Cheering On the People Who Pass You

Cheering On The People Who Pass You

In so many ways my life feels like it has been at a halt for the past 5 years. Here we are, in year 6, and still no babies. Can I just tell you how many friends have gone on to have 3 or 4 kids? Or how many started trying after us and already have 2 or 3? Or what about the couple who recently got married and already has 1?

I know I have written many posts lately about loving others and being “for” those around you. Clearly it’s a message God has me sharing for a reason as I keep coming back to it. When I was thinking about what I wanted to share today, I couldn’t get this post out of my mind and so as repetitive as it might be, I am hoping that it encourages at least one person.

I have been realizing more and more lately there is a direct correlation between the races I compete in and my walk with Christ. When it comes to participating in a running race or a triathlon, something I have always enjoyed doing during a race is cheering the people on who are around me. Not just those that are around me, but the very people who are passing me, which means as someone goes past me on a bike, which trust me, is usually a ton of people, I cheer them on and tell them “good job.” When someone passes me on the run, you better believe I say “you are doing great.” There can be two types of running courses and one of the main reasons I prefer when the run course is an out and back, meaning 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles in on the same trail, versus a loop, is because you come face to face with your competitors and I get to look at them when I encourage them with just a few words. Not only do I get to cheer those on that I pass, but I cheer those on who are passing me too.

Can I tell you how enjoyable the race is when I cheer others on? Why? Well for starters, it’s fun. But more importantly, it takes the focus off me. No longer do I think of my pain and frustration, but instead I focus on the success of others, even when that means they are beating me. Not only that, but if I were to guess, the person who receives the encouragement probably feels loved and supported too.

Am I making sense here? Do you realize when you cheer on those around you, whether it’s your bestest friend who just had her 4th baby even though you haven’t had your 1st or it’s a stranger who just won the lottery while you are in the middle of a financial crisis, life is much more enjoyable?

Just as when you praise God, it leaves you no room to complain or grumble, loving others, supporting others and cheering them on will remove the focus from your problems and what you don’t yet have and in turn focus on the blessings of what others do have. And you know what the best part of it all is? You know all those people who pass me during the race? Even though they get their medal before me, guess who also receives a medal at the end? Me! 

God hasn’t run out of “medals” or blessings to give you. Just because the person in front of you got her miracle first, doesn’t take away from the fact that you are going to get yours. In fact, he has enough blessings to give you both what you are waiting for. So while you wait, take the best approach and cheer those on around you, even when that means they pass you and receive their medal first.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

How do you handle the friend who gets pregnant who just started trying one month ago? What do you do when the friend next to you gets what you want?

Cheering On the People Who Pass You

PS. Are you looking for support on your fertility journey? Did you see the announcement I made?

PPS. Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.

PPPS. I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!

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27 Comments
  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 07:02h, 21 June Reply

    Beautifully written, Caroline! Thank you for the reminder that God doesn’t run out of blessings! Just because someone else gets what we are asking Him for doesn’t mean we won’t get it, too. We just have to continue being patient and wait for His timing.

  • Alice Mills
    Posted at 09:18h, 21 June Reply

    You are a natural exhorter. Success, I believe, is helping others to achieve success, whatever that means for them.

  • Belinda
    Posted at 09:53h, 21 June Reply

    AMEN x 1000! Both in races and in life and in our fertility journies.

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 10:50h, 21 June Reply

    ALL THE YES!!!!
    Its hard sometimes because you have to put YOU behind & look at others – that focus you are talking about… but in the end, you come out with such a filled soul – feeling real happiness. THere’s something so encouraging to your own soul in waiting when you cheer others on.
    I’m always that person in a race telling others that they are doing great. I want someone to do that for me too so why not do it for others?

  • Andrea
    Posted at 11:25h, 21 June Reply

    Right now I’m having a hard time doing that

    • Kim
      Posted at 22:10h, 25 June Reply

      Andrea,
      I felt lead to respond to you, I hope it is a help: I think we all have hard times doing this at one point or another (myself included). So don’t be too hard on yourself. We can all also get to points where we can be happy for those around us. Its a process and one Christ is with us on all the way. He forgives when we struggle and uses our struggles to strengthen our faith and trust in him. Its hard to be in the trial and not able to see the end, like doing a puzzle without the puzzle box top, but remember God can see the end of the race and has that box top so he knows where the separated pieces go- to piece us back together. Prayed for you that things will get easier for you. Psalm 31:24 (KJV) ‘ Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.’

  • Jenn Stewart-Burton
    Posted at 13:00h, 21 June Reply

    This has been a constant struggle for the last 5+ years of my life, but I kind of feel like I’ve had a breakthrough in this area lately. My hidden hurt, bitterness and jealousy were only hurting me, not helping. Sure, it’s still tough to see FB pregnancy updates from my cousin’s wife who is due the same month I was due and and to be reminded where my pregnancy would be right now. Sure, it’s still tough to remember the day my BFF and I told each other we were expecting and got so excited that we were only a month apart. But who am I to cling to those thoughts of pain and jealousy? My precious new baby boy cousin and my precious new honorary niece are something to celebrate, not begrudge! Thank you, Jesus, for these amazing children I will get to watch grow!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 14:19h, 21 June Reply

    This is a hard thing to do – and not just in the context that you wrote about with fertility – but in life. Building each other up and encouraging one another is not something that comes naturally to our selfish human selves, but praise God that He is patient and kind and helps us be happy for others and build them up! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Alaia Go
    Posted at 14:34h, 21 June Reply

    So hard but so great! I admire your courage to keep praising & rejoicing!

  • Penny
    Posted at 15:55h, 21 June Reply

    It is important to see what blessings God has put in our lives. Keep on believing and trusting. God’s timing is perfect and when it happens it will be well worth the wait. Thank you for sharing your personal story.

  • C Nelson
    Posted at 20:11h, 21 June Reply

    This was emotional for me to read as I am going through this same thing right now. God really does know what we need. Thanks for this article. XX

  • Kristen Lagsse
    Posted at 22:42h, 21 June Reply

    Currently, this is difficult for me as I miscarried in November only to learn shortly after that my sister-in-law was pregnant. She is a little more than a month behind where I would have been. I feel a constant reminder of what it would have been like and looked like had I not lost the baby. It’s extremely hard to be around her, let alone cheer her on. It’s draining as I struggle to “hold it together” anytime our paths cross. I want to be in place where I can cheer her on. Asking God to show me how to move past the hurt, anger and jealousy to a place of celebration and encouragement.

    • Amanda
      Posted at 01:08h, 22 June Reply

      Praying for peace and joy for you. I’m sure this is such a hard thing to watch and it is completely normal that you would have a hard time feeling like cheering her on.

  • Amanda
    Posted at 01:06h, 22 June Reply

    Love this, Caroline! Maybe one of my favorite posts if yours. I struggle with this too and it’s a great reminder that we can always encourage others. It’s not about us after all.

  • dubliner in deutschland
    Posted at 05:48h, 22 June Reply

    love this post. You have such a great attitude!

  • Heather Hart
    Posted at 07:29h, 22 June Reply

    I love this! I’ve been leading the women’s Bible studies at my church for four years now, and this summer I asked someone else to lead. Last night was the first night and it was wonderful sit and listen to her teach God’s Word. It’s both relaxing and encouraging.

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 08:58h, 22 June Reply

    Amanda, you have a beautiful heart and this is a lesson we all need to hear over and over.. Just as our God inhabits praise, we will benefit from encouraging others and giving thanks. Thank you for your positive attitude. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

    • Amy Christensen
      Posted at 09:02h, 22 June Reply

      Sorry, that I called you, Amanda….Caroline. I was having a senior moment. Ha, ha.

  • Lo @ Mrs. Lo Tanner
    Posted at 11:26h, 22 June Reply

    “Even though they get their medal before me, guess who also receives a medal at the end? Me!” Man, this statement applies to so many areas of my life!

  • Kelly W.
    Posted at 13:35h, 22 June Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! It really resonated deeply with me.

  • Amanda
    Posted at 19:18h, 22 June Reply

    This literally has me crying because I needed these words so very much today. The enemy had gotten me so focused on my hardships that every person’s success was a slap in the face. Thank you for the reminder that God does not run out of medals. I will get mine too one day–in due time. God bless <3

  • Abby Gray
    Posted at 09:54h, 25 June Reply

    I struggle with this so hard. The way you describe it though, makes it almost a “no brainer”. It is so hard to not be jealous of those around you when they get the things so easily that you’ve been waiting years for. But I’m working on it! I’ll try harder to “cheer” them on.

  • Lauren
    Posted at 23:40h, 25 June Reply

    You are seriously the best in the world at cheering other people on! I am cheering you on BIG TIME!

  • Vanessa Figueroa
    Posted at 12:57h, 26 June Reply

    God hasn’t run out of medals or blessings! This encouraged me so much. Last week was tough seeing a lot of miracle pregnancies happening & I felt that unwelcomed sting in my heart. I had to get down & dirty with Jesus and leave it at the Cross. Cheering on others is a punch to Satan’s gutt 👊🏼 I would choose that, over and over again!

  • Jenni Hight
    Posted at 15:00h, 26 June Reply

    The feeling of being “left behind” has been something that I have been dealing with for a while. We are in our 9th year of trying so we have seen people start dating, get married, expand AND complete their families all while we still wait. My ‘veteran’ status has been especially obvious with my TTC sisters as I’m the last one who hasn’t “crossed over” among the group of us that were connected via social media years ago. BUT I decided a few years ago that I was going to use my waiting and my story for good. I have been able to help several people while they navigated the new scary waters of TTC. I knew what it was like at the beginning of our journey and I wanted to make sure I could be a resource and a source of encouragement that wasn’t available to me when we were first starting out. My husband jokingly (and lovingly) refers to it as “Always the wedding coordinator, never the bride.” Another thing that helped me was reminding myself that their stories aren’t my story and that God is still writing ours. Thank you for sharing your heart and your Light.

  • Jennifer Weitz
    Posted at 22:08h, 27 June Reply

    Wonderful Caroline! Although I’m sure you have hard days like the rest of us, you have been given the gifting of encouraging and cheering on others. God is always cheering us on by way of praying for us and interceding for us, and that in itself should help us when we are tempted to feel let down by another’s success.

  • Nike
    Posted at 06:12h, 05 July Reply

    So beautifully written Carolyn! We run the race before us with calmness of heart laying aside every weight of envy and bitternerness, confident our medal awaits us because the One who promised is faithful and has enough for all. No time to grudge anybody. We will run on with joy, anticipation and peace. God bless you Carolyn:)

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