“Swimmers take your mark”, calls the announcer from the loudspeaker. Beeeeep sounded the buzzer. I dove into the water and glided effortlessly until I took my first stroke. Coming up for air in a fluid motion of succinct breathing, arm strokes, and kicks. I kept a steady pace down the lane, then curled up into a human ball, summer salting underwater known to swimmers as a flip turn and powerfully pushing through at the end of the wall. Then gracefully gliding once again. The art of swimming this heat would be 19 more laps until its completion.
Lap 17, no one on my left, no one on my right. Suddenly I hear the crowd roar as I head in to take my last flip-turn. Just then my thoughts creep in. That loud cheer couldn’t be for me. Someone must have just won I thought.
I had more and more time to think. To second guess. For the enemy to settle in with the negative self-talk. To tell me what I had already been playing in my head. I am the only one who looks like me here, I am not good enough to win this race. My body doesn’t look like theirs. I am not a swimmer.
Succumbed to the doubt I began to slow down. The lead that I didn’t know I had was gone. I had lost the race that I later learned I was actually winning. That loud roar… was for me, they were cheering me on neck and neck down the last lap. Only I couldn’t see it.
Instead of going faster when the crowd cheered I self-sabotaged, I stopped trying altogether.
Have you had moments where you begin to shrink or hold yourself back, too?
It was a sport that I absolutely loved and yet I had convinced myself otherwise.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So why do we continue to condemn ourselves?
If you haven’t started already let God show you who you are through His eyes. You are not your failures or condemned. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
I want you to acknowledge your shrinking stories, the ones you tell yourself when you are all alone with your thoughts.
If you are harboring those stories and letting them guide you as your truth, you are going to remain stuck. Instead, ask God to speak His word into your life, ask Him to reveal His truth of you.
When you do this, you will go through a change and transformation that God has been calling you to. Then, you will be able to move forward with a renewed identity in Christ.