We’ve all had those moments when we talk to ourselves. I have found that I talk to myself more living alone than when I lived with other people. For me, talking to myself often feels odd. Especially when I’m speaking something positive yet deep in negative feelings. When we do that, we are putting our current state of mind on hold, force a complete change of thought, and remind ourselves of the truth. For those of us that are verbal processors, we may find ourselves doing this more than others. But how often are those chats positive? Is your mind focused on the daily grind, milling through your daily stresses, tasks at hand, and the like? Perhaps you are beating yourself up about your latest mistake. Or… are you declaring the positive despite your feelings?
Last Monday, before everyone hit the polls, I had to run to Anchorage. I had three main goals for the day: doctor appointments (Ear, Nose, and Throat and Chiropractor), monthly grocery run/errands, and return a game to Best Buy. I didn’t sleep well the night before and left fairly early to get to the ENT by 10:00 am. Anchorage is roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes away from where I live if the roads are good and traffic is clear. I won’t bore you with the details of my day, just know that it didn’t go so well. My mind was all over the place and I kept having to retrace my steps. I added around an extra 2 hours of drive time. The main reason: I forgot to go to Best Buy before leaving Anchorage. I drove back in only to discover I left the game at home. On my way home I forgot to get gas, twice. Luckily I realized this in Chickaloon. I probably drove for a total of 8-9 hours that day. The silver lining? The chat with myself on my way home.
I recently got into podcasts which came in handy that day. I listened to the Brant and Sherri Oddcast as well as David Ramsey’s show. While listening to David Ramsey, he was encouraging one of his callers and talked about how the David in the Old Testament had to encourage himself. After my hectic day, I was reminded of this passage and decided to try it out. I spoke to my soul and asked why it was downcast (Psalm 42). Then, following David’s example once more I began to declare all of God’s truths (Psalm 103).
Psalm 42:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” (ESV)
I don’t know how long that conversation with myself lasted, but it was intense. What started off calm and to the point became pretty emotional. I was processing a lot of feelings and information at once. I was forcing myself to focus on the positive, who God is, who I am in Christ, and the promises He has given me. I had to hold onto the truth while I took my thoughts captive, and laid them at the feet of Christ. For me, it wasn’t just that day I was addressing. It was a lot of frustrations that were building up over the last few months. Some things I hadn’t even addressed out loud with anyone. As I continued to speak the truth I felt a breakthrough in my own life. I had allowed myself to agree with the negative and embrace lies about my life. Eventually, the conversation turned toward praise and worship as I began to compare myself to my situation two years ago. I have a short video about that comparison in one of my posts on Facebook. You can watch that video here. I ended this chat with my soul by praying, and continuing to align myself with who God says I am.
Once I got home, I felt supercharged. I was up easily for another four hours excited for how this chat had completely turned my viewpoint around. I hopped on Marco Polo and told some of my closest friends, hoping to encourage them to do the same. Would you guess that three days later I was tested again? I found myself slipping into depression for similar reasons. This, after an amazing few days of encouraging people with my story and how God is faithful to His promises. This also took place after some key improvements to this very website. I was finally on a good track with my blog, newsletter, social media posts, and communicating with loved ones. What a ‘coincidence’ that after all that fell into place I became depressed.
General side note: Please understand that I am someone that thinks it is okay to go through emotions. There are times when we will be sad, frustrated, or depressed. For example, when someone we love passes away. It is okay to go through these emotions. What I have learned though, is that it is not okay to stay there. As someone who struggles with clinical depression, I am constantly fighting my own mental battles to stay positive and focus on truth. I mean in no way to belittle that type of struggle, or seasons when we just feel like the world is against us. But what I am saying is even when we feel that way, hold fast to His words. Don’t let your negative thoughts or life circumstances distract you from declaring His promises. God is faithful.
Back to the subject at hand. Once I realized I was under a spiritual attack from the enemy, I once again declared God’s faithfulness. My mini freak out lifted, I no longer worried about my finances and drifted off to sleep. In my Life Update sent out in October, I was $600/month short going into this Winter. Within 10 days that amount was cut in half by new monthly supporters. I was amazed at how quickly this amount decreased. Last Friday, I sent out my Monthly Update for November. In that update, I shared with my subscribers how faithful God was. In faith, I scheduled a blog for the end of November titled “God is faithful.” A few hours after my most recent newsletter was sent I got a message through my Facebook Page. It was a message that blew me away and brought me near to tears while I was on my lunch break (substituting at school). I had to compose myself as coworkers were coming in. You see, I was just informed about a one-time donation that would be mailed into LightShine. The amount given would cover my $300/month deficit for four months! The main reason for this monthly deficit is currently not working full-time. Something I have been working on but with not much success.
This donation was impactful for many reasons. First, it met my immediate needs. Second, it answered my prayers as well as the prayers of others. Friends who have been praying with me since September for a breakthrough in finances rejoiced at this news! We began praising God and once again (trying not to be a broken record but…) that HE IS FAITHFUL! When doors seemed to keep closing as I kept pursuing job opportunities I paused and had a chat with God. In my quiet prayer time with Jesus, I inquired about this. I knew He confirmed my call to remain in the Copper River Valley. I heard Jesus respond as He spoke to my heart. He said I would be walking through another season of living by faith.
I don’t know how long this season will last. I am still applying to other job opportunities. Despite the unknown, I can testify that in Him my needs will be met. I pray this blog encourages you today. Be blessed! If you have a story to share about God’s faithfulness, I would love to hear it in the comments below.
P.S.: I would like to extend a big thank you to my good friend PJ Walk, who has been faithful as my editor in this blog.
Author: A.P. Smither
Editor: P.J. Walk
*Disclaimer: views and opinions expressed by A.P. Smither do not necessarily reflect the views of his editors, current employers, or ministry affiliates: Light Shine Ministries and Hope of the Nations Christian Center.