There came a point in my life when that care-free child just disappeared. I found myself burdened down with responsibility, expectations, and self doubt. Day after day, I could feel myself sinking but couldnt find a way to get out. Slowly, I was forgetting the brightness and beauty of life. I was slipping slowly into darkness and the light seemed to be getting further and further from my reach.
When you are facing darkness-complete despair, it can be difficult to see past ourselves and look at what God is doing in our lives. It seems that it is far easier to sit in self loathing than to find the positive things in life.
We have all faced darkness in our lives. Now, there are those that have faced a deeper darkness than I, but the choice to get out is just the same. Its a struggle to make the initial decision. Many times we look around to see if there is anyone standing by who can help pull us out of the pit. When in fact, we must rely on our Father, on the promises that He has made, and on the power He has given us access to.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones says;
“The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul, “why art thou cast down” what business do you have to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself “hope thou in God” Instead of muttering in this depressed unhappy way.
And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and What God has pledged to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and Say with this man, “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also health of my countenance and my God.”
We must train ourselves to think differently. Just as an athlete trains for a marathon – we must retrain our thoughts and words. We are running a lifelong marathon. We must begin by taking an initial step.
Start by watching the thoughts that you allow to enter your mind, then move on to the words that slip from your lips. Above all, know that you must make every effort to accept that you will face challenges but never accept that you have to stay there. You do not have to move in or even decorate that dark place in your life. It is merely an opportunity to learn, grow, and move on in this amazing life we each have been given.
As you envision yourself crossing that finish line – realize that you are becoming a little more like the Christian that God has commanded us to be!
Everything you said was so true. My family had a difficult week last week. We faced many struggles in all areas of our lives. When we attended church on Sunday it was like God was saying this is where you need to be today. It was Baptism Sunday and the testimonies were inspiring along with the songs that were song. I found myself praising God by lifting my arms during the songs. This is something that I just do not do because I have not felt the songs deep down in my heart. This was different when we sang about redemption it was just empowering. I thank you for your thoughts. They encourage me to keep fighting the good fight.
Debbie – Im so proud of you. It is all a journey and it can be very hard. You do not need to take this journey alone though….I am here for you whenever you need it. Love you!