Thursday, October 1, 2009

Victory In Perseverance

As noted in Thursday of iRun, we want to hear from you. Tell us of a time when you persevered and what happened as a result. For me my most difficult season was a battle with anxiety that I dealt with several years ago. Worry had always been a regular part of my life, but then some things happened that catapulted my worries to anxiety. I knew that God addressed worry in the Bible, but I hadn't taken it seriously. Don't we all worry? Isn't it a form of caring? God clearly helped me see that concern and worry are very different and when we indulge in worry we eliminate trust in Him. We exchange one for the other.

My journey lasted a little over a year where I worked daily to live out Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." I carried verses with me on note cards everywhere I went and read them any time I felt my anxiety creeping back up. As a result God transformed my mind. Worry is no longer my default when something comes up. It still looms and is tempting to give in to, but I now know that trusting Him is better. It doesn't remove the issue, it just arms me to deal with it. There is victory in perseverance. I am living proof. If this is an area of struggle for you and you want to know more about my story please contact me at

What is your story? Let's encourage each other by telling of God's strength in our lives to persevere.


  1. What challenge and accountability to be doing this as a church! In my past, the times when I not only saw fruit growing, but was blessed by that fruit was when I spent time pouring into younger men in college, on mission trips, and in grad school. See ya'll sunday!

  2. This is kind of deep, but I'll share with the hope that it blesses others.

    Perfectionism and fear of failure were something I always struggled with going back to my teen years. Some difficult family circumstances warped my view of myself and life, and I became a perfectionist driven by an intense fear of failure. I didn't realize at the time, but the way I coped with my fear and insecurity was to try to be "perfect" in every area of my life -- from school to my relationships to my Christian faith. This made me grow into a high achiever and "good guy", but I was bound in chains of fear and doubt that kept me from being used by God.

    On the outside, I looked successful and kind, thoughtful to others’ needs. Inside, I was actually consumed with fears of inadequacy, not fitting in, and an intense fear of failure. Outwardly, anyone who knew me would say I was selfless and concerned about others, but the reality was that my mind was always on myself – worried that I was not “good enough” and striving desperately to prove myself. In that way, I was actually self-absorbed, so worried about myself that I was unable to selflessly truly see the needs of others, and could not hear God’s voice trying to lead me in my life.

    Well, back about 7 years ago, I had been out of graduate school for 2 years and well into the beginning of my career as an academic researcher, and I hit a crisis. In that world, you have to formulate your own research problems, pace yourself, and do the work yourself. It is up to you to figure out research problems that are (1) important, (2) solvable, and (3) matching your abilities. It is a difficult setting for someone filled with self-doubt, especially if you are not getting much feedback from others. At this time I hit a brick wall, paralyzed by my fears and doubts. I came to understand where this “broken-ness” came from, but nonetheless was powerless to do anything about it, as it had been hard-wired into my brain for over 20 years. I knew I had to somehow overcome these things, but had no idea how to do it. Even more, I KNEW there was NOTHING I could do to overcome it on my own – it was such a mess tangled into all of my thoughts and feelings, I couldn’t unravel it all much less get rid of it.

    At that time, in my desperation, I prayed to God and asked him to “renew my mind”, claiming Romans 12:2 as a promise. I asked Him to heal my brokenness, renew my mind, and free me from the false thoughts that kept me in fear and depression. I prayed this fully believing God would answer this prayer, but expecting it may take the rest of my life to do it. Well, God had other ideas.

    While in my depression, I became acutely aware of the raw, sore feeling in my mind and heart that was the source of the fear – I could actually turn inward and feel it inside me – and I realized that this feeling was always in there as long as I could remember. Well, several weeks after saying this prayer, I noticed that this feeling was GONE! I actually couldn’t even remember the last time I had felt it. Looking back, this has been an absolute change-point in my life. Since then, I have been freed from this fear and doubt, and my life has been dramatically better. I have found myself used by God so much more, been able to see others needs so much clearer, and have lived with so much more joy and peace than I ever had before. To me, it was as much a miracle as a blind man regaining his sight: I KNEW that God had done this; I had no idea how to re-wire my brain and break the chains – it was all Him.

    By seeking God during my time of crisis with a pure heart, He did a great work in me, healing me, and equipping me to bear fruit in my life – with the fruit being my wholeness, and my effectiveness as a tool for His Glory!

    Please forgive my rambling, but I hope some of my testimony is a blessing to others :)

  3. In recent years the greatest area of perseverance for me has surely been in raising our kids. There have been many joys, but also frequent battles. In many ways this parallels the Christian life as a whole; yet in raising our children we see growth in a very visible form - the physical, social and intellectual growth of our kids, as well as their spiritual development.