BUT, I finished… Lessons in the Renewal of my Mind

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

I am not good enough.

That’s Satan’s go-to lie for me. That’s the one ingrained into my very fallen DNA. That’s the one I fall for. Every. Single. Time. The one I dwell on. The one I expound upon. The one I can add to, ad infinitum.

Over the years it’s morphed from one thing to another.

I’m not girly enough.

I’m not athletic enough.

I’m not obedient enough.

I’m not assertive enough

I’m not organized enough.

I’m not laid back enough.

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not humble enough.

I’m not pretty enough.

I’m not thin enough.

I’m not short enough.

I’m not tall enough.

I’m not creative enough.

I’m not planned enough

I’m not compliant enough.

I’m not caring enough.

I’m not wealthy enough.

I’m not doing enough.

I’m not resting enough.

I’m not loyal enough.

I’m not disciplined enough.

I’m not conservative enough.

I’m not liberal enough.

I’m not conformed enough.

I’m not rebellious enough.

I’m not ______________ enough. The blank can be filled in with anything depending upon the situation.

The last few months have been a journey with God and me, specifically in regard to the idea of renewing my mind. This year’s theme passage for our Women’s Ministry at church is Romans 12:1-2, and God has convicted me about living out the words of this passage. This past weekend was a lesson in transformation, mind, body, and spirit.

For the last 12 weeks I’ve been a part of a Run for God group, a training program and Bible study designed to help you get in shape both physically and spiritually. We went from running 30 seconds at a time to running a full 5K race on Saturday morning. It has been an amazing journey.

But Saturday morning, I was under attack. I didn’t start my day like I wanted, my focus was on myself and not the Lord, my attitude was WAY off, and my thoughts were NOT renewed.

We started the race and I started too fast. The competition and adrenaline put my first mile almost a minute and a half faster than I had planned. For my first 5K since blowing out my ankle, that was a bad plan.

I started the race with two classmates from high school. It’s been cool to train with them again after years of “recovering” from the years of training together in high school. But about a mile into the race, I saw another girl from our class was also running the race. With her small daughter. On her back. And she was beating me.

I looked up the last half mile and saw she was still ahead of me. Carrying a toddler. And then I realized they were all three beating me.

And here came the “I’m not good enough” deluge.

“After all these years, I’m still not good enough. Bruiser girl in name only. I’m last place. I’m not fast enough, not in shape enough. One of them hasn’t run in years. One of them is pregnant. One of them is literally carrying a child on her back. And I’m going to finish last.”

And I wanted to quit. Nineteen-year-old demons of inadequacy caught up with me and I wanted to sit down on the sidewalk next to the UTC football team practice field and cry and be done.

But then I remembered, “transformation comes from the renewing of your mind.”

I’ve spent devotions with my girls at school this entire year going through the Psalms, showing them how God wants us to pour out our hearts, but then acknowledge His truth to overcome our emotions.

So that’s what I did.

“…And I’m going to finish last. BUT, I’m going to finish. I’m going to run this whole race. I’m going to reach my time goal. In the last 12 weeks I’ve lost almost 15 pounds and I’ve gone from running none to running 3.25 miles last Saturday in 45 minutes. I followed the plan, I didn’t do my own thing, I didn’t overdo and I didn’t get hurt. I committed, I allowed others to hold me accountable, and I finished.”

Finishing was the goal, not winning. And for a moment, I allowed the enemy to distract me from the goal. My natural mind drifted to my comfortable thought process of defeat and inadequacy, but God has empowered me through His Spirit to overcome my natural mind and to renew it, through His mercies.

So how did Saturday end up?IMG_3646 I finished last of the four Bruiser girls. But I finished. With my niece cheering me on at the finish line, I finished with a huge smile on my face. Then we turned around and went back to cheer on and encourage those who were coming up behind us. Because in the last 12 weeks, I’ve been transformed through the renewing of my mind.

How are you allowing God to transform you through the renewing of your mind?

3 thoughts on “BUT, I finished… Lessons in the Renewal of my Mind

  1. Great post. I had a very similar experience this year in training for an running my first full marathon. Thankfully I stopped listening to the enemy in my mind telling that if I couldn’t run it fast enough, I may as well stop. I finished my race too. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, for the encouragement! We are putting together a group to hold one another accountable to keep training: 10K in April and 1/2 Marathon in November! Slow and steady will get us there. I can’t wait to see the continued lessons on the journey!

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