Beat Your Last Best Step

compete against no one but yourself

Like forgetting to downshift into second gear, my jog began to slow, as I started up the steep incline. My goal, beat my last best step. That’s the beauty of being a runner. I compete against no one but myself. I compare myself only to myself. I stay in my lane, and tell myself that if I can run the route I previously walked, or go one step farther than I went before, then it’s a win.

My call to ministry was not like that at all. Comparison used to be my Achilles heal. It was the one thing that consistently tripped me up. Like Paul’s thorn in his side, I prayed for relief but found myself caught again in the snare of compare. I would roam the internet searching how to walk out what I had been called to do, only to leave discouraged after comparing my start up the hill to someone’s success at the top.

Over 15 years ago I knew I was called into full-time ministry. Over 10 years ago, I was called to speak and write, but how that would play out wasn’t clear. The uncertainty is what frustrated me and trapped me in the loop comparison. Then one day I was asked a question that changed it all.

“What are others asking you for more of?”

I flippantly responded, ‘to go out for coffee’

And the Lord whispered, exactly.

Everything Changed

In that moment I knew how I had been called to minister. I was to mentor. My heart raced, my creativity soared, and I exploded inside with excitement. Meeting with women for coffee refreshed me. Sharing my successes, failures, and God revelations energized me. Working with them to develop a strategy on their next step made me come alive! As soon as I got clear on how to walk out my calling, the draw to compare disappeared. I knew I would be successful doing what God has called me to do, because I was already successfully doing it — and loving it!

So why did God take so long to reveal this to me? I mean really 15 years is a long time to wait for the whisper, “I’ve called you to mentor.” Timing is everything, and a heart to receive it is critical. As I shared before, I had an image of what this would all look like. God used those visions, dreams, and images to shape and mold my character so I could hear the how behind the what.

Now I Recognize the Change

A few weeks ago I was running up that same hill, and I went farther than I had ever gone. Thrilled at my victory, I released a shout and a little celebratory jig. I looked around to see if anyone had heard or seen my victory dance, when behind me another woman was charging the hill. She was killing it. She ran right on by me. But instead of discounting my win compared to her success at the top, I grinned and said because she did, so will I. In that moment I knew I had been completely set free of comparison.

And so it has been with ministry. Now, I thumb through the internet and social media with little smirks and grins at the successes of my sisters doing all God has called them to do. I confidently celebrate their wins; because they did, so will I. Only now I stay in my lane, focused on my next best step, and how God has called me to do it.

Keep up the journey my friend,

PS… friend there was more God revealed to me about why He hadn’t shared the how sooner. It came in a conversation with my son, Joshua. I shared this today in Remade’s community on our #mentormonday. You can watch the replay here.

PSS… So, what is your Achilles heal? Do you find yourself on a continuous loop of doubt? Discouragement? Maybe you are also waiting on the how that is connected with the what God has called you to do. Let’s chat about what this has been like for you in the comments below.

3 replies
  1. Holly Haynes
    Holly Haynes says:

    Beth, you have no idea how much I needed this today! This is so powerful! I can’t thank you enough for this piece. I have and still get caught up in comparing myself to other writers. SO SILLY! This was such a beautiful reminder today. This totally made me realize again, what God has called each of us to: LOVE and SERVICE. Thank you, thank you.

    Blessings, Holly

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Hey Holly,

      It’s amazing how God brings the right words when we least expect them. I love that he sees the cry of our hearts and answers them in ways only he could answer.


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