You know those judges at a sporting event? The ones that look to see if anyone starts too quickly, or cheats, or breaks the rules? Their job is to disqualify. Tell people they didn’t make the cut – for whatever reason.

I would be SO great at that job.

I am the greatest disqualifier ever.

Of myself.

A couple of weeks ago I had a huge disappointment. Something I had been working towards that I really wanted, part of a dream that I am continually pursuing. I put in the effort and I thought that I had a chance. Maybe this would be the breakthrough. Then I got the email.

I didn’t make the cut. I wasn’t chosen. Try again next time.

I usually take things as they come, I’m a go with the flow type of girl but for some reason this really devastated me. I immediately retreated into the deep unhealthy spaces of myself, and I took on the role of disqualifier.

I started with how I was feeling…

I was crazy to think I could do that

I’m not good enough

I’ll never attain that goal

I really don’t have enough to offer

Then I took it to a whole new level…

I shouldn’t be doing what I am doing

I really have nothing to contribute 

I’m a big joke

My dreams are ridiculous 

I kept going. Pretty soon I had disqualified myself out of everything in my life. My parenting, my marriage, my friendships, my dreams, my job and the things I love.  It’s a slippery slope when you go down that path. Negative thoughts can spiral into questioning every good and perfect gift that has been given.

So often, through the journey of identity that I have been on through most of my life – I momentarily forget who I really am. I get pulled back so easily into those lies that try to hold me back.

Then I remember the qualifier.

The one who says, “On your mark, Get Set, Go!” The one who is standing and cheering as I run my race. Handing me nourishment when I don’t think I can go any further, speaking words of life into my heart. Most of all, standing at the finish line of each race –  ready to be what I need and ready to help me train for the next part of my story-journey.

Colossians 1:9-12 talks about the qualifier.

The Message translation puts it so beautifully,

“We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”

Learn how God works, so that we can learn how to do our work.

Have strength to stick it out.

Not grim strength but GLORY-STRENGTH.

Be strong, take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

We are qualified.