I woke up several days ago in a fog. The motivation to get out of bed just wasn’t there. My brain protested consciousness as I blinked my weary eyes open. The extra hour of sleep from Daylight Savings didn’t seem to be helping. The bright sunlight made me squint as I slid my way out of the covers.
Ugh! It’s Monday!
I managed to get myself dressed and even worked out. That should clear my head, or so I thought. Nope. I came downstairs to an empty and eerily silent house. I sat at the computer and stared at all the things I had open from the night before.
As I stared at the words in front of me, my mind was blank. I couldn’t write a single word. Then the thought hit me. Everything that I have written so far, this book, is all garbage! How can I begin to talk about the things of God? Who am I?!!
My head was a jumble of thoughts. So many things to do. Today was the day that I had time to write. The pressure was on.
Ok, Plan B → coffee. Over the river and through the woods to Starbuck’s and back I went! Yes, I’m a Starbucks snob, don’t judge me!
Back at home with a warm, frothy cup of happiness in hand, I confidently sat down at the computer. This was going to do it, yes, the juices will be flowing now.
And, I sat, and I sat. Waiting, waiting. . . . aaaany minute now. With an impatient sigh, I drummed my fingers on the desk.
Nothing brilliant did come from my hand that day. Shocker! Not one poetic sentence, not one brilliant thought, not one project completed. The words just weren’t there.
The Holy Spirit moves when He moves. Who am I to try to force His hand? God has given me something to say. He has given me a message to share. And I have said from the beginning that if they are not His words, than I don’t want to write.
It is on these frustrating days that the enemy takes notice of me.
“Ooooooo . . . opportunity,” he says. “Let’s kick her while she’s down.” And, Satan’s arrows start to fly.
I often fight discouragement. The enemy knows how to push my buttons, he knows where he can get a foothold in my life. He knows how he can be most effective with me. He is cunning and subtle and ruthless.
I am of the sort that has always battled the demons of discouragement. They seem to be ready at any moment to take me down. We all have our demons, as they say. And, this was mine.
Down, down, down, into the ground he pounds me.
Would my platform ever get off the ground?
What if the words stop coming?
What was I thinking when I thought that I could write a book, much less sell it?!
I can’t do this, I just can’t!
Satan likes to play with me. Discouragement is his toy of choice. He hands it to me and I just take it. I am a fool for believing the lies if even for just a moment. I am such an easy target. He knows it. I know it. God knows it.
When I was younger, I never thought very highly of myself. I didn’t have a lot of encouragement during my adolescent/teenage years. I don’t remember hearing a lot of
“it’s going to be ok”
“you can do it”
“hang in there”
It’s an unfortunate byproduct of divorce.
When a family unit dissolves, the kids tend to lose their cheerleaders. I very much did. And when you don’t have cheerleaders growing up, you believe the lies of the enemy, you are easily decieved. I have been easily discouraged my entire life.
How do I make sure that discouragement doesn’t stop me from loving God and doing Kingdom work in my life?
What do I do when the big ‘D’ is heavy on my back?
Where does my help come from?
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord. It comes from above and all around me. God is always with me, reminding me that I am His, reminding me that I am deeply loved. And, He reminds me that I am a daughter of the King!
Discouragement and fear are not of God. He doesn’t deal in those emotions. He brings good news! And, He commands us to be courageous.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
When I am discouraged, if I am still and listen, I can hear my Father’s still, soft voice.
Lean in, I hear Him say.
Lean in to Me when the storms rage around you
Lean in to Me when fear and discouragement grip you
Lean in to Me when the silence nearly crushes you
Lean in to Me when your mind is a mess
Lean in to Me when your heart is broken
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
So when you are beaten down and discouraged, lean in to God, and know where your help comes from.