(This is the second part of a seven part series called Enduring to the End - Overcoming Offenses, Bitterness and Unforgiveness)
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:1-3
The Friday night at the end of early voting of my Congressional primary runoff election, I knew I was losing. I was the only person endorsed by the Vice President in the United States during the primary season (that is another story that I will share later in this series), I had raised more money than open seat candidate in the State of Texas, and I was the only woman on the Republican side that had made it to the runoff ballot in the state, but yet I was still losing.
My opponent was a sitting state representative in two counties where he had the greatest name ID and those two counties were coming out to vote in much greater numbers than the other five counties. There was a race to replace him for State Representative that had ended up in a runoff as well and that was pushing people to the polls. Our race for Congress seemed to be an afterthought in most people's minds.
I had looked at the early voting numbers coming in all week and even though we didn’t know exactly how the people were voting till Election Day, I was a political consultant and I knew the numbers were not good.
On the Friday night before the Tuesday election day, I went to a worship night with our church family and while people were worshipping, I let it all wash over me - over $750,000 of negative advertising against me from my opponent’s campaign calling me a liar and a superPAC who wanted people to believe that I was a Washington insider swamp creature who just moved to the district from Washington DC. I had been suppressing all of it.
In that moment that hour, I let it all wash over me - everything I had not felt till that moment, everything I had taken my family through, every fear of losing my identity, every emotion of anger and I wept and wept. It was an ugly cry, waves and waves of tears.
Had I missed God? Had I done the wrong thing getting into this race? What had I done to my business? What had I taken my family through?
All the self-doubt hit me like a ton of bricks, but then I looked at Him. I saw Jesus again with all His love for me and I saw that my identity was not tied to whether I was a Congresswoman, my identity was in that I could walk with God everyday. I was still on an adventure with Him whether I was going to DC or not.
When I got up off the floor that night, I knew I was going to lose my race, but I also knew that I would survive.
Jesus is the author - the writer, the beginning of our faith. He writes His faith on our hearts and then He holds our hearts in His hands when we go through trials, tribulations, and persecutions and carries us to the other side - He finishes our faith.
I have seen many many people who started out well in their journey but didn’t end well. Members of Congress who started out as principled public servants but who let their identity become wrapped up into their job, their power, and their influence and lost their way. We are seeing that even today.
Pastors and ministers who honored women and pushed their wives forward, but then turned around and had an affair destroying their families. Starting so well, but not finishing well.
How do we keep moving forward when people let us down?
How do we endure and let God restore us when we feel like we just got sideswiped by our circumstances?
How do we let our hearts heal from betrayals, suffering, or spiritual abuses?
We consider Him - Jesus. We look to Him. The one who hasn’t forgotten about us.
If you feel like you are that place right now, LOOK to Him. If you feel weary and discouraged in your souls, don’t stop. Cry out for Him to infuse you with new faith for the next season to keep moving forward.
He is the author and finisher of our faith. Consider JESUS!
Catch up with Part 1 of this series and then subscribe to this blog on the right hand side via email so you don't miss the next five coming before the end of 2019.