I so see that Satan tries to discourage us to get us to turn from God and from our faith. I’ve seen it in my life. Always trying to destroy my faith and my hope. But I will not be moved! Not by the afflictions I’ve seen, the afflictions around me, or the afflictions to come.
But, I also don’t want anyone, any person, who “only seeks my comfort” to be speaking into my life, either, and that includes myself. I need true discernment. And sometimes…boy, the things I say to myself…I wouldn’t let anyone talk to one of my friends like that. So, the enemy of the truth of God (whether that be Satan or my own mind) is a voice constantly whispering in my ear encouraging me to seek after my own comfort, to stay inside the lines where it’s safe. Don’t take the risk of depending solely on God for things. Stay safe. It’s better this way. You never really know what you’re going to get if you only rely upon God to help you. You must protect your investment …you.
Now, I have been in the habit for almost a year now of rolling out of bed and getting on my knees. I submit myself to the Sovereign God, Yahweh, Jehovah, surrendering my will and my way, and my day. And it’s funny how you can commit yourself to something, and then get tested on that very commitment over and over. Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s our enemy at work, or just the natural flesh that we struggle against.
Regardless, not long ago I rolled out of bed and bowed low to surrender myself to the Most High God in worship. Then that day was ridiculous! One obstacle after the other that all surrounded the purchase of my new house - the one that God had hand picked out for me. By the way, if you’re not subscribed to my email list, you’ve missed an amazing story about how I found this new house and all the crazy things God did - in supernatural ways. If you’d still like to get this behind-the-scenes story, go to my website anotherbeautifullife.com and sign up - I’ll send it to you! I’ve also got a story to share behind this episode, too. So, head over there and get on that email list.
So that day, it was as if everything that could go wrong all got together and decided, “Yep, this is the day. Let’s do it together.”
As I started getting panicked, I heard myself say…to myself, “Did you not just bow to the Sovereign One this morning and submit to His way today? The One who controls and orchestrates all things? Yes?! Then why worry?”
Have you ever done something like that, friend? You find yourself just going down a mental path and you just need to snap yourself out of it?
So, what do we do about these whispers in our mind? What do we do when overwhelm comes and we can’t even see the next step in front of us?
Listen, I’m a big proponent of talking to yourself. I was having a conversation with someone the other day that has really made a huge turnaround in her life. She said, “You know, one day I just had to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to.” I think sometimes this is really necessary. We need to be able to take back control what thoughts our minds are offering us. ‘Cause sometimes they’re just not helpful! And maybe they’re even based on lies, so we can definitely do something about that!
I thought I might give you an example of something that I did early on in the overwhelm of grief. I wrote myself a letter. I put it in the ‘Notes’ app on my phone so that anytime I needed it, it was right there. Here’s something interesting about the content of this letter. Everything that’s written in it is nothing new. It’s filled with common sense, truth, encouragement, and, dare I say, wisdom. But I found that in the middle of the profound darkness of the fog, I was unable to remember these things. And this was my help - I simply read the truths in that letter. So, I’m hoping that if someone is listening today that is right there where I was, just totally stuck, numb, unable to move forward, I hope this is helpful to you, too.
Here’s what that letter to myself said:
DEAREST TRICIA… (hey, let’s stop here a second. If you’re going to talk to yourself, let’s please be loving, kind, and full of grace. You deserve it!)
Ok, Dearest Tricia ~
I know you are feeling a bit stuck today. Maybe you are being oppressed. Or maybe it is depression you are feeling. Either way, you are not sitting there alone. Your Jesus died for you on the cross so that He, by His Spirit, can be right there with you, sitting there, enjoying just being, breathing. Be still. It’s ok. Being still is not the same as being irresponsible. It’s actually the opposite. It’s learning to rest, trust, wait, and then walk into the “next.”
If you’re feeling frozen because there’s just so much to do, the list is daunting, and you just don’t know where to start – or maybe you know where to start but it just all feels so overwhelming – JUST BREATHE. Honestly, you don’t have to do all of that right now. There’s always tomorrow. And the next day. Maybe just pick one thing on the list to do. The highest priority. One thing. Or maybe just unload the dishwasher. Put a load of laundry in. And just know that you are not doing it alone. God is right there with you. Jesus is infusing you with His power and strength. Or maybe choose to just do nothing right now. It’s okay. Give yourself some grace to just “be.” The Holy Spirit is comforting you and bringing peace to your heart. The Trinity wants to be with you, be alive with you, move with you, experience and attend to the things of this life with you. You are not alone, you are not helpless, you have a help and a companion!
And, don’t forget that certain times of the year, holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. will hit you hard! And yours is highly complicated grief. It’ll sneak up on you just when you think you’re doing ok. And the high emotions tax your body physically and make you tired. When you are tired and don’t want to do things, you feel lazy & your mind tells you you’re worthless. This is NOT true! You are HEALING! You need to learn to protect yourself during this time. You need to learn to be still! It’s ok! Your body and mind need it.
Tricia, you have a beautiful future ahead of you, living for God. An abundant life, full of contentment! Choose to live another beautiful life! All the ‘beautiful’ that you’ve had in the past was a pure gift from God. And He will give it again. So give thanks for it, and now, “Seek first the kingdom!” Set you plans on walking with God today and through the changes you’re soon to be walking in. He has got you! He’ll give you Manna for today!
In His wisdom, He is ordering your life: taking things out and putting things in. He knows what He’s doing, and is orchestrating things just perfectly. You can just walk in step with Him, in the Faith-Rest life, knowing He is fulfilling His promises – promises that He sees you, He knows your needs, and is supplying before you even ask. Remember, submit to His wise ordering of you life. He’s trustworthy! Has He not already shown you His provisions through the generosity and care of others?! All this time it’s been the very hand of God. So don’t you worry! All of this that is happening is being directed by your Abba. He is controlling it all. He’s got you. Just move with Him – move with His Spirit. He’ll open up what’s next. Just breathe. Stand still and watch the Lord work/battle on your behalf (2 Chron. 20:17). This life is so short, “So live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions, but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:2) And worship! The enemy hates that! *smile*
So, those are the things I tell myself. Truth. And truth always sets you free.
I’ve actually written another letter to myself that I would read during a whole other set of circumstances. They’ve both been so helpful to me.
Now, someone who hasn’t been in the dark fog, or the slimy pit, or feel like you’re being chased down by the blob, you may think this is a little elementary, a little basic. But for those of you who’ve been there, I’d venture to guess that you’re already seeing the value of writing a letter to yourself; to having that on hand so that you can talk yourself down off the ledge. Some days are just like that, and you need all the help you can get. Even if it’s from yourself.