Navigating Discouragement on the Darkest Days

It's hard not to feel discouraged when you feel like you're barely staying afloat in life. I have shared a few posts recently about our struggles and they have been met with such encouragement. But there are days that still feel so dark and lonesome.

I've had my share of these days where I wallow and get stuck and end up in tears in a corner because I just don't think I can go any further. Over the last year though, I have had such significant breakthrough that has brought me beyond wallowing to the place of opening and releasing. I might still be in tears, but I'm not wallowing and stuck.

How do I make it to this place where I am hopefully in tears instead of discouraged and self-pitying in tears?

Let's begin with what NOT to do:

Don't WALLOW.


While it's ok to allow yourself to FEEL your emotions, don't dwell on them - it will begin to cause self pity and once you get to that point, it's so much harder to allow others to comfort you.

Don't SULK.


Similar to wallowing, but sulking can involve others. If you sulk to someone that you know will sulk with you, it will only stir your emotions deeper into self pity.

Don't EMOTE ALONE.


While you are feeling your emotions, journal it, bring it to Jesus, call someone, don't do it by yourself.

It begins to destroy you when you try to do it on your own. The enemy has easy access to throwing negative thoughts, feelings, and even darker emotions at you when you are all alone. If you can't call someone, pray, if you can't pray, journal a letter to Jesus. In each of those cases, you are bringing Someone or Light into your darkness.

 



 

So, what SHOULD you do then?

Here's what I have found working for me:

First, my perspective has changed.


Instead of looking at my difficulties all on my own, I look at them from the perspective of what is God doing here?

It might not make the situation any less difficult, but it does give me hope that there is something better coming.

Second, I long for a Scripture/Story that relates or reflects my feelings/situation/emotion.


Lately, I have been reflecting on the story of Job. How he lost everything but was still faithful, even if he needed a little tongue lashing in the midst of his suffering.

I SOOOOOO understand that in the middle of suffering. Sometimes I just allow myself to suffer instead of turning my tears to heaven and remembering my strongest advocate hasn't left me all alone, but on the contrary is still fighting on my behalf.

Third, I call my mom.


I bore a lot of resentment towards my mom growing up but was so freed from that after becoming an adult when I most needed a friend.

She's become my best friend and I can always count on her to share wisdom and or pray for me in the middle of my blubbering issues. I sometimes struggle with praying on my own but my mom has never failed to pray for me, even when I don't call her and ask, I know she prays daily for me.

Maybe you don't have a praying mom, or maybe you don't have a great relationship with her - all you need is a woman (or man if you are a male and are reading this) ahead of you on the road of life that you can confide in. She's so crucial to the survival of your faith as you go day to day. Someone that has been there, made it through and can help to give you perspective and Scripture when you're struggling.

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