I am not an endurance athlete.
The most I’ve ever run without stopping was a 5K. My heart was beating out of my chest. I also participated in a half marathon at 5 months postpartum, but I walked most of it. I’ve done a few little obstacle course races like Spartan and Tough Mudder.
But still, I’m not an endurance athlete. It is not my favorite kind of training. At all.
Yet, life and our faith are like an endurance race. Heck, the Bible mentions endurance quite often.
This morning in my quiet time, I was imagining my life right now as an endurance swim.
Well, I’ve gotten to the point in this swim where I’ve reached a buoy. And as it turns out, I’ve grabbed on to this buoy like it is my everything. I do not want to let go of it. Because the next part of the race is deeper water – uncharted seas. In other words, the rest of the race scares me. And I am holding on to the familiar even though it is holding me back.
I’m holding on, and I know God is calling me into deeper waters with him, but I just can’t let go of this dang thing.
This word keeps on popping up in messages I hear, songs I listen to, and conversations I have. And when people talk about it, I’m like, oh gosh, I just want that so bad.
I want the deeper waters, but I’m not letting go of my buoy.
The word is surrender.
I know God is asking me to surrender something, and it makes me anxious.
He is asking me to surrender what’s influencing me because I can’t get to the deeper waters with Him until I do.
A big part of what’s influencing me is my social media feed – Facebook and Instagram.
It’s not influencing me in a way that’s building me up. No, instead, it’s tearing me down.
For example, I’ll see a post from a fellow coach about her having a fantastic month. And the first thing is, “oh, my gosh, good for her.” The second thing is, “what’s wrong with me that I’m not having that success too?”
And I can’t live a life where I’m comparing what God’s doing in my life to what somebody else is doing in theirs.
I know full well that God has me exactly where He wants me. And I have never felt so committed to and aligned to His plan.
I know His plan doesn’t include me doubting Him every chance I see a random post of someone’s success that I think I need – personal or business-related. Or gaging my personal worth by the performance of one of my posts.
So, I’m stepping away from social media, and that’s scary.
At the same time, I know that what I’m letting go of – what I’m surrendering – is taking me out to deeper water with my Creator. It’s going to allow me to enjoy and flourish more in an intimate relationship with God.
Stepping away from social media will also allow me to have a more intimate relationship with those I serve – people like you. Instead of having these little shallow conversations on social media, I’d love to go deeper. I am not a fan of small talk – it makes me really uncomfortable – but put me in a deep conversation, and I am home.
I love this verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The three-strand cord. That’s what I want for you. That’s what I want for me.
And I just can’t find that on social media.
I love that I get to come alongside women and lift them up. Reminding them of how much they are loved by God and encourage them to live and pray boldly.
Social media feels lonely, and I find we can so easily be pushed around there. It’s just not the place for me right now.
Also, I’ve noticed that when social media is in the mix, I have my phone in my hand, and I cannot be fully present in life.
That pains me because my kids, oh my gosh, they are growing up so fast! I just had one kid, and now I have three! I have an 11-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a three and a half-year-old. When did that happen? How did they grow up so fast?
Why am I double-tapping on random people’s pictures instead of intently watching my kids do life?
I can no longer let social media and my phone influence my life.
I’m stepping away
I told my husband what I was doing, and I mentioned that I was really nervous. I asked, “Is that weird that I’m nervous?” And he assured me that my feelings were valid. After all, it’s uncomfortable to lose a big part of your life.
I’m leaning into God. I know that He’s asking me for this surrender.
I also know that the women that I’m leading struggle with the same thing – being influenced by phones and social media in ways that don’t lift them up. By making this move, I hope that I’m encouraging others to invest in their family’s lives and themselves. To show up how God wants them to show up.
So often, we waste so much time on social media. And I think that it’s not the climate or the environment where proper growth can really happen. It is nasty there. Maybe it’s going to change one day, but until it does, I hope you won’t find me investing my time and energy there.
I want to encourage you to surrender whatever God’s asking you to give up.
Whatever He’s nudging you to let go of now. He whispers at first, and then he gets really loud – the Israelites know how loud God can get.
Let’s be women who are determined to let go of anything that is between us and the goodness that God has for us. Let’s surrender our lives to Him because He knows what to do with our lives better than we do.
I love a verse in Romans 5 that talks about how trials in your life help you develop endurance. We need endurance. And endurance develops our strength of character. Remember, God looks at our hearts. He’s not concerned with our outer body appearance. He doesn’t see our cellulite as an imperfection. He doesn’t let the extra skin we have on our stomachs keep us from His love. Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
This world is not our final home. We know that we’re living in a world that’s going to go away. The eternal things, gosh, that’s what really matters.
And this confident hope of salvation will not disappoint.
I’ve realized that putting my hope in other things like social media will absolutely disappoint.
So, I am letting go of what’s influencing us and turning my focus towards God.
I was spending more time on social media than in the Word. Not beneficial.
I thankful that God showed his love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.
In other words, Jesus meets us at our buoy. He is there saying, “Hey, sister, let go. Come to me. Let’s get deeper in our walk. I got you.”
I want to encourage you to evaluate what God’s asking you to surrender in your life. Maybe it’s social media, maybe it’s time on your phone. I strongly suggest looking at those two things – mainly if your kids often use the phrase “mom, put your phone down and watch.” Or when you finally look up, and they look so disappointed because yet again you said you would look and were still on your phone.
Yeah, I’m describing things that happen to me.
This is why stepping away makes so much sense. Maybe it makes sense for you too.
I’m surrendering, and it’s scary, and I’m not going to get it perfect, but no one in real life expects it to be.