perhaps these three battle-ready areas will help you wisely run your race with more power:
1. Strategy (Consider this your pre-race prep.)
To do this, you:
- Eat, sleep and rest well. When you’re sleepy or starving, you’re also an open target for the enemy of this world.
- Prepare the playlist. Get near people that build you up in faith, rather than tear you down. If you can’t find them, listen to messages or music that encourages you.
- Decide training time is important time. Say no to anything that steals your learning and growing time with God.
2. Mentality (Get your game face on.)
To do this, you:
- Acknowledge: Yes, my legs hurt, but God has the strength I need to see this through.
- Never permit the words I can’t to slow you down. God always can.
- Ditch heavy-weighted negativity that claims It’s impossible, I’ll never or I don’t have enough _______________. God gives power to the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
- Keep in mind that you are not alone. There are countless other women huffing and puffing alongside you. Strength often comes through encouraging others.
3. Intentionality (See the finish line.)