I started this day feeling down. I felt discouraged and sad. The reasons aren’t important for this post but, just know that I had valid ones for these feelings. I was starting to find myself slipping into a dark place where all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed and hide under my covers and not come out until I felt happy again. Mind you, I am a very upbeat and happy person so these are not feelings I have often or for no good reason. I had good reason.
Here’s the deal…I can’t slip into a dark place. I have a family to take care of and a purpose to accomplish. I allowed myself a moment or two to be sad and then made the decision to find a way to encourage myself out of it. And no…I’m not talking about denial. Denial is not healthy and it’s only a temporary relief. I needed real encouragement.
I found it. It took some doing but…I found it. I may need to remind myself by looking at it several times today but, I found the encouragement I needed. You see, God is faithful. He is patient. He is loving. He cares that I am feeling discouraged and sad. So, I went to Him.
Do you need encouragement today? If so, here’s what encouraged me and hopefully, you will find your encouragement through these things too. If not, save this…you may need it someday. I hope you don’t. I hope you never find yourself feeling like I did this morning. But just in case…save this.
First, I prayed. I prayed a very simple prayer: “Lord, help me. I’m sad. I’m tired. I need You. Help me.”
Then, I searched. I searched the Bible and the scripture that popped up for today was Psalm 23:4:
“Yes, though I walk through the (deep, sunless) valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me. Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me.”
I’d love to say that did it…that snapped me out of it…but, I’d be lying. I needed more. The Lord knows me…He knows I needed something else. He loves me enough to give it to me. So, I looked at the day I happened to be on in Joel Osteen’s book, I Declare (which happened to be day four), and here’s what I read:
“I declare it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart. I have not missed my window of opportunity. God has moments of favor in my future. He is preparing me right now because He is about to release a special grace to help me accomplish that dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today! This is my declaration.”
Yes, that was good…that was helpful. Still, I needed more. I sound so bratty right now, don’t I? Well, maybe so but honestly…there’s some super rough stuff I’m encountering and I need the extra-strength kind of encouragement. Here’s where I may throw you for a minute…brace yourselves…I went next to…Pinterest. Yeah, you read that right, I went to Pinterest and looked through the Quotes for more encouragement. Desperate times, my friends…desperate times call for desperate measures. Here’s what I found there:
Believe it or not…this is what hit me. This is what snapped me out of a downward spiral. That simple sentence spoke to me in a very profound way. “Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world”. It hit me like a bolt of lightning! My thoughts were bringing me down. My thoughts were allowing me to fall slowly into a deep sadness. My thoughts were starting to cloud my atmosphere. The atmosphere I inhabit with my husband and children. The atmosphere I have the power as a mother and wife to set in my home. I was allowing my thoughts to cloud the very atmosphere I was called and appointed to guard and influence!
How simple is that? Change my thoughts. Okay, so, I choose to think positively, look at the good in the situation, and most importantly of all…choose to trust God with it. The battle is His but the victory is mine! It’s not my battle to fight. It’s not your battle to fight. He fights it for us and the good news is…He wins! We win! We are overcomers! We are victorious!
We have the power to change our thoughts. We have the power to change the atmosphere of our homes. And listen…what we put out there, we attract. Do we want to attract negativity and allow darkness to consume us and therefore fill our home? Absolutely not! And guess what? We have the power to change that! God has given us power and love and a sound mind in place of fear! He grants us that power! We just have to recognize we have it and put it to use.
It’s really that simple. It isn’t easy. Like I mentioned earlier, I will most likely have to read and re-read and then re-re-read all of these things several times today but, I will not accept defeat. I will not accept darkness. I will allow the Lord to fight this battle. I will surrender and trust Him and praise Him while I wait for the victory to manifest. I hope you will do the same. I hope you feel encouraged. Let the light of the Lord Jesus Christ that lives within you to shine brightly today and totally extinguish all darkness! The joy of the Lord is truly and most certainly our strength!