When it Feels Like You are Missing Your Life

January 16, 2014




IF:Gathering  is weeks away. I lay awake heart racing many nights picturing what could happen. What could happen if we came together in unity, laid down the things hindering us and ran our races together for the name of God in our generation?

I believe that together, by unleashing our God-given gifts we can be tools God uses to bring about His restoration.

Many years ago I wrote these words. I think in analogy. Trees and Batman and Ships and Cake and I can’t help it. Ugh- I hate cheesy anything. But honestly sometimes explaining, relating to God is difficult and this just helps my simple mind.

I thought before we gather in February it helps to know where you begin. Where are you in this story?

From Restless

A Parable

When I met Christ, he set me on a track, and I began running a race with fervor, surrounded by people cheering. I felt motivated, purposeful, full of joy. My eyes weren’t distracted. Jesus was in full focus, and the point of this race felt clear. But as I ran, I noticed more and more people tangled up in the weeds, to my left and right. Some of them had stopped running, distracted by something, and some of them had stopped because they were in pain.

I kept running, but I began to feel lonely. So I began to ask myself questions that were once clear to me: Why am I running again?

Then I tripped. I was hurt.

Now I was the one on the side of the road. I was tired and in pain. It felt good to stop running. I pulled myself close to some other hurt runners. We told stories and jokes, and eventually we were comfortable together. As if there weren’t even a race—as if we weren’t even hurt.

Every once in a while a runner called to me, “Come on, Jennie! Come back and run with us!” But no one ever stopped to really help me. They just ran by. As time passed, I picked up some entertaining hobbies on the side of the road. The hobbies temporarily motivated me and made me feel a little fulfilled again. My injured ankle never fully healed, but I quit thinking about it—it did not hurt quite as badly as it used to. And before long, we discovered great entertain- ment in critiquing the remaining runners—their shorts, hair, pace, attitude.

Until one day a small pack of runners turned off the road and headed toward me. I wished they would go away. But they didn’t. I remembered passing them back when I was running; they had been on the side of the road with injuries, all tangled up. They ran right up to me and sat down.

One of them handed me water and another one had medical supplies. They asked me a question:

“Do you need help?”

For some reason I said yes, and before I finished uttering the word they were wrapping my ankle, giving me food and water, and talking to me about the race again—about how much I had missed, how much they needed me. “We want you to run the rest of the way with us. It is really getting exciting, and we don’t have much farther.”

Something dead inside me woke up. A fire relit itself in my chest. My ankle still hurt, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to reck- lessly run with all my heart again, because they reminded me of the reason that we run.

I am running to bring glory to my Father God, who gave me a purpose and a hope when I was unworthy, on the side of the road, broken. Now our little misfit team stops for every runner we see on the side of the road. We stop and offer them the same healing and hope that was offered to us. I sense God’s pleasure as we run and as we stop for those who have fallen off to the side.


Something in me physically craves the last part of that story. I crave freedom to run. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). You were running a good race. Who cut in on you? Where did you get off track?

 Where are you? 

Numb or Distracted on the side of the road? 

Ready to Run?

Running your guts out?

Helping others run?

Share it with us.


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18 Responses to “When it Feels Like You are Missing Your Life”

  1. Bambie

    My heart longs to be running my guts out with my God! Please pray for me to believe who He says i am in Him.

  2. I am feelilng lost right now…I don’t know if I am running and I am about to hit “the wall”…that place of fresh wind and renewed strength…or I am just sitting on the side of the road tired and wounded and doubting my ability to even keep doing what is right in front of me, let alone *more*. My world feels so small…my fears SO big…in the back of my mind I hear a voice telling me that I have been given gifts for a reason…and yet. It is SO much easier to hide at home…to keep to myself…to keep wrestling with the daily tasks. To give in to feeling like my day to day life is far too much….nevermind the thought of anything more. The distractions are all around and focusing on them has become as natural as breathing. Most days I am so exhausted I have to *make* myself brush my teeth and shower before bed…I don’t know how to tap the strength I need to push past them…there is a part of me that longs for so much more. A part of me that wants to dream big, wants to use the gifts God gave me…wants to serve…wants to love. I am serving in small ways, I am loving in small ways…but, is it enough? Where is the line between works and willingness? What does it even look like to run? Am I running? Am I still? Have I fallen? I can’t feel anything…I really don’t know.

      • Thank you Jennie. I didn’t see this then…and here we are a year and a half(or more) later, and God is moving in my life in such a big way. I am SO not running anything perfectly, but I am running. I have moments of wondering if I will ever get it right, but I am running… And I am surrounded by other ladies who are running. I am still too tired to imagine what is out ahead without being overwhelmed, so I don’t try…I have enough to do just focusing on Him in spite of the daily distractions of life. I simply know that He has a plan and He is with us. And He loves me as I am. So, I keep running.

  3. Thank you for your parable. Yesterday, it came back to me as I was praying and I realized…. I’m done. Done with this cycle. Running, falling, mocking, healing, running again. I am almost to the place of turning my back on the whole Churchianity revolving pew process and just walk. Walk out into the vast empty spaces away from the cheering and the noise and just follow Him. To those desert places and forgotten ways where the people are that never ran at all. Don’t even know or care that there is a race. To let the church crowd criticize and trip with doctrine and doxology and then “forgive” and heal each other and….I am ready…. To Just. Seek. Him. To just love people. In the places where there are no paths out on the deep waters and empty skies. Do I dare? And for the first time I am answering yes.

  4. Wow. I love this analogy. At church camp on high school one of the speakers talked about the “running the race”. The part that has always stuck with me is this: what of instead of seeing how close to the line of sin we can get without stumbling over (because inevitably we will cross the line), what if we ran in the complete opposite direction. Running toward God. It’s so easy sometimes I become distracted by the world around us. Like you said Jennie, forgetting why we were running in the first place. It’s time to refocus. Rekindle our love for our Father. Keep running.

  5. Helping others run, and joining in with the misfit team of runners. I just love that God has allowed me to reenter the online community after a long time of fasting from it. I now see how learning to heal on the sidelines, taking the risk to receive help and encouragement, and committing to run every day no matter the pace {passionate running is great! but we all need days to walk too} – these make life worth living and joy worth sharing.