I have a vivid memory of being a teenager, sitting at an arcade. I was there with friends and the guy I had a crush on having a great time, yet I decided to sit out on the activity they were doing. I couldn’t tell you now what the activity was, but I know how I felt – scared.
I had a bout of anxiety that halted me from living and enjoying the experience I was having. Of course at the time, I did not understand what was truly happening and the battle I would fight for much of my life.
As I waited for my friends that night, I penned a poem about sitting on the sideline, reminding myself I needed to get on the track and not just watch everyone else participate.
Right now, I am halfway through a study of the book of Philippians. I was reminded of this teenage moment as I read these verses from the third chapter,
“… I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 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.”
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
Life is about running the race. Suiting up and getting on the road, even if it is just a walk. Especially if it is just a walk, since then there will always be motivation to improve!
I see that teenage girl creep up every so often and I cannot tell you how much I hate it. Truly. Even when I know how much I have matured and grown mentally in the 25 years since, the trigger of insecurity and fear hits hard and heavy.
“But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.”
Philippians 3:16 NLT
I have matured. I am braver and I am willing to lace up and get out there. I did so yesterday.
I ran the Run For It 5K supporting the amazing non-profit, To Write Love On Her Arms. The organization “aims to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide, while also investing in treatment and recovery.” 1
Once I found out about their run, I knew I needed to do it; to represent and pray for those who have dealt and are dealing with mental health issues.
There will continue to be days when the sideline looks so tempting, so much easier with less expectations.
Yet God has called us to run the race.
In my opinion, being brave and being a part of the race isn’t the absence of anxiety (or whatever your “sideline” temptation looks like)!
The outcome will show you that, with each step, you will see the minimizing of the anxiety & the maximizing of purpose!
The race is your purpose!
The race run to completion will bring us to our heavenly finish line, with anxiety – and anything else that holds us back – trampled in our dust.
Hold on to your progress. Let it remind you of how far you’ve come, and how much closer you are to claiming your ultimate reward!
1 To Write Love On Her Arm – https://twloha.com