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EP. 139: When the Finish Line Seems Beyond Reach with Ruth Chou Simons

When you think of finally “arriving”, what comes to mind?
 
Perhaps a finish line of sorts? 
 
Maybe, like me, you picture a marathon runner training for days on end. The practicing, the runner’s diet, the lifestyle habits and changes all working cohesively together in preparation for the big race day. 
 
And…when that race day comes and the runner is swiftly passing by each mile marker, mentally calculating the miles traveled and the miles ahead, the moment of arrival – the finish line- finally comes into view. The runner sprints forward with everything left inside, crosses that line running on fumes and adrenaline, and then collapses from exhaustion, in a moment of accomplishment.
 
A moment of arrival
 
Maybe like the runner you too have been working SO hard on achieving a particular goal – finishing school, getting a PhD, landing a new job, starting a family. Working tirelessly and endlessly on your personal goal in anticipation of this idea of arrival. 
 
“If I can just achieve ___________, then I will be happy.”
 
“If I can just accomplish ________, then I will be successful.”
 
“If I can just….”
 
Friend, let me stop you right there. 
 

Arrival is not an achievement. Arrival is a feeling of peace. 

(Is your head spinning? Good! Keep reading!)
 
If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you know that I feel passionate about shedding light on the challenges and struggles that come with waiting for this moment of arrival. 
 
In Dirt I talk about running from the big bad wolf of your story, and in Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots I show you how to trade in the running for the grace, freedom, and purpose that come from knowing that your identity and calling are determined by God.
 
You see, when we run from our stories, or from the hard parts that we have gone through, or expectations – whatever the case may be, it can feel like the finish line is always just beyond reach. Quite honestly, it feels like we may be tirelessly running until the end of time.
 
Sound familiar? It did for today’s guest too – Ruth Chou Simons.
 
Ruth vulnerably nailed it when she said:
 
“I may not admit it out loud, but so often I’m looking for a formula that ensures my arrival.”
 
How many of you can relate to that bombshell of a statement?! That one we are too afraid to admit to others. (I know that I can.)
 
But the reality is, true arrival is a feeling and “coming to”…. Coming to a place where you don’t hurt, where you don’t feel pain, where you don’t feel alone, where you don’t struggle with wondering if you’ve missed the mark.
 

True arrival means finding peace with ourselves and peace with God.

And then (and only then), we find freedom.
 
How do we know this?
 
Because the grace of God secures what striving cannot.
 
And, the freedom and the peace that we thought we could achieve our way into we realize is  fleeting. All of the striving for approval, the hustling for recognition, the self-improvement for self-worth is for not. 
 
Similar to how I say that we can’t achieve our way into worth, Ruth believes that we cannot strive our way into arrival.  

So how do we come to this peace with ourselves and with God?

 
1. Recognize that we already have God’s favor. There is nothing that we can do in our own power to be accepted. God has already done it for us. We just have to receive it. 
 
2.  Understand that God’s grace eradicates the need for a hamster wheel of striving for self-improvement. In Him, we are constantly being made new. Rather than strive for achievement and arrival, we can turn our focus instead to obedience.
 
Today’s conversation is one for the books, friends! We go into depth about all of this and so much more! Make sure to tune in as Ruth and I tackle all things “arriving”.
 
Specifically:
  • Ways to let go of relying on your own strength, your own abilities, and your own savvy by truly understanding the freedom Jesus purchased for you
  • How to move past your paralyzing “not good enough” thoughts 
  • Ways to combat generational lies with God’s truths
  • How the grace of God eradicates the need for self- improvement
  • Why ‘arrival’ is not an achievement but rather a feeling of peace and freedom
 
If you are ready to find freedom from the never-ending quest of arrival, then today’s episode is a must-listen!
 
I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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@marymarantz

IT ALWAYS STARTED WITH DIRT

AUTHOR - PODCAST HOST - SPEAKER