Monday, March 21, 2016

Run YOUR Race

I recently went back to Facebook, after a couple of years on hiatus. There are a lot of things you can learn about yourself when you are shown the lives of many people, in any given day.  And, wow, do those days look way different than mine...or so it seems.

I didn't just visit the Galapagos Islands.  My kids haven't won a million awards and been named Child of the Year. (Though, to be fair, they are home schooled and I think they are great!)  I don't look like a super model, even with highlighting and contouring makeup. Photoshop just doesn't help.  I will never be Mother of the Year or the Best Wife of All Time.  I do not take good selfies.  I don't even like selfies.  I'm just me.

Therein lies the problem.  One of the biggest lies ever told..."You are not good enough."  Buried deep within all the notifications, the likes, the shares, and the comments, we often find the problem.  We want to feel significant.  When my life doesn't measure up to what I perceive to be the lives of others, I feel small.  I'm sure not everyone has this problem.  If you don't, move on and have a super day!  This post isn't for you.  However, if you struggle, please sit a while with me.

Throughout my life, I have struggled with self-esteem issues.  Always feeling "less than" every one else.  This is something God has been working on for quite a while.  I daily have to remind myself who I am in Jesus.  As God is working on me, and I've gotten older, there are a few things I've noticed.  I choose to feel what I feel.  I'm not saying those feelings aren't real.  They are SO real, but the thing about feelings is you can change your perspective at any given moment.  Feelings are not facts.  When my feelings get hurt, I try to look at the facts. You always have to check the feelings against the facts.  This is true in all situations.

Feelings are an indicator, not a dictator.  All things take practice. In Philippians 4:11 Paul says,“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”  He learned to be content.  He learned.

Learning means practice. Mindful practice.  You want to play the piano? You practice.  You want to learn your ABCs? You practice.  You want to memorize Bible verses? You practice.  You want to change your way of thinking? You practice.  When I start having feelings of not measuring up, I have to remind myself who I am in Jesus.  I practice. I practice.  It takes time and will not happen overnight.  Yes, it will take a while to get to a point where I won't feel I have to measure up to someone else's idea of success, but it will take practice.  While practice will never make perfect, it will always make progress...and isn't that what we all are after?  To be better than the person we were yesterday? To look a little more like Jesus today? That's what I'm after.

I want to run the race God has set before me.  Your race may look different than mine.  That's ok.  God gave each of us our own purpose.  You have to run your own race.  We have to stop trying to run the race of someone can't handle someone else's life.  You are not equipped to live someone else's life.  You are meant to live your own.  It's time to start practicing mindful thinking.  It's time to lean in to Jesus and let Him make our lives His own, for His purpose, and stop trying to measure up to the world's idea of success.  It won't be easy. It'll take practice, but with Jesus lighting the way...we will get there.

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