Ep.5 | How Performance Stole Her Identity

Hosted by Colin McFarland With Special Guest Sarah Thoms


  • Coaches helped call out greatness in me | 4:40
  • I was exposed to God, faith and the Bible in middle school. I finally wanted to make decisions for myself around that  | 5:32
  • Transition from athletics to Christ being the foundation of your life | 7:42
  • I am fully known and fully loved despite my weakness, and despite my failures  | 9:45
  • Our most effective ministry was when we took them out of their comfort zone and into the outdoors | 13:45
  • A lot of what we do in the outdoors can reveal our weaknesses | 16:30
  • The security we gain through technology and our phones, then turning them off is discomforting | 18:00
  • Mentorship doesn’t have to look like sitting over coffee pouring through Ruth, but building community and doing life together | 22:49


1 | Sports + athletic performance stole my identity

Sarah admits that sports and athletic performance were the first things that stole her identity from Christ. As she asked the questions, “Who am I, and what is my identity?”, she quickly became aware that her identity revolved around performance. She began asking the questions “How does the world see me, and how am I performing?” She found a lot of people’s approval by how she performed. It wasn’t until college that she was able to really understand grace for the first time and get a fuller picture of the gospel. By understanding God’s grace, and the full gospel, she was able to believe fully that, “I am fully known and fully loved despite my weakness, and despite my failures, even when that means failing in a class to the standards I had for myself.”

2 | Revealing our weaknesses

A lot of what we do in the outdoors can reveal our weaknesses. Sarah shares how humbling it is to realize that sometimes we are weaker than we thought and we are not perfect. As students, they too are confronted with the fact that “I am not perfect and maybe I have weaknesses.” This allows us to ask the questions of “How do you reconcile that?” and “How do you allow grace into your life to not be perfect and let the Lord be the answer to that?”


In today’s episode in our Identity Series of Anchor + Waves, we hear from Sarah Thoms, a passionate wilderness adventure-taking soul! She and her husband, Brad Thoms (take a listen on our Uncharted podcast), work with Lifelines, a college ministry that brings young adults to Christ through the outdoors.

Originally from Estes Park, Colorado, Sarah grew up in a home full of sports and the outdoors. As she learned to keep up with her brother’s competitiveness, performance quickly became her identity. Learn how she overcomes performance by finding her true identity in Christ, and the impact her story has in relating to students as she works to be on mission with Jesus.  

You can also listen in to our newly launched Men’s Podcast Channel: Uncharted, as we’re currently running a sister-program on that channel for male athletes also called Identity. Also, as a bonus, Sarah’s husband, Brad, is on this week’s episode for Uncharted!


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