You Can’t Run Alone

It’s hard to run this race all alone.

I hear the buzzing of my phone in my room, indicating I’ve received a text. I walk over to the antique desk where my phone continues to pulsate against the wood. The distinct golden grain of the oak secretary begins to blur in my vision as I look down at the phone. Picking it up, I read, “You doing okay?” The tears have begun their descent, quick and hard.

Source

The text was from a dear friend, a sister in Christ. She knows the days have been hard. She knows of the internal battle I regularly fight against the lies in my mind and the tears I try so hard to contain.

The phone buzzes again. “What can I do? How can I pray?”

Scripture describes the Christian life in a number of ways–a path, a walk, and a race, to name just a few. I am not a runner, but one thing I’ve observed from watching friends who are:  it’s better to not train or run in a race alone.

The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long journey that will challenge our endurance to the very core of our being. The blessing of having brothers and sisters in Christ who can run alongside us is an encouragement that keeps us moving forward.

An athlete who hears the cheers from friends and family in the stands is encouraged to keep going. Uplifting words spoken between teammates can rally a team to work harder. To run this race, we need our sisters in Christ. We need one another to spur us forward. It is essential that we surround ourselves with teammates who know us well.

Because some days, we might just want to drop out of the race all together.

source

I’m stumbling through the day, wondering if I can make it to bedtime. Feeling weary and heavy in heart, the lies seem to shout even louder, reverberating across the canyons of my mind. Then I hear my phone again. In the next text, she asks if she can take the kids for a while, giving me time alone. She knows me well enough to know just what I need. Since I won’t ask for it, she offers the help and encouragement my heart needs most.

She would have never known what I needed had I not allowed her to see me without my mask. I had to be real and transparent about my battles. I had to reveal my weaknesses and pain.

Sadly, many friendships in the church remain at a superficial level. Our pride keeps us from taking off our mask and stop pretending that we have it all together. We forget that we are all sinners, saved by grace. Not one of us has a better edge on this race than the other.

We need each other.

Have you taken off your mask to a few sisters in Christ? Have you allowed them to see the challenges you face in this race? Will you stop trying to run it alone?

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:24

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

About Christina Fox

Christina Fox, M.S. is a licensed mental health counselor and stay at home mom. Previously a child psychotherapist, she now devotes her time to homeschooling and raising her children. She writes transparently about her struggles with depression, parenting challenges, her desire to "teach Jesus" to her children and God's refining work in her heart atwww.toshowthemjesus.com. In her spare time, she teaches a women's bible study, writes the children's Sunday school curriculum at her church, and writes for a few Christian women's websites. If she had the day to herself, you'd probably find her reading a book with a cup of black coffee by her side.

Comments

  1. Oh this is so good.
    Just amazing.
    He gives us incredible gifts in the friendships He places in our lives.
    Thank you for being one of MY gifts.

    *hugs*
    Meredith recently posted..Top Ten Things I Love About School Vacation Week!My Profile

  2. This is definitely a hard thing to do. Especially if the ones who have cause pain in the past have been “churched” people. I’ll admit, I have a hard time getting below superficial with those who are a part of my church. Although they are family, I’ve been burned too many times, but none the less, if I feel Him pushing me to be real with someone around me, I *usually* follow that call. Thanks for reminding me that those people that I can go to and be real (in person) are essential. :)
    Amy McCollister recently posted..FMF: LossMy Profile

    • I think God will place people in our path whom we can be real with. It does take time and discernment. And people will fail us. God is the only one we can trust to not turn his back on us. Not everyone is able to listen to our heart and understand us. But it is important to have a few on your team. Thanks for sharing your heart.
      Christina recently posted..You Can’t Run AloneMy Profile

    • I agree Amy- most of the pain, sadly, comes from those withing the : family”! How we need each other- I cannot thank God enough for trusted Close Christian friends with whom I can BE REAL- they are the source of much encouragement and even sometimes correction, which comes with love so is not hard to accept.

  3. Share these with your spouses too. Definitely agree that women can be there for each other in very unique and needed ways…but never forget to share this side with the men in your life as well. :) Thanks for writing.
    WICK recently posted..ash wednesday.My Profile

  4. Ah, this taking off of the mask… it’s so hard yet so worth it. I am in the midst of this journey to openness, and it’s proving to be so wonderful! Love your words today, Christina!
    Katie @ simply[his] recently posted..Not Good EnoughMy Profile

  5. This can be one of the hardest things to do, to remove our masks. We fear being found out and being abandoned if people knew who we really are and what we’ve really been through. It takes great courage to let down walls, but in it there is great reward. C.S. Lewis says that with friendship we have “naked” personalities between one another. There is much vulnerability in true friendship.
    God has blessed me with an amazing accountability group. At times in this group I have come to a wall within myself and feared that, “if they just knew this or if they find out that, surely they will leave” with each of these moments I have pushed through, and each time I have received assurance and unconditional love for who I am. It is humbling to be accepted by sisters in Christ who know the mess that I am. Also, I know in deeper ways the love and acceptance that Christ offers to me as He delights in me. I am able to grow in the love of Christ through and with the friends He places in my path.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing and teaching. Even if I don’t know your true struggle, for me, it helps to see the steps you are taking to put all your faith in Jesus. I am so new to this journey and it can feel really daunting given that I have attempted to control everything my entire life. I don’t know what putting your trust in Jesus looks like. I’m not sure what praying looks like, what faith looks like. I know whats in my heart and your words put things into a framework I can understand! Thanks!

  7. Amazing ‘coincidences’… My new Cyber-Friend in ME, Meredith, ‘introduced’ this site to me recently… My Dear Niece in TX just posted this post on FB today… This Topic has come up in several conversations with Dear Friends near me this past week… !! I am so glad that You Young Women are realizing/understanding/having friends to help you through situations…and that some of you understand the pain that ‘church people’ may have unfortunately caused to some of us… This Cyberspace Community can be very helpful at times. Continue to be Real – So glad it’s ‘more accepted’ in this day and age than it was when I was much younger and struggling with so much. Even my Dear Friend, Winnie-the-Pooh, said, “Everything’s better with Two!” ;-} Blessings!
    Lynden recently posted..Altered Art Swap ProjectMy Profile

  8. Oh, the masks…why do we find comfort in them?
    Beautiful post, friend. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us and encouraging us. We don’t have to do this journey alone. We don’t have to be enough. It’s okay to ask for help and for me? I need to take the time to reach out to those that might need it….
    thank you for this reminder!
    All for Him,
    Nikki
    Nikki recently posted..Lent it BeginMy Profile

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