Tuesday, January 6, 2015

5 Steps to Getting OFF a Roller Coaster

I generally write for a female audience. I know some men read my work, but men, unless you are up for WAY too much information, you might want to exit this particular post right now. Seriously. Come back next week and, Lord willing, I’ll post something that’s not so saturated with estrogen. Today, I’m writing exclusively to the ladies, and I wonder if it’s too over the top even for my own gender.  

You’ve been warned. 

To my great surprise, I recently received a flurry of notes from women offering encouragement and sharing how Strengthened by the Word Ministries has touched their lives. What a blessing! The notes say they receive inspiration through my teaching, writing, coaching, and in general through the ministry that the Lord is accomplishing through me. All to the praise and honor of the Lord.

In the meantime, I caught wind of a “large” gathering of friends to which I was not invited. That same day, another friend asked for my advice on a particular matter, then decided to go a different direction.  Ouch.  Of course I took those things personally and guess where my mind dwelled.  Right.  On the negative.

The confidence beginning to blossom through the help of a few compliments is once again buried in insecurities. In an instant, the negative overtook the positive. I’m reminded of times when people gave up on me. Memories of rejection and inadequacy are resurfacing to the front of my mind. For the thousandth time, I feel invisible and of little value. 

I know it’s stupid. I mean, honestly - what completely idiotic reasons to allow myself to slump into a heap of melted uncertainty. But here I sit, wishing I had some Christmas chocolate to drown my sorrows. I don’t. I’ve eaten it. All of it.  
I find myself strapped into a seat on a familiar roller coaster. Up, high in the sky for a few brief seconds, then plummeting to the lowest of lows. I enjoy roller coasters in amusement parks, but those that come through emotions aren’t all that fun. 

Avoiding dramatic swings sometimes seems impossible. Maybe it’s hormones, or tight panties, or too much sugar from holiday goodies. The fact is, I’m on the roller coaster and I’d really like to get off. 

I prefer a more level path, don’t you? So what’s a girl to do?

Obviously I’m still learning and don’t have this issue mastered, but here’s my 5-step action plan (and it does not involve chocolate):

  1. Vent.  Do this carefully and without causing injury to others - and then move on.  I recently heard it said that trials are inevitable, but misery is optional.  I will walk through this trial, but I will not let misery get the best of me.
  2. Fill my mind with the truth of God’s Word. I often wonder why negativity sticks to my skin like a cocklebur while words of affirmation seem to roll right off. A friend gave an answer: It’s because I already believe the negative. I don’t need convincing. In a move of combat, I turn to Scripture. The more TRUTH I can plug in to my mind, the less room there is for roaming thoughts of junk. A few of my "go-to" verses are listed and linked below.
  3. Find a reason to laugh.  Visit with a friend by phone or text. Ask her to share the happiest or funniest thing that’s happened today. Share a joke or listen to a great, clean comedian.
  4. Move around.  I’m not much of an exerciser (everyone knows that), but vacuuming, or gardening or goat feeding or even a bit of laundry can help a negative mindset, especially if the activity involves sunshine. (My husband sometimes loves when I’m angry because I clean like there’s no tomorrow.)
  5. Crank up the praise music and keep the focus on God.  These wise words came via text message:  “We are mature creatures with a mighty God who keeps us. We are His from beginning to end. It may get messy, but we have authority in the spiritual realm to break the lies that hold us back. Our experiences with Christ grow us to a point where WE ARE NOT FOOLED.”   Yes, Lord. Satan is a liar and constantly whispers lies. We need not believe them. We are Yours. Victory is ours.

I feel better. Thank you for riding the roller coaster with me. My white knuckles are beginning to relax and I think we can get off now.  


Is my makeup okay?

Some of my Go-To Scripture Verses:


Do you have go-to Bible verses when you struggle with negative self-talk? What are they?

What kind of things make you laugh?

In what areas has God provided victory in your past?

Be Strengthened Today, By His Word,
Psalm 119:28


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