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Running your race when you cannot see

run your race

I strongly believe every one of us was made with a calling, though I’m only just beginning to entertain the idea of mine as a writer.

Somehow it doesn’t seem true for me. As if I’m some kind of impostor in this great big world of put-together writers and readers and an all-around more interesting, eloquent and brave crowd.

Because you see, this calling thing is hard. I think every single one of us knows that out of our deepest hurts will come our greatest passions, and we carry our wounds into our gifts. It’s why so many of us reject or put off our calling, or would prefer choosing somebody else’s entirely.

That way, it wouldn’t hurt so bad.

Writing this book and blog has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For a person like me, who for her whole life wrapped her identity in other peoples’ opinions, this has been an excruciating test acting out my faith. Every day choosing to believe in something I cannot see, and trusting the way God is leading me.

I cannot count the cost.

I have lost experiences. Times when I could’ve been joining in an activity or event and was home, writing instead. I have lost friendships. For better or worse, some relationships and people are gifts in our lives for only a season. But if we’re lucky, each one teaches us something worth knowing about ourselves. I have sacrificed time with my family and children, believing that God can place a call on our lives to be mothers and ministers at the same time.

We all have a ministry. Some of us do it through teaching or decorating, others do it through cooking, creating, serving, healing, leading or discipling. I merely do mine through writing. It’s how I know what I feel and figure out what I already know.

And despite all the ways I have lost tiny moments and intimate things, I have gained so much more.

In stepping outside my comfort zone God has taught me a lot about my faith.

There have been so many times I have wanted to quit. Countless times I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going or how I would ever get there and believe me, I still feel most of these feelings every single day! There have also been times when relationships or pain from my past boiled under my skin like a third-degree burn and all I wanted was out! I begged and wished and dreamed for a way out.

And every single time I was close to bailing something stopped me. One comment, email, phone call, message or simple gift from God telling me I was on the right track. To keep going. Following the calling that He placed on my life that no one else can know or understand. And despite the fact that I don’t know where I am going or how I’m ever going to get there, I have learned that all I have to do is take the next step.

When we trust in God and have faith in His timing, He makes the way possible where it once seemed impossible. When we step out of our comfort zone and have nothing to rely on but His grace, it’s exactly where He wants us.

So often I wonder why I’m even in this race at all because I’m hardly qualified to run. But here’s the truth: not one of us are qualified. Every day, every single one of us struggles with something. Today you may be strong and tomorrow you might be weak. We were made to be in community not so that we have fun friends to hang out with on Friday night. We were made for community because God knew we would NEED EACH OTHER. To be light and breath, strength and wings when we cannot find our own.

You see, I don’t think God is interested in people who think they have all the answers. Those who believe themselves to be strong enough for the task ahead. He desires those who know deeply their own weakness and who know how far and how often they fall short. Who labor again and again to make it right and fail and get back up again. He asks those unqualified sinners brave enough to step out in faith and believe that He will slay the giant and win the battle because He can. He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

I want to encourage you in your dream. The quiet longing you keep brushing aside, the place where your life meets your tears. God has a call on your life nobody else can do. Can He achieve His will without you? Of course, but wouldn’t it be better to join in?

The costs are high and the risks are great but at the end of your life, do you ever think you would look back and say I wish I didn’t do it? I wish I didn’t risk anything, knowing now it could have been everything?

Even the most difficult failure is better than never trying in the first place.

This life is a race. And like any race, there will be times when the miles get hard. Times when you want to give up, throw in the towel, pack your bags and go home. But character is formed in the difficult miles. The ones where you dig in and find a strength hidden in the deepest places of your soul and you fight for something you cannot see and yet know to be true.

When you believe in something for which there is no proof.

Run your race. Look past the critics and the voices trying to hold you back and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9.

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Amanda April 29, 2014, 3:15 am

    Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your writings. They are a blessing to me!

    • Tammy April 29, 2014, 5:14 am

      Thank you Amanda! I’m so happy you’re here. xo

  • Susan Bricker April 29, 2014, 11:21 am

    Tammy, I love your writings. I believe it is your gift and you have touched my heart and life countless times with what you have written. I can’t wait to read your book. I also am still in the process of completing my book. I have been writing for 30 years and now that I’m at the place to publish it I struggle with many questions. Some of which are “What am I doing? ” or”Who is going to read this? ” or “Is this any good? ” Each time those questions invade my mind the Lord reminds me that it’s His God given gift and to trust the process. The world can cause us to doubt ourselves and our abilities and we also can get trapped by doubt and fear due to our thought process.
    Tammy , I applaud you for your boldness and your perseverance ! Thank you for stepping out and sharing your gift with others. You are on the path He placed you upon, and just trust He knows the outcome. Thank you for baring your soul to strangers who desperately crave to read your works. Your blog is awesome and I know it was no accident I stumbled upon it. Thank you for blessing me with your perfect words in His perfect timing. Bless you and your gift! I’m excited to read your book! Keep writing!

    • Tammy April 30, 2014, 4:03 am

      Thank you Susan! I so appreciate your encouragement and am so glad to have you here. Keep writing, keep pursuing your dream! No experience or effort is ever wasted. xoxo

  • Donna April 29, 2014, 3:09 pm

    I also feel truly blessed to have stumbled upon your blog recently! Honestly, it really wasn’t an accident but rather a gift from god! So, I have been leaving you comments to show my appreciation for your authentic, beautiful writing. I have been impressed that you take the time to respond to my comments too 🙂 Bravo to you for being so real & brave to speak about your struggles to trust this is the path intended for you…which I believe it absolutely is. You have touched and blessed me through your writing so thanks again!

    • Tammy April 30, 2014, 4:06 am

      Oh Donna, thank you so much. These comments are such a gift to me. I’m so thankful God brought you here and our lives together in this way. He’s pretty cool how He weaves us, to encourage and inspire and lift one another up. So glad you’re here. xoxo

  • rebecca mcmaster April 29, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Hi Tammy,
    I love your blogs! I need someone to put life into words. This one begs to be read a few times.I don’t want to live in the shallow life, but to go for it. Life is such a wild ride! I don’t want to miss mine. To trust and believe that He has good for me. Thanks again for writing, you are needed and wanted!

    • Tammy April 30, 2014, 4:07 am

      Thank you Rebecca! I’m blessed to have people like you here in this community. Together we are strong. xo

  • Julie Joiner April 29, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Your words hit a chord inside me. I am much older than you look, but I still feel the same way about my own writing. For nearly a year and a half I have been working on a blog I cannot get myself to launch. Fear holds me back. I know one day I will break through that barrier. I am a counselor and writer, both are lonely ministries. But I love the work God has called me to; I often feel inadequate. He is the only One who can make me adequate for the work He wants to do through me. Thanks for being vulnerable; others need to know they are not alone.

    • Tammy April 30, 2014, 4:11 am

      Thank you Julie! I’m praying for you to find the courage to launch! To face your fear, risking something that could end up meaning everything. I know the solitude that comes with writing and there are times I crave it and times it feels incredibly lonely. You’re not alone. Keep doing good work and take a leap! You’ll find your wings on the way down. xo

  • Amy April 30, 2014, 1:27 am

    Wow Thanks! I needed this today!!

  • Sarah April 30, 2014, 4:03 am

    Mmmmmhmmmm, sister. I could have written this very blog myself; you speak my heart, even down to the dream/calling/passion of words and hopeful publishing one day. You truly do have a gift; pursue this. Go get ’em.

  • click here May 7, 2014, 9:47 pm

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you
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  • Jocelyn May 16, 2014, 12:50 am

    Thanks for the inspiration! I really needed to read this today so I can carry on and not lose hope despite all the challenges that need to be overcome.

    • Tammy May 16, 2014, 3:10 am

      You’re welcome Jocelyn! Thanks for being here!

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