Even the most positive among us occasionally deals with feelings of discouragement, I am sure. I know that I am far from immune to falling prey to negative perceptions and thoughts about life.
It can be during these times, when we are dissapointed or hurt by someone in our lives, or by the outcome of a situation we believed would be different, that it is easiest to give in to despair.
I have been struggling with this mightily the past few days, as it has become apparent that things are going to move more slowly and have different timing than I had hoped for. I have also felt the sting of someone I love being unkind and the mark of hurt and shame that burns on a heart long after can have a great and powerful effect on a person, (especially someone as sensitive as I admittedly am.) It is so easy to believe that everyone sees only the worst in us when we secretly suspect it of ourselves already; so easy to imagine that things will only get worse when a situation seems so very hopeless.
So where do we go when feelings of discouragement attack in our everyday lives? How do we prevent disappointment and despair from taking over on days when it seems the storms of life hover so low that all around us must actually be able to see the black clouds following overhead as we go about our day?
Always there is comfort in The Word. One of my favorite verses for this is:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
(and of course 2 Timothy 1:7, for which this blog is named.)
What are some of your favorite scripture readings and verses of encouragement? How else do you fight feelings of discouragement and periods of despair?
Along with prayer, I also find comfort in giving time to things that I KNOW make a difference. Today I came home, (giant dark cloud above my head booming thunder and lightning in the form of self-doubt and hurtful and negative things said to and around me today down on me,) and was greeted by an excited ball of whirling black fur circling my feet.
Hooray – someone who is so happy to see me, and wants nothing but whatever love I can give! So Potter and I bundled against the chill of the darkening evening and went for a nice long restorative walk. Doggie and mommy both happy to be together and out in the air. I won’t lie, it didn’t cure all. But it went a long way toward staving off the negative, angry, hurt-filled thoughts that have been fighting to rise up in my mind and steal even the hope of joy in this day. Perhaps for this moment that is enough.