Coping with the Challenges, Trusting God

Talking to Myself

I sat there, waiting for the water to fill up. It took little time for it to reach my shoulders. I reclined my head against the back of the tub, wondering how it had come to this. I hadn’t really put much thought into how to do it, but I was so desperate to find a way out that this seemed like my only option. I wondered how it would feel … if I would struggle or if it would be quick and painless. I tried to empty my mind. I didn’t want to think, didn’t want to feel. With eyes closed, I tried to make my body limp and began to sink into the water. Just when my face was about to be submerged, I felt a kick, a sudden jolt to awaken me from my self-imposed nightmare. It was my baby, kicking from inside me, as if to say, “No, Mommy, don’t do this to us!” That was about 5 years ago, when I was pregnant with our third and wondered why God would entrust another child to me. As a young mother, I was overwhelmed with the task of raising up my children, including a son with special needs, according to God’s Word. I was beyond grief over my tendencies towards rage and anger. I was a mess, and unbelief led me to the conclusion that God could not fix me. This was one of the darkest days of my life.

shore, a womanPraise be to God, who has freed me from the chains of spiritual depression! I have been tempted many times to return to that dark day of my past, but The Lord has been faithful to rescue me every time. It certainly has not always been smooth sailing. I have encountered many moments when I am fighting to stay afloat. But fighting is good. And, part of that fight against spiritual depression means talking to myself. Sadly, I had already wasted a couple of years listening to myself: You’re a horrible mother. God must be tired of you repenting of the same sins. You must not be saved. Your family will better off when you’re dead. Succumbing to these thoughts, I had nearly given up the fight. Like the psalmist, I had to purposefully talk some sense to myself, “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.” (Psalm 42:11)

Preacher, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explained this psalmist’s self-talk so clearly,

“This man was not content just to lie down and commiserate with himself. He does something about it, he takes himself in hand … he talks to himself … I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self.” (“Spiritual Depression”, p. 20)

So, this is why I’m here, why I blog. It is one of the ways God has given me to talk to myself. I don’t have it all together. I really don’t. In between blog posts, there is a war waging within me, as I struggle to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, and a war outside of me as those thoughts, unchecked, are released into sinful actions towards those around me. Honestly, there are times I wonder if I’ll make it to the next post. But, God carries me through the difficult times and gives me His Word so that I may use it to talk to myself. And sometimes, those conversations end up here.

This blog is my attempt to keep a sober mind in the midst of a dark world and the result of a desire to bring everything in my life under the lens of God’s Word. Perhaps you are going through some dark days. May I encourage you to go to the Bible and let God speak to your heart? In the midst of your despair, I trust that He will give you something good to say to yourself.

 

(Photo credit: vanz)

79 thoughts on “Talking to Myself”

  1. Thanks a bunch! I am a lover of Jesus Christ, a Bipolar mom, with a newly diagnosed Autistic son, needless to say, your words are refreshing. Be Blessed, sis!

  2. Thank you. As today I too have struggled greatly with the voices of doom within myself. God has most certainly brought you to me today for a reason. Thank you for allowing Him to speak through you.

    1. Praise The Lord! I know I’m not alone in my struggles, but I’m also not alone in experiencing the victories in Christ. Often those “voices of doom” seem to be all that we hear, but God’s voice speaking to us through His word can silence them. I’m so glad The Lord brought you here. Thank you for your comment!

  3. I have goosebumps sister! I love your transparency, your love for the Word of God, your devotion to Jesus and your desire for Truth. So precious. The Word is very powerful. Thank you for being you. You are a beautiful example of what God can do in our lives! He loves you so much!

    1. Yes, the Word is powerful, living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. I have to constantly remind myself that too, because when I’m in a trial, sometimes, I think it’s not enough. God proves me wrong every time.

  4. Wow… It’s so nice knowing I’m not alone. Psalm 42:5, says the same thing as 42:11 and 43:5, and is one I have oft repeated to myself as well. Thank you for being so transparent. ((hugs))

    1. These verses give us a good example of how to talk to ourselves. We know we are talking to ourselves biblically when our answers end with God. Thank you so much for your comment, sister!

  5. Your courage to tell your desperate thoughts to the world is admirable. Your decisions to take the enemy head-on helped not only you, but all those who read your blog. I am passing it on!

  6. There are so many of us that struggle as you do. God used a precious unborn child to remind you how much you were and are needed! Satan uses, depression to hold us prisioner in his giant dungen of despair. Our ankles are gripped by it’s chains. The idea is to tell us we are unworthy, unusable, worthless; failures. “Just do away with yourself, already! What good are you anyway?” I have heard those same words. Nothing would give him more joy than to keep us from accomplishing the task he has before us, from fulfilling the reason we were created. My heart goes out to you sister as I have been there myself, many times, just under different circumstances. I send many prayers and hugs your way. Don’t forget to talk to the Father and hang by every syllable of his Word, as I am sure you already do, though sometimes when we are in the midst of it, we forget to talk to Him then. In my post on 5/28 I tell of a similar struggle, except God used a phonecall instead of an unborn child’s kick. Keep writing, sister, you are touching many! πŸ™‚

  7. I can so relate to what you have written. Thank you for sharing your ‘talking to yourself’ with your readers. It is very encouraging. God bless you!

    1. Praise The Lord we are not alone in what we go through and that He can use us to comfort others with the same comfort He has given us! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! God bless you!

  8. I started reading this in the early morning and had to stop and think about it some more. that was before having read the whole thing. I was touched by the story and really that of so many others who are so torn by the tragedy of life and see no way out. God is always with us in our trauma and drama we face but we so often feel very alone and incapable of winning the next battle. Let alone enduring through the whole war.

    I’m so glad you are where you are now. So glad the Lord has given you the strength to get to the next blog post.
    I like to remind myself and anyone else who will listen…the strength is there…always is but we get so distracted and torn by the struggles that we lose sight of how to ‘tap into’ the power of the Lord that lives in us.
    I don’t mean that in the way many ‘faith healers and teachers’ preach. I mean that in the way Paul the Apostle prayed hard for his trial to leave him but God told him that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
    We are like Paul in that way. Some things we want so disparately to go away and yet the Lord says, “I’m using that for my glory, and so you can grow stronger, and teach others…”

    the lessons can be hard.
    So honored to be in the battle and the war with you.
    Knowing that I have a warrior of your caliber fighting with me in the battle gives me and others strength and will to fight on.
    Fight on Christian soldiers; fight on!

    Let’s go. that battle rages and the Lord is calling the soldiers.

    1. Absolutely! The strength and power are there for His people, and not just any power … The power of the resurrection, the same power that can turn death into life. Whatever strength you see in the words that I share, I can attest that it all comes from Christ. We truly are rich in Christ! Thank you so much for your words of exhortation!

  9. I am joyful that you are letting God work in your life. I have worked with children with special needs and am aware of some of the challenges you face. And the Bible is so full of God’s wisdom for us. I am happy you are sending your readers to it. Keep up the blog. You are a gift to so many. I know God spoke to you through your fetus in that bathtub. Now your talking to yourself about God and fending off depression is most natural, as He has spoken to you. I will continue to follow your blog. May God bless you always.
    Betsy

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! I praise God for His Word. As the psalmist said, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13). The Bible has so many promises for those plagued with depression and the other trials of life. God bless you!

  10. Oh Amen, my pastor is also teaching on our thought life. I spent years in depression, and felt there was no end. It took reading Scripture and saying it over and over so it pushed the darkness out. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I am so glad your little one kicked and you changed your mind.

    1. Yes, yes, yes! I’m glad you said that, “reading Scripture and saying it over and over again”. There’s so much out there that offers the answers to our depression, but God’s Word is perfect and sufficient for every affliction, including our depression. Sometimes people feel like they need more, but who are we to add to God’s perfect Word?

  11. All good suggestions, both in the original post and in the comments, except…what do you do when you no longer believe what you would/could tell yourself? What do you do when the enemy has a case so long, it would take days to present in a court of law? Not necessarily this sin or that hardship, but a strong series of interconnected events that laughs and spits in the face of your faith?

    Many don’t know what this is like…but I get the sense you do…

    I don’t know if there is an answer, other than patience. I am discovering that there are points in this walk when the night is deeper and darker than any counsel can penetrate. Regardless, there is a message coming through, one that continues to direct me to new sources (maybe as training on behalf of others at some future date?).

    Just two months ago, the pastor gave a series lecture based on a particular book. I wrote down the name and author of the book and then forgot about it, until today: “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures” – D. Martyn Lloyd Jones.

    (*eyes up*) “Thanks for the reminder” πŸ˜‰

    1. That’s the problem … unbelief. It was for me. I was not a new convert. Yet, this trial came to me in the most unexpected way, during what I thought would be a happy stage in my life, motherhood. There were other sin issues that God was bringing before me, but in the end, I realized that I have allowed, in my mind, my circumstances to be bigger than God. He was no longer the all-powerful God I once believed Him to be: UNBELIEF. it is a frightening place to be. So, I thank The Lord for mercifully retrieving me from that pit. I certainly didn’t deserve it.

      So, for anyone that struggles with this, I would say confess your unbelief before God and say, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Then, begin to read the Word and focus on God Himself, not how to get out of your trials. Meditate on His attributes. Because even if your circumstances don’t change, you will believe again that your God is bigger than your circumstances.

      “How you view God and experience Him will affect how your heart responds to everything in life, including your trials.” Something my husband taught. The post is here.
      https://especiallymade.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/the-soul-satisfying-shepherd/

      1. I sat and baked on this one for a while. In the end, I disagree, but not directly. Unbelief can very well be the problem (of which everything you said is spot on), but I think there is another possibility.

        Just recently, in place of a sermon, my church played a video from Jeff Manion at the Global Leadership Summit from 2012 titled “The Land Between” (the original is copyrighted, but a duplicate sermon for a different audience can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn5cvHhXdvk). It was a moving sermon for me, since I have found myself in the “Land Between” for a time that is beginning to rival the ancient Israelites he cites in his sermon. I highly, highly recommend this sermon for anybody suffering from what we are talking about. I think it will resonate with you as well.

        Anyway, at one point, in Numbers 11, Moses collapses, wailing for God to kill him because the burden is too great. The people are sick of the manna and are in danger of rebelling. In answer to Moses’s prayer and the wailing of the camp, God is going to provide meat – for all 600,00+. Moses is more than a bit skeptical, to which God provides an often-quoted response today: “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” As Jeff paraphrases it in his lecture, the response can be rephrased as follows: “Are you questioning my ability, or my goodness?”

        “Um, Lord? I hate to say it, but I vote ‘goodness’.”

        I know He can. But why doesn’t He? As I put it once in our men’s group, “If my life experience, along with all the loss, pain, and turmoil, was only for the purpose of being a sound-byte for all of you, I’m going to be deeply, deeply disappointed.”

        Again, I don’t have the answers yet (and if the glory of the Lord finally breaks through, then I’m sure I will have answers to share, since knowledge follows obedience, not the other way around) but I thought it was important to follow up on this, since I think there are many others like me. On the surface, it sounds like unbelief, but the unbelief is a symptom, and not the root. Questioning God’s goodness (a scary position, but an undeniable one if you find yourself there) can seep into unbelief (as it has for me) but it is not the root.

        Perhaps you would like to take the lead on this one and do another post on this possibility?

  12. Try writing the negative thought down, ask God what the opposite, positive thing would be, write the new positive down on another sheet of paper, burn the negative, and focus on the positive. It makes the process fun, because you’re not fighting as much but rather focusing on god and what He’s going to do in your life. I got this from Graham Cooke… Google him. God bless!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Your comment reminds me of the “put off, put on” principle in Scripture, where God commands us to put off the old self (the negative), but we must also put on the new self (the positive). Both must be at work in a believer’s life. Sometimes, we only do one and not the other. I like the idea of writing down because it goes with what I mentioned in the post that we must learn to talk to our self. And there is no better positives to write down than Bible verses! Though it was a dark time for me, God used it to cause me to search, search, search the Scriptures. His Word is overflowing with promises to cling to!

      1. You are very welcome. This was sent to me as a direct response to your blog…..

        Dear Craig that made me need a hanky, it sends a very clear message, a sentiment very close to my heart (as you know) NEVER give up ! !

        If God has done 1 thing for me (he has done so much more) he has made me strong, I was a fighter before, I have achieved so much in the last 6 months, and the next 6 look set to be even better.

        I am very likely to have to re locate for my work later in the year, a decision which I found a hard one, I am just begging to feel settled here too. At least I have re-connected to so many people I used to know so well.

        My kids are fine with it. They understand and are actually very supportive about it. Catch up with you all soon x

        1. Thank you for sharing this! This was a deeply personal post for me, but I couldn’t keep it in. I’m so thankful that The Lord is using it to encourage others.

  13. Dear SM, We don’t have to repent of the lies Satan whispers to us, just recognize them and rebuke them in Yahshua’s name. Quote verses of the Bible, tell Satan where he is going (see REVELATION). When you do repent of something, such as having accepted and acted upon a lie, ask Father not only to forgive and wash you clean, but to DELIVER you from the unholy spirit that is attacking you. It’s very important, otherwise it will continually attack. Only Father can do this. When He shines a light on an area of weakness in me, and I repent of it, I just say to Him, ‘I am totally helpless against this, Father, only You can deliver me from it.’ Deliverance is usually swift and sure and I find myself not doing it any more. Your post is great, thank you. I will continue to pray for you coz I’ve been there too.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and offering your prayers. Praise be to God for His sufficient and powerful Word, the sword of the Spirit, used to fight our spiritual battles! When I am reading and meditating on the Bible, He equips me.

  14. May I say this is the first time I have really ‘met’ you! And it is a deep joy to come to know you. Now you are no longer a far-away Sister-in-Christ. You and I, we are now Christian and Faithful in “Pilgrim’s Progress”.

  15. Keep blogging and keep fighting! Depression also took me through many dark places, but God in his mercy brought me back to life. Now when darkness tries to put me down, I feel God’s love and His light shines through the darkness. God is the only one who can lift us up from the pit of despair. Praise be to the Lord! God bless you!

    1. Your comment reminds me of Psalm 139:12, “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Thank you for visiting!

    1. Reminds me of Psalm 149:4, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” He can turn affliction into something beautiful!

  16. Thanks for sharing so honestly. Many of us had the same dark struggles. Only the light of Jesus can overcome that darkness, and we are vessels of that love to eachother. May God continue to bless you and your family!

    1. The more I share with others, the more realize how often people can feel overwhelmed by their struggles. Praise The Lord Jesus Christ! I agree with you … “Only the light of Jesus can overcome that darkness.” Thank you so much for your comment!

  17. I understand where you were then… it washed over me a little stronger with each pregnancy and with my 5th it felt unbearable. I remember making a mental list of women I knew who would be much better mothers to my kids or even a wife to my husband. Such sick thoughts as I look back now. God sent me, “She’s Gonna Blow” and “Breaking Free” at my darkest hour, both full of another woman’s struggle to find solid ground through the Word. Our vulnerability can be just the Hope someone’s searching for. Bless you. It’s so good to be free! -Anna

    1. In my lowest points, I felt alone, like no one can truly relate, but once I started opening up, I realized many others, especially moms, were going through some dark times as well. Praise God for His Word that frees us from our bondage! I affirm what you said … “It’s so good to be free!”

  18. Bless you, sister, for being honest. I don’t know a single person, let alone momma, who has it all together. As you said, it is only by God’s grace that we can get up and face the next day after we feel as though we are an epic failure. You are valued, by me and countless others, for your openness and willingness to share your testimony that others may know the same God you serve. BLESSINGS!!

    1. God is merciful when He gives us a “next day”. New day, new beginnings, new mercies! Thank you so much for your kind words! Praying that God will use what we write for His name’s sake. God bless!

  19. What a beautifully honest post about the darkness of depression. May you be blessed greatly for your transparency and your sweet way of encouraging others to seek Christ through God’s word. He loves us each so tenderly…! Praising Him with you for His mercies and strength. God bless you!

  20. Thank you for sharing about your “dark night of the soul.” Life can be so hard sometimes, can’t it? If you don’t know the song, Psalm 13, it’s a “must learn.” It helps me through many dark times. The Psalmist begins by asking “How long, O Lord, will You forget me,” but end by remembering, “But I trust in Your unfailing love. You have been good, You will be good to me.” You can see the YouTube video here: http://youtu.be/_AT7wa0tPVU.

    So glad that baby kicked you. I’d have had to wait till heaven to meet you, sweet spirited sister!

    \o/

    1. Yes, a good kick was definitely something I needed. I’m amazed at how God uses children (even in the womb) to teach us some valuable lessons. Thanks for the You Tube link … I will check it out!

  21. Thanks so much for sharing this personal story. I’m glad that His grace has been enough for you. It sounds like you’re doing such a great job as a mum.

  22. I struggle with depression, though I don’t have the difficulties of a special needs child to take care of to add to it. Just let me relate this. I remember a time, when I was just a young man, when I was so depressed that I wrote a note wondering if I would ever get through it. Some years later, I came across that note. I remembered writing the note and putting it away, but for the life of me I could not, try as I might, remember what it was that had so depressed me.

    I know that words sometimes, or even often, really don’t convey the message very well. I just thank God for your blog and your bravery in baring all, so to speak. You’ve encouraged and helped me, both with your posts and with your comments to my posts, more than you’ll ever know.

    God bless you and make His presence very real to you.

    1. I guess that’s the thing about depression … the circumstances that bring about such despair are temporary and fleeting though it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Standing on Christ, my solid rock, is much better. Thank you so much for your kind words! I sincerely want God to be glorified in all this. Grace and peace.

  23. Thank you for this tender, transparent, and encouraging read. I don’t suppose you will ever know just how deeply your words will touch other’s hearts, deep in their souls, but I believe it will be absolutely fruitful as he uses it in others’ lives. It was used profoundly in mine. Thank you!

    I don’t always get to share how thankful I am for the blogs I stumbled upon when I first joined WordPress. More and more, I gather it wasn’t by accident. I’m glad I found yours. You bless me more than you know. πŸ™‚

    1. Not by accident at all, but by the providence of God, did we connect here in cyberspace. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments! You bless me as well, sister, with your writings. May God use our blogs to bring glory to Him alone!

  24. Thank you for your transparency! I definitely don’t have it all together, so you’re in good company with me. When we know our strength is in Christ and Christ alone, it frees us from the impossible burden of having to do it on our own. Your blog is a blessing – and so is your life!!!

  25. thanks so much for this tender and honest post … I am so grateful for the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” …when the enemy lies to me and tempts me to believe them … I remind myself that Jesus in me is all sufficient … I can so relate to your post and heart …

  26. Wow. This must be one of the most transparent and inspiring posts I have read. God can really lift us out of the deepest hole, can’t He? I’m so glad that He helped you see the purpose for your life not only that day but every single day until now. You are incredible blessing with your words to everyone who reads your blog and I’m sure a blessing to everyone around you.

    We all battle with negative thoughts the enemy sends us about ourselves and the spiritual battle we all face is very real even though it’s “invisible”. I pray that you continue finding your strength, comfort, joy, and peace in Christ alone through everything that comes your way.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Blessings! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! You’re absolutely right! The spiritual battles are real. Most of the time, fought in our minds, so no one would really know except us and our Lord. But what an opportunity to draw nearer to Him!

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