My mind raced excitedly. Thoughts pounded one way and then the next. New ideas rolled in like fog settling around a mountain village, so thick my chest reverberated the pressure. I flew through the motions, one thing and then another. Momentum pushed me along faster and faster until I found myself tumbling head over heels into an unforeseen chasm of apprehension. What do I do now? My head surrounded me with its screams. Can you really do this? When are you going to find the time? Who would listen to you? Why should they listen to you? You’re a nobody! See, you’ve overdone it again! You’re not ready for this! Your ideas are petti and worthless! Go hide and never show your face again. You’d be better off alone and away from the world! What can you offer that hasn’t already been done? You’re not as good as others. You don’t even come close to measuring up! Tears slipped through the corners of my eyes sliding down my burning face. Darkness raged up around me pulling and tugging at all sides begging me into its cold embrace. NO! I bellowed. I am not going down that road again! But with each step, the draw of the darkness became stronger and stronger waiting in desperation to swallow me whole.
Have you been there with me?
Those times when you wonder if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
When you feel defeated and worthless and wonder what's the point.
When the critical voice within you threatens to defeat anything and everything good you may possibly do. When you let worry and anxiety sneak in and steal the joy right out from under you.
I struggle with this frequently!!
Here is what I think God’s been telling me about it lately.
Random proverbs have been plucking away in the background of my mind lately:
“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”
“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
Fools rush into things without thinking and suffer for it.
I, regretfully, play the part of the fool more often than I would like to admit. I am genuinely good at coming up with ideas. In fact, many times they are unquestionably good ideas. However, one of my weaknesses is slowing down enough to thoroughly think through all the different angles before bounding in and doing it. I’m the type of person who gets an idea and jumps in headfirst without spending a ton of time mulling it over and getting all my ducks in a row before proceeding to the next step. I would rather gather my ducks on the run, going for it while the excitement is building and dealing with all the problems as they come up, than wait until the idea has dissipated and having to regain the excitement for doing it.
If you’re like me, it’s hard to genuinely slow down and think everything through. Even when I try, sometimes it resembles more of how a toddler might say they’re done eating. You know what I mean, right?
“Sweetie, you need to eat all your food, before you can have dessert.”
“O.k. mom.” One bite later. “Did it mom!”
You look at their plate and raise an eyebrow, “No, you need to eat ALL of your food until it’s gone, not just one bite.”
So how do you force yourself to thoroughly SLOW DOWN?
Here’s some ways that have helped me:
Make a list of reasons and motivations: Why do you want to do this? What are you wanting to accomplish?
Without a doubt, this is the first step to get me to stop and "give thought to my way". Half the time it’s a fleeting concept that I know is good, but I haven’t actually nailed down. When I do take the time to cement the concept into words it becomes an anchor I can cling to and revisit when things get tough. It also helps me focus more on the time frame of when it should happen and who I am doing it for. Is it for myself, my children, my husband or to encourage others? This gives me more of a direction of how I proceed.
Pray about it! Truly slow down and take it before the Father.
Prayer has a way of aligning our thoughts with His. I can get so caught up in the excitement of something that I may still be praying about it, but I’m not slowing down to genuinely hear anything except what I want to hear. So apply the next part and wait. (This is BY FAR the hardest thing for me to do!) It may take a night, other times it may take a couple weeks or in one of my cases three years and counting. Sometimes, even when it's difficult to hear, the answer may be no, and that’s when it's extremely important to remember that God’s ways are best.
Seek godly advice and council.
If it is something important and life changing, bring it up to a couple of trustworthy friends and ask them to come alongside you in prayer. Listen to the advice they give and truly try and understand their point of view.
Finally, don’t get discouraged.
It’s easy, in our media connected world, to look around and see somebody who has already achieved what we are attempting and are possibly executing it way better. This is one thing I often have to remind myself of, especially with blogging, even if someone else is doing or has done what I am wanting to do, that shouldn’t hinder me from pursuing my dreams as well. There is only one me and these are the lessons I am learning, in a way that only I can. God has put different people in my life for a reason and even though I may see a whole vast world of other bloggers, maybe someone I am connected with only sees me and can be encouraged and grow because of something I have written. At the very least, this is how I learn best and that in and of itself is worth it.
Slowing down is important because it helps us see some of the lies we may have started believing and puts our focus back where it needs to be, back to the truth. Will you join me today by slowing down and remembering our purpose?
I want to lift my dear sisters up to you. If they are going through a rough season and struggling with discouragement and feeling overwhelmed by everything surrounding them, I pray you will surround them with your Truth. Help them slow down and know your love to a depth they have never known it before. Give them direction in what You want them to be doing. Give them wisdom and discernment with how they spend their time and who they may reach out to for encouragement and to encourage. Fill them with Your truth! Thank you for your strength and unending love for us. May we not follow our flesh and the lies thrown at us, but stand strong in who You are and who You say we are! Chosen, forgiven and unconditionally loved through Jesus!
-In Jesus’ name,
Melody, a proud mother of three beautiful, adventurous children and the wife of one very loving and caring husband. Molded, daily, by the Maker of the Universe and longing to become more like Him.