Battling Discouragement and Doubt

What I’m about to share comes from a raw and recent place in my life. But, that shouldn’t come as any surprise if you’ve been in this space for a while. One of my core values is that vulnerability invites others to be vulnerable. The reason this is so important to me is that I believe that vulnerability is the pathway, if you will, to your true heart, to deep healing, and to the abundant life that Jesus offers.

I didn’t share a blog post or newsletter following Easter weekend or last week as I typically do every Monday morning. I’d like to be able to say that it’s because I was too busy or because I honestly didn’t have anything worth sharing. But neither of those reasons are fully true. Yes, I have a lot on my plate, but the truth is I allowed fear, doubt, and discouragement win for the past two weeks… every day getting a bit worse than the day before. So slowly, so gradually, like a fog that settled in and didn’t want to leave.

I’m sharing this because I think many people can relate and I want to shine the light into my situation for you in hopes that if you’re currently struggling here, like I was, I can help lead you out of it. The fog began to settle in a few weeks back in the form of a lack of clarity around some pretty major decisions in my life. It then turned into discouragement and confusion; and finally into doubts in the depths of my heart. I didn’t realize what was going on until it felt like too late. I believe in praying in this type of a situation and inviting God to speak into it to reveal what’s going on. So often in my life I slip into these “foggy seasons” that are very much like a minor depression. They aren’t, in my case, a result of a physical or emotional imbalance that I’m aware of. In my personal experience, my foggy seasons are a result of believing lies about myself and about God instead of keeping my eyes and heart set on Truth.

Before I move deeper I feel like I should acknowledge that if you are dealing with or suspect you’re dealing with depression, please reach out for help from your loved ones and your doctor. It’s absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of and is a very real thing that can be addressed. We live in a broken world; and broken bodies, minds, and hearts are a natural result of our current world.

So what do we do when we are living under the weight of discouragement and disillusionment? First, I take it to God and ask Him to speak into my current situation. He may reveal that what I’m facing isn’t what I thought. Read this post for an example about how this played out in my life in the past year. I didn’t know what to do with a sudden change in my heart and emotions that was dragging me down and God told me exactly why I was feeling the way I was and immediately the fog lifted and my heart was restored.

If taking it to God on my own doesn’t bring me peace and clarity I try to get out and reach out. Most likely my trusted friends and family are or at some time have struggled with the same thing I’m currently struggling with. Even if they haven’t, I reach out to someone I trust with my heart and open up about how I’m feeling. My closest trusted loved ones are always able to remind me what’s true about me and the gold they see inside of me even when I can’t see it. Their outside perspective is almost always the exact thing I need to make that shift in my mind and heart. God created us for community. Many times if I’m able to talk about what is going on that just speaking my thoughts and feelings aloud is enough to expose the lies and turn my eyes back to the truth. The enemy likes to work through keeping us inside our own heads and isolating us. So often I allow myself to believe that I have to do things on my own and be strong on my own. That is simply not true. He created you and I to need each other. I’m not my own Savior, Jesus is, and he can show up in my life through the love of a friend if I’ll allow him.

There’s also the spiritual warfare component to battling fear, discouragement, anxiety, etc. Sometimes we simply need someone else to step in and help us battle against the enemy alongside us. There’s so much more I’d love to share about spiritual warfare in this aspect of my life struggling with discouragement, but I’d need to write a short book to communicate everything clearly. So for now I’ll leave you with the encouragement that we aren’t meant to do life alone and if you’re deeply struggling it’s likely not your fault, so stop battling yourself. The enemy doesn’t have to worry about you if he’s convinced you to fight yourself into a dark hole. Set your eyes on Jesus, invite a trusted loved one (or a few) along side you, and Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know.

I’m so grateful for my dear friend, Anna, who God used in my life this past week to help pull me out of the fog. I also texted and told a few other friends about what I was feeling and asked for prayer and I know that their heart-felt prayers helped in my journey last week. God’s timing in it all was amazing, as always!

If what I shared encouraged you, please let me know by leaving a comment and sharing this post with your friends! You never know who may be in need of this message right now! Become a member of my e-newsletter community to be the first ‘in-the-know.’ You can also connect with me on instagram and facebook.

Battling discouragement and doubt in small business and life jenna shriver photography

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