We all hear it.. that little voice in our head telling us no.
You can't do that. You'll never make it. You aren't capable enough. You aren't worthy.
No to this, no to that. Good luck with that. You might try but you won't succeed. You'll always struggle with that sin.
If you give the devil a little tiny centimeter crack in the door, he'll use it to swing the door wide open and flood your mind with lies that we soon enough become convinced of.
Anxiety. Depression. Medication. Stress. Comparison.
I recently heard that 80% of any type of sickness begins in the mind. Woah. That's huge.
If we know that, then shouldn't we be doing something about it? Shouldn't we be learning to control our minds, to figure out ways to encourage one another in our journeys to prevent these conditions from worsening?
I've struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. Yes, I know.. I ask myself all the time what did I have to worry about as a child that'd make me sick and anxious and worry about the silliest things. It's continued to come and go throughout the years, and the past few months it's been back again.
If you've ever experienced it, it can be scary. It can bring on feelings of panic and fear out of nowhere for no reason whatsoever, in the places I'm most comfortable and excited for. Most excited for until I get there and my palms get all sweaty. I'll fear that I'm going to pass out. I look forward to leaving and being away from that place, back where I'm comfortable.
I'm completely aware of it, and it drives me absolutely nuts when it happens because I know that it's in my mind.
The other morning one of my devotionals was talking about when we focus on our problems, they become bigger. As is true with this. The more I think oh my gosh, I'm going to get anxiety, you betcha, it's self-fulfilling. When I let that door creak open just a tiny bit, it's as if the enemy just keeps them coming. He knows that one little thought will lead to another and another and before you know it, he has complete control over my thoughts and emotions. Rather than focus on the negative thoughts, it says to thank Him for the good, for His promises. [[which I'll get into more below]]
I declared 2018 the year that I will overcome it for good. I absolutely hate experiencing it. I know that I don't have to, and I know for certain that it doesn't come from God. The fear, the panic, the feelings of being weak and unworthy, none are promises that God has given us. In fact, those are quite opposite of what He says about each and every one of us.
Whether you struggle with something similar, or your struggle is something completely different.. we still all have that one thing, that one area in our life that we need help. We have those voices flooding in that tell us no, that cause us to question our worth, question who we are and what we can actually accomplish.
So, how do we go about overcoming these voices in our head that stand contrary to what God wants us to think? Since the beginning of the year, I can say that the amount of anxiety I have experienced has indeed gone down. It isn't completely gone, but it's much less than it used to be. It's been a freeing feeling, and it makes me excited to continue to overcome it until it no longer has a hold on me.
How? These four things have been huugeee in this process. It might be different for everyone, but these particularly have been things that have helped me and things I know have helped others, with similar situations or with other struggles that are completely different. Wherever you're at, these can help you quiet that voice inside your head.
1. People. Don't isolate yourself. If you're struggling with something, it's easy to keep it quiet and try to manage it yourself. You don't want them to think differently of you because you "don't have yourself together." This is where the enemy wants you. The less people that know about it, the easier it is for him to have control. If you don't tell anyone, then he will be the only one occupying your mind. Instead, be vulnerable. You don't have to tell the whole world. Seek the people in your life that will encourage you, that won't judge, that will pray for you and offer their guidance and support. Be open with what your struggling with so they can help you through it. We don't have to do this alone, and that's why God places the people He does in our lives, to help us through the good and the bad.
2. Saturate your mind with His truth. Whether you're broken, healing, struggling with comparison, or some other thing.. find verses that speak truth to what you're feeling. If you have anxiety, focus on the truths that He gives us about His everlasting peace. [[Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”]] If you feel unworthy because of things you've done in the past, remember you are made new. [[2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.]] Find verses that will you encourage you when you are weak and close to giving in to the opposition. His Word will stand strong and true, and you must declare those affirmations over you, time and time again until you believe them with your whole heart.
3. Thank Him. It sounds silly, but rather than letting your mind wander to the issue you're facing, thank Him for it. Don't focus on the problem, but thank Him for the opposite. When I start to feel anxious thoughts creep in, I thank Him for His peace. I thank Him for being bigger than any problem I will ever face. I thank Him for wrapping His arms around me and calming my spirit. If you feel like you aren't good enough for someone or something, thank Him for creating a masterpiece. [[Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.]] You are fearfully and wonderfully made [[Psalm 139:14]]. Thank Him for the blessings, thank Him for His truths. Waking up with a grateful heart can do so much for your outlook and appreciation for life. It brings a refreshing joy to the place that used to be a robber of your joy and energy.
4. Turn up the music. Music can change your entire attitude. Turn on your favorite song and dance it out. Who cares if you look silly. There are times my friend and I will look like fools when we're driving in his truck. The music is up and the dance moves are out. We sing in our imaginary microphones. No cares in the world because you know what? It makes us laugh. Whenever I'm driving, I turn up the worship music and it brings such a calmness to my mind that tends to wander far and wide as I'm driving, no matter the distance.
Don't give the devil an inch, don't even give him a centimeter. You are worth so much more than the lies he will feed you. He wants you down on yourself, he wants you feel incapable, unworthy, unlovable, stressed, anxious, depressed.. he wants everything that God doesn't want for you.
You were created for so much more than to be ruled by the one who wants the worst for you. You see, the Lord knows the worst about us, but still loves us the MOST and He wants the most for us.
Each and every one of us have the ability to overcome our weaknesses, to quiet that voice in our head that tries to prevent us from achieving the best that God has planned. It might not be easy and it might take some time or it might take a long time, but it's there inside of us, the choice and ability to listen to, believe, trust, and seek the voice of the One who created us each for a unique purpose.
We might start of at a slow, slow walk, but soon enough, we'll all be able to run free after the life that we were meant to live. A life free of the lies of the devil, a life full of love, peace, joy, grace, forgiveness, laughter, and fulfillment.