“My soul is tired.”
“Why even try because I always fail?”
“I’m not good enough.”
Sounds familiar? Negative self talk can strike at any time; a little voice that creeps in unannounced. For me it happens in the middle of the night, an unexpected jolt and I’m awake. Insecurity and fear fill my senses as the struggle between maintaining control and the desperate need to submit begins. My thoughts immediately overwhelm me; racing back and forth to what needs to be done, what I failed to remember, who has been disappointed. This soundtrack of hopelessness plays over and over, and I grow desperate. I want to call out, but I pull back, afraid and unsure. Coming to my senses, I begin to whisper, “Jesus, I trust you…Jesus, I need you.” As I recite the words over and over, I feel His presence in the dark; first a gentle whisper then a reassuring touch, knowing he is with me. No longer feeling alone, the tense muscles start to relax, my mind starts to slow down, and calm is restored.
For someone that has struggled for many years with negative thoughts and unrealistic expectations, I know all too well how words weave together a song of sorrow. Shadows envelope your heart and soul, subconsciously. It is like being sucked down into a deep, dark hole without light to see, your surroundings are foreign and without clear sight, your other senses fight to maintain a perceived sense of control. It is hard to see God’s attributes in each new day when mentally it is difficult to face the same series of circumstances built on a foundation of social isolation, fear, and uncertainty. But God’s view of me, His daughter, is much different. He sees the potential, the beauty, and showers me with grace that, in the dark, I am unable to see.
As we face unprecedented challenges that have brought modern civilization to pause, Isaiah shared God’s words of hope, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are you ways My ways, says the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”. (Isaiah 55: 8-9). It is so easy to lose faith when facing trials and tribulations; but God (as our loving father) reminds us with His promise that hope and peace are ever present, we just need to actively seek Him. As women, we tend to the seen (our family, community and career), whereas behind the scenes, God is tending to our unseen – our heart, soul, our eternity. Anxiety and hopelessness are in the material – our thoughts – whereas faith is the result of the majesty of all God is. Our problems, fears and limitations become smaller when compared to all that is possible through God’s ways. Focus on God’s ways, not ours, see yourself as a child of God and life’s shadows will part to make way for hope’s light!
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