Running the Race...

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Good morning!

I’ve asked Rebecca to do a blog post today, so here is the devotional she wrote on “Running the Race:”

I don’t know about you, but I really hate to run. Every time I make a pack with myself that I’m going to start running 3, 4, 5 times a week to get into a healthy habit it never turns out the way I want it to. I usually go out the first day, try and run 5 miles as if I’m some Olympic runner, and when it doesn’t turn out the way I thought, I get frustrated and quit. Maybe it’s just me (although I would bet it’s not) but why is it so hard to stick to something and be consistent? We’re supposed to be “creatures of habit” but for some reason I can never make running or daily exercise a steady habit. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because when I go out to run I’m faced with multiple different obstacles along the way. I don’t want to get up in the morning, I know it’s going to be cold outside, I’ll probably start wheezing 2 minutes into it, my legs might cramp, and then I’m just DONE. 

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I find it really interesting that the author of Hebrews likens our Christian faith to a race. I don’t really like the sound of “run with endurance the race” because I know that means one thing, it won’t be easy. Something I’m really learning in my 20th year (I know I’m still young & have my entire life ahead of me) is the difficulty that comes along with faith. Being in college and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life hasn’t been easy. I’m constantly wondering if the path I took was the right one, and if what I chose to do will provide financially, and what if I never meet the right person and get married. (my mom always gets mad at me for saying this…but it’s a valid question) All of these things cause me to stumble and worry about my “race”. 

This Sunday in church our Pastor spoke on Philippians 3:12-14:

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

What I really want to focus on is verses 13&14. In verse 13 Paul writes something really profound, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,” something that sounds so simple, but in reality can be extremely difficult. Many of us are caught up in our past, so much so that it effects our present and ultimately keeps us from our future. We center our thinking on how we can never “run with endurance” because one time I did this… or I tried that once and this happened… instead of centering our minds on what Paul writes in the next verse, 

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

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This verse makes something very clear, there is an “upward call” on each one of our lives. Maybe you know what your calling is and you’re pursuing it right now. Or maybe you’re like me, not knowing exactly what that call looks like and desperately praying & seeking out what God wants to do in and through your life. Whatever position you are in there is peace in knowing that God does have a plan & call on your life. Running isn’t easy, and we often feel like giving up on day 5 or maybe even day 1. But faith calls us to run a race with endurance. This is something that can get really tiring at times, but we aren’t just left with this command. God makes it clear that when He calls us to run, He calls us to run a race that He has chosen specifically for us, with purpose & a unique calling designed for each one of us! 

I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with my life. This semester I’ll be graduating from a Bible College out in California. The past 2 years have been the biggest blessing because I’ve never had such a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord. At the same time, the past 2 years have been DIFFICULT. I had a friend pass away halfway through my college experience and I remember thinking how quickly life can be taken from us. They read one of his papers at the funeral and something that he said a few days before he passed away really stuck out to me. He mentioned that he wanted to live every single day of his life for the glory of God, and that he wanted his life to be a reflection of God. 

Running the race isn’t easy, and sometimes you don’t necessarily know the call that God has on your life. However, there is a great hope & peace that comes with knowing that God is ultimately in control of our lives. He gives us the strength to run our race with endurance, even when we are faced with opposition & struggles. He is the one who has called you & will guide you in that calling every day of your life. Our job is to simply have faith & trust that He is working. Even when we can’t see it, or we are confused about what our future looks like. 

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So run well and know that God is with you in this race we call life!

Rebecca McCollough

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It’s so interesting to hear what the Lord spoke to her heart through the message last Sunday and how He speaks to each of us individually. This girl is such a GREAT writer and I can’t wait to have her write more and share with you her heart about our retreats. If you’re joining us this year at the retreats you will get to know her more and see what the Lord is doing through her life and this ministry.

I’ll share tomorrow what I felt the Lord putting on my heart during the same message because it just confirms to me how awesome God is that He meets us right where we are and speaks into our lives exactly what we need to hear.

We are headed back to California this weekend for her next semester in college. I’m also going to be attending Jeanne Oliver’s Business Workshop while I am out there and look what Rebecca made for our business:

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These are beautiful 6x6 cards that are printed on the back as well, and these are all of Rebecca’s gorgeous photos as well. I plan to hand these out to people there and we can give them to people anywhere, to explain what we do. I LOVE them, and I love the direction the Lord is calling us in this business/ministry.

We will be sharing what that vision looks like throughout this first part of 2019 and we hope you will keep coming back to see how YOU can be a part of what the Lord is doing here!

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs,

Laura McCollough

P.S. We are all huddled at home under LOTS of snow!