Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

10 Things to Remember When You Must Just Keep Going

Encouragement to just keep going comes in interesting packages.

The lessons learned during the “just keep going” seasons are many and valuable.

In one such season, Jeremy and I had the privilege of joining the TomTom France running team for the Go Sport Versailles 15K. We ran through the beautiful gardens of the Versailles Chateau and Marie Antoinette’s houses. It was the perfect place for our first 15K. The weather, the views, the paths, the flowers… all of it was wonderful.

But, I felt less ready for this run than any of our other runs. Even as nervous as I was about our first half marathon back in March and as insanely nervous as I was for the full marathon in April, I seemed to be wrestling with this 15K more than I thought I would.

Because for this race, not only I was recovering from knee pain after the full marathon in April and having taken a long running break, I was also mentally unprepared for getting out and running a very long run.

Moving to Africa, language study, transitioning our family again, the emotional roller coaster of saying hello and goodbye so often, not feeling well… it had all taken its toll on me.

Yet, we were running. another long race. A real race and a mental race.

My motto through the whole thing was “just keep going”.

{it might have also been “there is ice cream in the TomTom tent” but I won’t admit to that one}

Just keep going.

Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

You see, I wrote this blog post in my head while running that race in Versailles.

My heart was weaving the words and creating the sentences of all that I’ve been learning.

With every step, I pounded out the inner groanings of God’s recent molding of my life.

The complaints, the worries, the fears…

The music blared in my ears, helping me keep the rhythm and pace.

My watch kept the time and distance so I knew how far I’d come and how far I had to go.

Just. keep. running.

keep. going.

Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

Keep going. Keep running. Keep pushing. Keep on… stay the course. Trust your training. Go.

Rehearse each lesson.

Just keep going

1. There might be a race just to get to the real race – We had to wake up early, then run 1 mile to the train station {we had to literally RUN because we were late for the train} and then walk 2 miles from the train station in Versailles to the back of the gardens… all of that just to get to where the race started. By the time we reached the TomTom tent, I’d already put in 3 miles, or more… not to mention having walked all that way and back to pick up our bibs the day before… and I was tired before beginning. Truly a race before the race. yet, start the race and just keep going…

2. Just because you are running a race doesn’t mean you are ready for it – I’d battled runner’s knee for the past 2 months before the race. Hardly getting in any long runs. So in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t really physically ready. Then, throw in the minor details of sleeplessness, stress, and not having time to visit the port-a-potty before the race? Let’s just say I was staring down 10 miles of misery. keep going anyway.

3. The path is not always ideal – This 15K ran us on cobblestone roads while going up hill. That is an injury just waiting to happen. and pretty tough on pacing for the start of a race. The 15K ran us through newly mowed fields with clumpy, uneven grass. It ran us single-file on a tiny foot path. It took us over pot holes and mud and gravel and sand. It wove us from nice paths to bad paths very quickly. It herded thousands of runners around lakes, under trees, and over rocks. The mental game of keeping our footing through this race was challenging and exhausting. Trying to keep pace while struggling to lift our feet over cobblestones and large clumps of dirt and grass. Trying to not sprain an ankle or bump into other runners. The path was not ideal. keep going anyway.

Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

4. Enjoy the good things when they come – Yes, I was still running. still in the race. I didn’t have the luxury of stopping. So, when the path evened out and the view was breathtaking, I challenged myself to look up, enjoy the view and soak up the beauty around me. I was learning to refresh myself in the midst of a race. As the path led me down hill, I remembered to ease my breathing, relax my muscles and smile all while keeping pace and continuing to run. Oh… the life lessons learned when you lift your focus from the race and decide to enjoy the good things. To be thankful. To look up and see people, see beauty, see life. and keep running, keep going, keep pace, keep focus.

And having a VIP tent was certainly a perk for this reluctant runner…

Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

5. No comparisons. They will ruin the race. Seriously. I struggled with this through the race. There were runners all around me. They were so much faster, more put together, more ready, more happy, more experienced… more everything. They were flying past me. They didn’t seem to struggle over the cobblestone or on the foot path or through the fields. Faster, skinnier, healthier. Maybe they had a car to drive to the race or maybe they didn’t just run a marathon or maybe they walked to the race like me and did just run a marathon and they were STILL outpacing me… either way, the comparison game in my head was alive and well during part of the run. And God quickly reprimanded my thinking. I can’t compare my journey, my race, my ability with anyone else. God has me on MY journey, my race. and I have to just keep going.

6. Be encouraged. I needed every word coming through my earphones during this race. I needed the pounding beat. I needed the encouragement. I needed to hear the voices of others cheering me on. I needed the Holy Spirit to lift me up, give me strength and help me put one foot in front of the other. I was tired and unsure. But God wasn’t. He was running with me and the encouragement in knowing that I CAN because He is ABLE… well, knowing that is invaluable when you are staring down the miles ahead of you. invaluable in reminding you to just keep going.

7. As hard as the race gets, the end is coming – the race will end. the VIP tent is real. We will not run forever. Someone will put a medal around my neck, hand me a water bottle, give me a scoop of ice cream and let me use the port-a-potty. This too shall pass. so just keep going.

8. The sweat is worth it – The feeling of crossing the finish line is tremendous. Sweaty, hurting and even bleeding… finishing a long run carries with it a great feeling of accomplishment. Knowing that I pushed through, spent all energy, held nothing back, ran my best, beat injury, succeeded over a rough terrain, kept up with experienced runners, and kept going during the intensity of the last miles is worth every pain. so keep going.

Just Keep Going - Life Lessons for all of life

9. Soak in the high of the race because another race will come – memorize the feeling at the end of the race. Look back at all you have learned and all you have overcome. Let God strengthen you through the current race so that you can carry that with you into the next race. One race prepares for the next. One lesson prepares you for the next. Soak it in because you will need it all later. you will keep going.

10. The struggle is real. Battling through the races of life is very, very real. Gut-level real. The exhaustion and the weakness and the failures. All real. But so is obedience and faithfulness and reliance on God through it all. That is REAL. That is TRUTH. That is HOPE. So keep going anyway. Just keep going. Keep following. Keep abiding. Keep on going.

You can do it. You can make it. You can power through. You can keep going because God has called you and He is enabling you to accomplish the impossible.

For Him. In His Name. So that the world would see where REAL strength comes from.

He is our source through every race. He can refresh us while we keep going. He can strengthen us and encourage us and lift us to new heights in Him. He can carry us over the rough path ahead and lead us through a difficult course.

Keep going anyway.

Trust Him and KEEP GOING.

“I have fought a good fight…” 2 Tim. 4:7

“Jesus will stand there, scars on His hands, scars on His feet, scars on His brow, scars over His heart, won in the great battle of redemption, and all Heaven will sob aloud with emotion and gratitude.  Ignatius will stand there and point to the marks where the tooth and the paw of the lion seized him in the Coliseum.  John Huss will show where the coals first scorched his foot on that day when his spirit took wing of flame and rose from Constance.  Hugh McKail will point to the mark on the neck where the axe struck him.  McMillan and Campbell and Freeman, the American missionaries, who, with their wives and children perished in the awful massacre at Cawnpore, will show where the daggers of the Sepoys struck them.  The Waldenses will show where their bones were broken on that day when the Piedmontese soldiery pitched them over the rocks.  And all who have nursed the sick and cared for the poor will show the evidences of earthly exhaustion, and Christ shall wave His scarred hand over the scarred multitude, saying:  “Ye suffered with Me on earth, now be glorified with Me in Heaven.”  And the great organs of eternity will take up the chant, and St. John will sweep the keys with his fingers:  “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  But on that day what will be your chagrin and mine if it shall be told on the streets of Heaven that in this world we shrank back from all toil, from all hardship, from all fatigue?  No battle-scars to show the glorified; not so much as one ridge on the palm of the hand to show that just once in all this great battle for God and the truth we clutched so tight and struck so hard that the hand clave to the sword.” —De Witt Talmage.

Just. Keep. Going.



  1. Thank you for adding number seven. Knowing that I will not have to hurt forever that eventually the race will end and I will get to stop fighting so hard and I can just go to heaven is a relief, even if it is taking a really really long time for the end to come

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart. I don’t have the words that I feel right now. I am working on a blog focused on missions – launching soon. Your heart has touched me.

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