Ever stumbled and lost your way in this journey we call life? Ever feel like the path before you is one you cannot traverse? Ever sit in utter defeat and despair completely surrendered to toxic thoughts and emotions?
I have. Sometimes my emotions really get the best of me. Don't get me wrong. I am all about acknowledging and experiencing emotions! Indeed, the spectrum of feelings and mental conditions offers us a necessary contrast within our emotional existence.
In other words, if it weren't for hate, how would I know love? If it weren't for selfishness, how would I understand sacrifice? But if I am not careful, I have a tendency to partner with the Enemy and coddle certain negative and self-condemning emotional thoughts that do nothing but spiral me downward.
For example, there are feelings of self-pity, insecurity, compromise, defeat, not measuring up, feeling less than, shame, selfishness, unfaithfulness, unworthiness... You get the point. Although we may all feel a myriad of emotions, it would do us well to deconstruct those negative, self-defeating thoughts so that we get back up, dust off, and keep moving.
One of my favorite verses is from Psalm 61:2 "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." And I like to couple it with another passage about movement from Psalm 84: 5-7 "How blessed is the man whose strength [personal might] is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength [army] to strength [army]...."
Further, we read in Habakkuk 3:19: "The Lord God is my strength [army], And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places." You see, our minds really are a battlefield. The Enemy of our soul (our heart, mind, emotions) summons his armies to hurl fiery darts our way in order to defeat and destroy us in our journey. But God, in His great wisdom and mercy, encourages us to put on His armor so that we can take captive those ungodly thoughts and submit them to the Truth of His Word.
The image I use to help me to recognize and dismantle these types of toxic thoughts and emotions is that of a hiker. I remind myself that each "rock" I step on as I climb in my journey is inhabited by God's army. Instead of bowing to the toxic thought or emotion, I reject it and replace it with God's truth about me and my situation. I rely on His strength to lead me further and higher to emotional health and vibrancy. I step to that next rock where His army awaits me. I go from His army to His army. My job is to resist the Enemy, to stand, and move on in God's strength, but never to sit in defeat.
help me to be
not backward bashing,
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