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Week Six | Run Your Race

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Week Six | Get Out of Your Head Online Book Study
Reading Assignments – Ch. 13 & 14
Listen to the Audio version | Read time 3-minutes

“It’s not fair.
I will always feel like this.
At this point, I’m just trying to survive.
I’ll never fully recover from everything that’s happened to me.
I’ll never be happy again.
I don’t deserve this.
My life wasn’t supposed to be like this.
I want to move on, but I can’t.
You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through.
Why don’t I get the good breaks?

jennie Allen, get out of your head (pg. 166)

Tears.  That was my first reaction to reading this list that Jennie crafted at the beginning of chapter thirteen.   Each of those phrases hit me right in the heart.  As I read them, I could think of each of the moments in my own life where I had those same exact thoughts.  I have been there friends.  I’ve felt all of them. 

There have been numerous times in my life where I have fully taken on the role of victim when it came to my circumstances.  My grandfather’s suicide.  The hurt from toxic relationships.  Lies spoke from the enemy that I allowed to be my truths.  I’m sure we could all keep adding to our personal lists of hurts without struggle.

For years my circumstances defined me.  My struggles were who I was.  Looking back, I can’t see what my identity was outside of those pains and the methods I used to numb them.   I think about how easy it was to complain, to sit in the pain, to give in to the mind-numbing activities. 

My life wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I don’t deserve this.  It’s not fair. 

Then, Jennie reminds me of the story of Paul, specifically as it is told in Philippians 1.   In this book, Paul writes a letter to the people of Philippi and begins the letter with how thankful he is for them.  He tells them how he “prays with joy because of their partnership in the gospel.” 

When Paul wrote this letter he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel, but not once does he complain, not once does he play the role of the victim.  In spite of his circumstances, or better yet because of his circumstances, he was thankful. 

You see Paul made a choice.  He chose to seek gratitude in the midst of his injustice.  He chose to seek joy in a place where I am sure it was not easy to find. 

Friends, Paul had the same choice that you and I do.  We can choose to sit in our pain, to be a victim of our circumstances, or, like Paul, we can make a different choice.  We can choose to open our hearts and minds to the possibilities that can arise from allowing God to work through our circumstances.  

“If all Paul saw were his circumstances and his inability to end his imprisonment, he would surely have been despondent.  But his circumstances didn’t dictate his thoughts.  It was his love of Jesus and trust in a good, loving, in-control God that consumed his mind and gave him purpose.  And the same power that raised Christ from the dead, the same Spirit that empowered Paul to trust in the direst circumstances, is fully accessible to you and me.  Right now.”

jennie Allen, get out of your head (pg. 171)

Friends, while “it’s tempting to find home in our pain, to define ourselves by the awful experiences we’ve endured,” (Jennie Allen, Get Out of Your Head, Pg. 177) remember where our true identity lies.  

We are not our struggle.  We are not our circumstances.  We are children of God.   

Choose to be thankful.  Choose to seek out joy. 


Identify – In this week’s reading assignment, Jennie talks about being defined by our circumstances and struggles and how that definition comes from sitting in our pain. She stresses our choice to choose to be thankful and to find joy in every situation. When we turn our eyes to God and run the race he has laid before us, we can make those choices.

Join the Discussion – Regardless of where you are in your life journey, what in your current situation can be thankful for?

Share with us in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

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