If You’ve Ever Felt Sad or Discouraged

Discouraged
………..it’s just one of many adjectives in the English language,
but isn’t it a powerful one?
The dictionary defines it as
having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened.”
Have you ever felt it?
Weakened
Lacking excitement
Sad
As someone who believes in a Living God who has a bigger plan than I could ever possibly see or understand I feel so guilty when I’m overcome with this negative emotion.
I fight it hard.
I try to convince myself that if I just try harder I can rise above the dark cloud that can so easily hang over me.
I’ve battled this adjective my whole life.
It’s as if I showed up on the planet with a little sign hanging around my neck that said,
Hey devil, discouragement is her Achille’s heel.  If you want to bring her down, just discourage her.”
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 I’ve often wondered why I seem to go barefoot almost every single day anyway?
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This summer has been a summer of bare feet and a series of heel-stomping attacks that have nearly done me in.

I’ve opened my blog so many times to try to share how I feel,

and I’ve been wordless.

I’ve tossed and turned in bed in the wee hours of the morning.

I’m a firm believer in spiritual warfare,

and I know I’ve been wrestling with unseen forces.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12

I met with my associate minister recently and during our conversation I told him,

“You know it’s bad when you’re at the beach with your husband for the very first time in your whole married life without children and you find yourself searching the Internet for symptoms of a mid-life crisis.”

Tim has been a saint in this summer of tears.

He’s prayed me through many dark nights.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. this morning, though, and I kept hearing the words,

“When the devil almost gets the best of you.”

Over and over I heard them in my head.

Was this it?

Was this the way he would take me down after all I’ve survived?

Would he silence me by convincing me that I had somehow failed,

let people down,

not been enough,

finished my calling?

I tossed.

I turned.

I heard it again and again,

“When the devil almost gets the best of you.”

Almost

Almost

Almost

I’m so thankful that one word was there.

Almost

I woke up and went straight to the Bible.

I remembered my recent attempt at paintball and how I discovered,

after the game had begun,

that I hadn’t checked to see if my marker was loaded.

I found myself crouched and hiding with no way to fight back.

There’s no beating the devil if your reservoir is empty.

And believe me, he’s attacking all of us today.

The wooden barrier became my shield of faith,

but deep inside I knew I needed more to really help in the fight against the enemy.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I remembered how Jesus,

when attacked by the devil in the desert,

had the same simple reply to every temptation…………..

“It is written.”

If Jesus knew He could only fight the enemy with the Word,

doesn’t it make sense that I would need it too?

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So this morning, I dug deep.

When you’re in a pit,

digging doesn’t seem like the natural way out,

but isn’t it just like God to turn what does makes sense upside down?

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You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,

because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

I John 4:4

I am from God.

And He is greater than the one who is using every possible tactic to weaken my walk…………

emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

God is greater.

Yesterday

Today

and

Tomorrow

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Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

God isn’t surprised at my weariness.

 He knew I would have seasons of stumbling and even falling face down.

But even in my darkest chapters,

He’s still there.

The everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth……………

never tired, never weary…………

always offering strength.

No matter how low I feel on any given day,

I will fly again.

I will soar.

And so will you.

______________________________________________

Then Jesus came to them and said,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Matt. 28:18

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

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” 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
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 At camp two weeks ago we spent the week encouraging one another.

 Giving support

Building up confidence

Offering hope

All week long we filled paper bags with encouraging words we had written to each other and on the last day of camp everyone opened their bag of encouraging messages and read what others had to say to them.

 

encourage eight

encourage five

encourage four

It was so fun watching our team soak up messages written just to them.

encourage nine

encourage one

The power of the written word should never be taken lightly.

Good or bad……………….

our words always matter.

encourage six

I am a lover of the Word and of words.

And today, I finally feel like I can write again.

encourage three

encourage two

It feels so good to break through this season of sadness and say out loud,

“Life is hard, and I’ve been struggling.”

There are so many layers of big things going on in my life right now.

Things that have caused me to cry many days in a row.

But, today, I’m feeling the table cloth that has been spread across my soul slowly being pulled away just enough for me to see the light again.

And it feels so good.

If you’ve ever battled overwhelming sadness or depression,

know you’re not alone.

We live in a difficult time in world history.

A time when anxiety can easily get the best of us if we aren’t careful.

Today, I just want to say “thank you” to all of my friends who have been praying me through this tough season.

I’m beginning to feel the warmth of the sun again for the first time in a long time…………….

and it feels so good.

Be encouraged today.

No matter how difficult life may seem,

God is still with you.

Keep pressing on.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

not giving up meeting together,

as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—

and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

2 thoughts on “If You’ve Ever Felt Sad or Discouraged

  1. On Tuesday this week I finished Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study titled, “The Armor of God.” And then your post showed up in my Feedly. Coincidence? I think not. The 29th of this month is also the five year anniversary of our 16yo. son’s death. Battling discouragement each July is unavoidable, but your words are necessary encouragement to a weary soul. Thank you for sharing!

    • I love how God works. He amazes me every single day. Praying for you right this minute and thanking God that we are now friends in this journey through grief. Much love from me to you.