You know those judges at sporting events? The ones that look to see if anyone starts too quickly, or cheats and breaks the rules? Their job is to disqualify. To 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 that I have been waiting for, perhaps this would be the person that believed in me.

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 quickly took on the role of disqualifier.

And then, I just went for it. 

I was crazy to think I could do that.

I’m not good enough.

I’ll never attain that goal.

I shouldn’t be doing what I am doing.

I have nothing to contribute .

I’m a big joke.

My dreams are ridiculous. 

I kept going. Before long I had disqualified myself out of pretty much everything in my life. My parenting, my marriage, my friendships, my goals, my job and all the things I love. It’s a slippery-slope when you start 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 life – I face situations that try to erase my memory of who I am. If I’m not careful, I get pulled back so easily into those lies that try to hold me down. To throw me out of the race.

Then, I remember the qualifier.

Right there at the starting line.

The one who says, “On your mark, Get Set, Go!” Standing there and cheering as we run our race. Handing us nourishment when we don’t think we can go any further, speaking words of life into our hearts when we want to give up. Most of all, standing at the finish line of each race – ready to help train for the next part of the story-journey.

Colossians 1:9-12 talks about this qualifier.

“We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard. 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.” (The Message)

Learn how He 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.

Run your race and don’t look back.

Stay on course.

We are qualified because we have a qualifier.