I don’t know about you but I have a bad habit of letting my thoughts hold me hostage, especially when I mess up. Whenever something bad happens, I run through it again and again and I call myself names I would never call anyone else.

Last weekend, I got to see this in action. My husband bought me a laptop because I’m in the middle of a huge assignment. I took the laptop with me on my annual writers’ retreat. That way I could participate and still get some work done. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the first night at the retreat, I cracked the screen.

Predictably, the negative thoughts came rolling in and the big ones were “Why am I such an idiot?” and “Why does God hate me?”

On my good days, I know God doesn’t hate me. I truly know this, at least right up until the negative self- talk starts. Breaking my brand new computer promised to be one of those negative situations full of self-hate.

By the time I went to bed that first night, I was queasy and down. Fortunately, I woke up with a bit of time to spare and worked in a few prayers. “Please help me keep these thoughts at bay. In my heart, I know you love me. I just need to love myself.”

Throughout that day, I worked with the other writers at the retreat. Sure, there were a few bumps and immediately my negative thoughts tried to take control. “Why do these things always happen to me?”

But they don’t, and as soon as I remembered that I side-stepped that potential funk and was able to get on with my day, even helping a few other people wrestle with their own self-doubts. Writers are always full of self-doubt! But I know it isn’t just writers. There are so many of us who have allowed our negative thoughts to run wild.

My words of advice for you? Don’t entertain these thoughts. God loves you. Hating yourself doesn’t serve Him in any way. When self-doubt threatens to flatten you, take a few moments to bask in His Love. If you can’t do it yourself, call in a fellow prayer warrior.

As they hold you up in prayer, listen to what He has to say. It’s a message worth hearing.

–SueBE

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