We’ve heard this all before: Life is a roller coaster, filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. Despite the cliche, it’s still true that sometimes we feel like we are doing well managing life, and other times, we’re drowning.
It’s incredibly easy to get into a rut. And it’s nearly effortless to get into a cycle of negativity and self-doubt, or to throw yourself into the pit of self-pity.
For all my efforts to be a positive person, I’m very good at beating up on myself. I hear the voice of doubt. You know the one that says “You can’t do this and nothing will ever change.”
That was me not too long ago. I was caught in the routine of “I don’t have what it takes to finish the novel I’m working on.” “The tendinitis is back in my foot…probably because I’ve gained weight and can’t seem to control my eating.” “I’m getting older and nothing is going to be better.” Yeah, you get the idea.
However, I hate drowning in that pit, so I was determined to get back to my regular routine, do my morning devotional, and set aside time to write and try to combat all my negative thoughts.
Negativity is a strong force, and it takes effort to fight it.
I’ve been reading through a book called “Standing Strong” by Alli Worthington. (This isn’t the first book by this author that I’ve read. I’m also a fan of “Fierce Faith” and I’ve blogged about that book previously). It had been a while since I had picked up “Standing Strong.” And when I realized where I had left off in the book, I had to chuckle, and marvel, at God’s timing.
I was in the middle of a chapter on self-doubt!
There were so many good nuggets of information in this chapter, and good reminders — Philippians 4:13, for example, “I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.” (NLV). I don’t like taking Bible verses out of context, but she followed up with “When we bring God into any battle – we win.” All of this was a reminder to put God first, pray to him and let him guide your steps.
Then, two other reminders popped up more than once over various sources. One was to honor the calling of my life, and to honor the life I’ve been given. With all of my negativity, how much honoring, and gratitude, have I given for my life recently? Yikes!
The other reminder was to have confidence. That doesn’t mean walking around like a know-it-all. Confidence means taking a step forward, even when it’s scary, even when you’re not sure of what you’re doing — or better phrased, when you’re not sure what the outcome will be. This confidence comes from God. It all starts with Him FIRST! The rest will follow.
How can you climb out of the pit of negativity? We can’t do it on our own strength. Without thoughtful, intentional prayer, and intentional action, nothing changes. NOW is the time to break the cycle and step out in confidence and honor all that He’s given you and me.
Will it be easy? No, of course not. There will be obstacles. But guess what? I don’t have to stay stuck. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to pick yourself up again and keep going. And that’s when you lean on God, lean on his strength, like it says in Philippians.
I want to honor the life I’ve been given and honor the calling on my life. I can only do that by bringing God into the battle.
How about you? Has a friend spoken truth into your life? Have you run across the same message or words again and again that fill you with hope? I’d love to hear your story.
Let’s encourage one another.