When you know you are far from God, you fight hard to get back where you should be. End of story.
It sounds easy to say doesn’t it?
All it took was one week. One week, where life got ahead of me to completely knock me off my game.
I didn’t write a post that week and thought I could just pick up where I left off. I knew in the back of my mind I was playing with fire. I did it anyway. I had a justification for every time I heard “Write”. It doesn’t matter what my reasons were. What mattered was that I broke routine and consistency. That small hiccup caused an avalanche of doubt, insecurity and self-loathing.
The devil saw his opening and moved swiftly. For one week, I wasn’t connected and talking to God the way I should be and with an effortless flick of his wrist the devil just threw some self-doubt my way and I ran with it. He doesn’t need to try hard with me. He presents a quiet thought of, “You are not good enough.” Even the way I hear it in my mind tells me that the attack was launched with mild malice and disdain.
My ability to fight against these attacks directly correlates to how connected I am with God. When I take the time to tune into Him daily, sometimes hourly, I can barely hear the suggestions of my unworthiness. Let a couple of days or weeks go by without God and I am sunk. At these times, I have told myself that I can not write or be successful because I am fat. Yup. For real. What does being fat and being able to write have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing. That is how illogical these thoughts are.
Things seem to go downhill from here. I start to stress about our finances, my body shape, what I am eating, what exercise am I doing, is my house clean, did I check off every item on the homeschool to-do list. The list can go on. Seriously, ask my girlfriends.
I withdraw from social media, texting and personal conversations. I am funny. When I am dealing with an emotional downward spiral, I don’t feel funny. So I stay away. Why would people want to be around me if I was mopey? So I stay away. If I am not funny or wise, I am not wanted. So I stay away. <– See what I do to myself?!
I lose my sense of purpose and doubt my own calling. I start to think that maybe I am supposed to be doing something else. Our finances is an area that is always sensitive for us. We are all just one big disaster away from ruin, but in these dark moments, I convince myself that we are the only ones experiencing this struggle. I have a feeling we all have a default area of life that feels incredibly fragile when we are struggling. This is where the rubber really meets the road.
Since finances are my go-to freak-out topic, I immediately doubt if I should be a stay at home mom. We could be saving more for college, we could be paying off more of our mortgage, we could be driving nicer cars or sending our kids to more camps. We could be wearing nicer clothes or be going on lavish vacations.
So I begin a panic-spiral. I think, “What should I be doing?!” How can I make an income?! Should I look for an out of the house job? Should I find something from home? Should I? Could I? Would I? I feel like I am on a tennis court against a ball machine set on aggressive. I am facing the machine, running around the court in an uncoordinated mess, trying to catch any ball that comes my way because surely this will be the ball with my life answer on it.
I have learned that thinking of doing anything other than writing is my warning signal that I have completely lost my focus. I need to force myself to mentally breathe deeply. To calm down, pray and talk about it with good girlfriends.
Is this really a sign that I should move onto something else or has the devil distracted me from my focus again?
I make my brain sit and wait. It’s almost like when you are trying to figure out if you have to pee before getting in the car for a long trip. Yes. I said that and you know exactly what I mean. Most of the time, your answer is going to be your original calling. Sometimes, it’s to change direction. Whatever it is, take a step. Even if that step is to get up the next day and pray again. If you don’t have the words use, “Lord, I’m here.
Don’t worry about the time lost while you were freaking out.
Don’t feel guilty that you were duped again by the same ‘ole tired doubts.
Don’t think it won’t happen again.
Celebrate that you caught it.
Celebrate that you are back connecting with God.
Notice your go-to self-doubt script. You will see a pattern. The devil rarely needs to use new material to send you into a tizzy.
Remember that YOU won and you will be ready for next time.