Tuesday was a difficult day. This was my brain dump and processing from that day. Welcome into my brain.
I’m done and it’s only 1 PM. I’ve only been up for about 6 hours and I’m already ready to curl back up in my bed, not to be heard from until tomorrow. Because, as always, tomorrow has the allure of being a better day.
Tomorrow I won’t feel depressed.
Tomorrow can be a sunshiny day.
Tomorrow all of God’s promises will be real and attainable and all mine.
Tomorrow I will be able to take on and conquer the world.
That day is not today.
Today is for retreating.
Today is for being a hermit.
Today is for negative self-talk because, after all, I am right about myself.
I’m a pretty self-aware person and I have a decent handle on my strengths and my weaknesses. I usually don’t take on more for myself than I should and I don’t often sign up for things that I know I will fail at. I value achieving things and accomplishing tasks and I will give myself the best possible chance at doing so.
Something I’m quite aware of is my battle with depression. I’ve struggled with this my entire life though that would probably come to quite a surprise to many people. I was a happy child and enjoyed what life had to offer, I can be a friendly and funny and gregarious person when I want to be. For years I excelled at hiding my feelings and the darkness inside of me because I didn’t want to face it and I didn’t want others to know. I shut off my emotions for years because not feeling was easier than dealing with hurt and pain.
I’m much better than I once was and my bad days are fewer and further between than they used to be. But the bad days still come. Today is a bad day. Today, all I can hear is “you’re a failure”. I look around my life and all I see are the things that I don’t do well. Even those “successes” that I’ve had in the past month are still “failures” in my eyes for various reasons. I look around at other people and see their successes and can’t imagine how I could ever succeed. I look at the dreams I have for my future and can’t help but think that I won’t be able to achieve them simply because of who I am. My failure rate far outweighs my success rate.
This is more than just needing to adopt a life of positive self-talk; this all comes back to the concept of identity. When I see my identity as something based upon the things that I do or achieve then I can easily call myself a failure. But what I’m choosing to remind myself is that I am not the sum of my accomplishments. I am not defined by the things that I do or create, I am defined by God and who he says that I am.
So, instead of curling up in my bed and binge-watching Netflix for hours on end, I have decided to remind myself of who God says that I am. I’m putting the truth in instead of the lies that are so easy for me to believe. I’m choosing to speak my true identity over myself, trusting that God’s word is, indeed, correct.
I am rooted in Christ, embraced by God, and completed by his love. I am called a friend, a daughter, and more than a conquerer. When he looks at me, he doesn’t see sin and shame and death, but he sees me through the eyes of love. If I am no longer defined by my past because of Christ, then why do I keep focusing on that?
Tuesday ended better than it began. I got outside of myself and made better decisions. I prayed and then I spoke honestly with some in my community, welcoming them into my rough day. I did the things that were in my control to care for my body and my mind.
No matter who you are or what your sin struggle looks like, we all have bad days. We’re human and we’re going to mess up, we will stumble, we will err, but we get to choose our response to that moment of failure. We can choose to live in the mentality of defeat and regret and shame or we can choose to accept the identity we’ve been given in Christ. My hope is that with each mistake we will choose to get up and embrace truth instead of lies.
You can learn more about your identity in Christ in the book My Story.