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Road trips are a summer staple. Sour worms, peach rings, and coolers filled with drinks will only lead to the inevitable … multiple bathroom stops. And is there anything more invigorating than having the music up full blast with your windows rolled down? This encapsulates the epitome of the perfect summer and for a moment in time, the perfect life.

That is until you take the scenic route to Florida with your annoying little brother in the back seat. “Are we there yet?” brings on a whole new meaning, your sanity depends on arriving as soon as possible. The people who say, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” must not have younger siblings.

Waiting to get to your destination is not always fun or exciting. The minutes drag on. Seconds feel like days and days feel like months. Waiting to get your driver’s license is unpleasant or waiting to graduate High School can be exhausting. Waiting to get married can be lonely and waiting to buy a home is frustrating. The list goes on and on and on.

The question “Am I there yet,” faces every person eventually.

When You Don’t Have Life ‘All Together’

I grew up under the illusion of when I became an adult that I would have everything together. But, I don’t. Can you relate? Have you ever analyzed someone else’s life and thought, “I should be at a different place in my life ” or “I should have accomplished more by now.”

Maybe you’re graduating High School this year, and you have no idea where you are going to attend College when it seems like all of your friends have their futures mapped out. Maybe you are in College, and some of your friends are married, own a new home and expecting their first child, and you think to yourself, “All I own are books and the furniture I bought at Goodwill.” Questions like, “Did I choose the wrong path?” haunt you at night.

You Are Distinctly Different

It is okay if your dreams, your goals, and your ministry are different from everyone else because we serve a God who is infinitely original, and you have been created in His image. You are distinctly different and when you try to be someone you’re not, it’s like telling a fish to climb a tree – it’s impossible.

One of the most debilitating things you can do is compare your ministry, your career, your finances, your education and your relationship status (or whatever) with other people. On the other hand, one of the most freeing things you can do is find a place with God and allow Him to reveal your God-given purpose. God desires to take your flaws, your strengths, your weaknesses and use your journey for His glory. Take the time in prayer to discover what makes you, you.

Everything you have been through gives you exclusive characteristics that are different from other people. God needs the uniqueness of your personality to reach this world.

When the question, “am I there yet,” dances across the corners of your mind, try not focus on how far you still have to go, but celebrate the considerable distance you’ve covered.

Words of advice? Do not judge your beginning by someone else’s middle and try not to get discouraged by the fact that it will take time to grow. Growth will always produce permanent change; an oak tree will never become an acorn again. So, try not to fixate on the, “Am I there yet,” and be encouraged that you are a stronger and more capable person today because of things you learned yesterday.

by Angela Overton
Reposted with permission from angelaoverton.com 

Confidence has a negative connotation and almost seems like a taboo word to say out loud (or even write). Why is this? Is it because confidence is associated with pride? When we put our confidence in our flesh, it is most definitely pride. However, when we put our confidence in God, it exhibits that we trust Him and have faith.

Proverbs 3:26, “The LORD will be your confidence.”

This scripture is weighted with promise and evicts insecurities. This verse gives a person the freedom to discard their doubt and accept God’s covering of confidence. God encourages us to lay down our uncertainties and allow Him to prove His strength and power in every area of our lives.

The Struggle Is Real

My whole life, I have struggled with insecurities and I know as I write this post that I am not alone in my battle. I have questioned my worth and misunderstood my purpose. Not to mention, I have run away from the ministry God was calling me to because it was far beyond me.

God called me to my weakness, not my strength.

I cried out, “God choose someone else, I cannot do this. I will not do this.” Today I am thankful for His steadfast mercy that patiently waited for me to submit to His will. Maybe you are in a similar situation right now. Please be encouraged and know that you are ordained by God to accomplish remarkable things for His glory.

Trust The Process

One of the many things I have learned in this painful process is that God is my strength when fear consumes me. God is my help when I am laying in fetal position on the floor, weeping. God is my confidence when I feel incapable of accomplishing the things He is calling me to do. In every valley and on every mountain, He is there holding me up, supporting me, and encouraging me. He has proven Himself to be an ever-present help in a time of trouble. Every time.

Whatever your opposition is and whatever your distractions are, whether they are internal or external, if God says you can do it, then you need to have confidence in Him. Completely. Fully. Wholeheartedly. The safest place to be is in the middle of the will of God, even when you do not understand and even when it hurts.

Pretend like you are trust falling backwards, leaving behind all of your insecurities. When you hesitate and consider the dangers and objective facts, you are resisting His presence. Do not put trust in your capabilities, but go beyond your natural senses into the unknown because the LORD will be your confidence.

by Angela Overton
Reposted with permission from angelaoverton.com

Early childhood memories find each of us standing on the starting line. We can still hear echoes of the physical education teacher’s voice carrying above the excitement of the students. “On your mark, get set,” then the shrill whistle mobilizes all and the young charges storm toward the finish line. The goal remains in sight and edges closer and closer until one lone runner crosses the line to accept the winner’s place.

Our Christian race begins much the same. Excitement explodes as we experience our own “Pentecost.” A poster hanging on a wall of the church we pastor reads, “Attitude, the greatest thing in the world is not so much where we stand, but in which direction we are going.”

Aligning ourselves with biblical principles is often accompanied by many questions and study. As any seasoned runner knows, careful observation of the opponent is imperative to gain success. Questions and concerns meet answers within the pages of God’s Word, the “roadmap” for His children.

As I endeavor to climb yet another “rung” in my walk with the Lord, I find myself taking a deep breath as I propel myself upward with a whisper of, “Get ready, get set, go!” I know opposition will follow as I strive to become a reflection of Christ. The enemy always tries to thwart the progress of God’s children. In the Book of Nehemiah, Tobiah came to intimidate the prophet and the saints of God. Nehemiah fielded each blow of his opponent’s attempts, all the while gaining strength, courage, and determination. (Read Nehemiah 4.)

A Christian song states, “If you only knew what I was gonna be, after the storm, you would not even bother me” (Tye Tribbett and G.A., “I Want It All Back,” Victory – Live). Our country’s first “First Lady,” Martha Washington, aptly stated, “I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.”

The enemy of our soul attempts various methods of approach. We must guard our thoughts and take courage in our daily walk, knowing we are victorious through Christ.

The apostle Paul conveniently reminds us in I Corinthians,

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. …Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” (9:24, 26-27, NKJV).

Before you think this Christian race involves only the swift-footed, let me direct you further to II Timothy 4:7-8 where Paul contends,

“I have finished the race [notice he doesn’t say he placed first, or even second], I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (NKJV).

Let me encourage you all. Stay in the race; keep the faith. You are almost to the finish line. Run with me—we’ll cross it together! Get ready, get set, go!

 

Julie Roberts
Reprinted with permission from Reflections magazine.