When I was in my teens, I battled depression. It was an invisible struggle no one could really understand, and not much support was given to me. Everywhere I went, there was this dark cloud that persisted, and a rude, female clique like the one off Mean Girls, would constantly whisper negative words that I hate to repeat but will for the purposes of this article. “You are worthless”, one voice would tell me. “Nobody likes you”, another would say. “You will never amount to anything” said another. After a while, I started to believe them and eventually began to see these words as truth. I wouldn’t even fight to defend myself against this evil posse.
So when others treated me as inferior, or when I would fall victim to a trying circumstance, I would just see this as evidence that the voices in my head were right. I struggled with this mentality for years, and now that I am a young adult, I don’t necessarily see myself as “out of the woods”. But I have learned one thing that I would like to share with you. If you are hearing similar things, I want to let you know that these voices are wrong. You have infinite value and so much to offer the world, even though you may not be able to see it at this present moment.
During this time of year, when the world is celebrating a version of love, I want to provide you with beautiful, inspirational insights that I pray will serve as a reminder that you are loved! May this re-affirm and strengthen your belief in the wonderful person you were created to be.
Identify the Culprit
For those battling anxiety and depression, we have all become familiar with the negative thoughts that have made your mind their home. It gets to the point at times where you don’t even recognize them anymore. Before any healing can take place though, you must first get rid of the things that are holding you back. It is clear that whatever we feed ourselves on a regular basis will grow. So let’s first learn to recognize the negative thoughts, and see them as lies planted by the enemy.
As well, evaluate your day-to-day activities and the environment you find yourself in. What are you listening to? What are you watching? What are you eating? Believe it or not, all of these can contribute to feelings of bitterness and negativity. Think of yourself as the detective whose mission is to put the “culprit” behind bars. Once you have done this, you are then free to take the next step.
Remember your Price
You can tell a lot about a product based on its price. You won’t find Gucci or Chanel bags for less than a particular amount, and you can’t find them just anywhere. Whether Gucci or not, most material objects have a price. We have a price too. In fact, we are so valuable that it cost one man’s death. This man wanted you so much that He gave up mansions and high-ranking honour and stooped down to earth to pay this price, once and for all.
But there is another bidder in this auction (Satan), and he wants us too. Yet, this man named Jesus Christ would go to even greater lengths to reach us. Yes, we are of such infinite worth that we are in fact priceless. Please remember that the next time you feel low and discouraged. You are of more value than many diamonds…Believe it.
Dwell on the Beauty
Behind every dark cloud, is a ray of sunlight. No matter how dark your current circumstances, there is still much beauty to be found around you. We simply need to be intentional about seeking it out. At first, it may be hard to push back the dark clouds, but if you make it a daily habit, it may prove easier with time. Listen to positive, uplifting music that affirms your faith. Put the Bible and other inspirational books top on your reading list. And if you find particular passages resonating with you, write them on sticky notes to keep with you, or hang somewhere where you will see it.
Of course, nothing is more beautiful than falling in love with God, and there is no other way to truly love yourself unless you first love Him. When you love someone you spend time with them, so before you even begin your day, commune with God in prayer. Ultimately He will be the One to provide you with comfort when those negative feelings resurface. Chant affirmations to yourself aloud, and believe them. Let these words of life minister to your soul. Drown out all gloomy and self-hating thoughts, and starve your fears. Let out the bad, and make room for the good. As the apostle Paul says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Take Care of Yourself
There is a strong connection between the physical, mental and the spiritual. That’s why when one of these is severely compromised, the others suffer. I know it’s hard to fight against the feelings within you that make you not even what to try anymore. I have been there. But I will tell you, that even though sleeping in bed all day seems to be the easiest option, it’s not.
There is a reason why God woke you up this morning, and even though you have trouble understanding why…God wants you. He needs you to be the best you can be. The first step is to get out of bed. Find activities to do that engage and inspire you (such as a new business or ministry endeavour) or volunteer in your community. When you help others, you will find your spirits uplifted. And let’s not forget the physical element: Eat foods rich in fiber, get lots of sun and fresh air, and hydrate yourself regularly. Trust me being in your best shape physically will do wonders for your mind and soul.
Don’t Give Up
There will be times when you may not feel like facing the world. Maybe today is that day for you. But I want to encourage you, to keep pushing. You deserve to have a wonderful life, filled with lots of love and joy. God wants that for you, and so do I. He doesn’t promise you that it will be easy, but He has promised that He will be there for you. Maybe you have had quite a few bad days, but despite all this, there is still hope. You see that stream of sunlight peeking out from that dark cloud? That’s it. Let’s claim hold of it together.
And the Lie is….
Lie: You are worthless Truth: You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) He knew you before you were even born!: (Isaiah 44:24, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139: 15,16)
Lie: God has forgotten about you. Truth: In Isaiah 49:15, God speaks these words: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Lie: There is no hope for your future. Truth: Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
Lie: No one cares about me. Truth: God does. In 1 Peter 5:7, the Lord tells us to “cast all of our anxiety on Him because He cares…” Plus, He tells us in John 6:37, anyone that comes to Him, He will never “cast out”. Then, in Matthew 10:30-31, Jesus says that “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” and that “you are more valuable than many sparrows”.
Lie: You’ve made too mistakes. It’s too late. You will never overcome a troublesome past. Truth: Sound familiar? Reject these thoughts with these passages: (2 Corinthians 5:17, Isaiah 43:18, 19)
Are you tired? Go to Jesus. He will you carry you: (Isaiah 46, 4, Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 40:28-31). Feel alone? The Lord is with you always: (Isaiah 43:1, 2, Matthew 28:20). Afraid? Check out Isaiah 41:10 and Joshua 1:9. Weak? See 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Ready to give up? Please don’t: (2 Corinthians 4:9-11, Philippians 3:14) Feel like you can’t do it? Yes you “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!”: (Philippians 4:13).
No matter what may come your way in this life, remember this most beautiful truth. Nothing, I mean nothing, can ever separate you from the love of the Father: (Romans 8:35-39).
Every time the devil comes to you with some new lie, reject it. He cannot win! (Matthew 4:10) Remember, you have the victory in Christ Jesus! “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54:17).
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