Blog, Change, Christian Living, Daily Discipline, Thought Life

Dismissing Discouragement

“Show her in.” Dizzy was led into the room where Mrs. Self was sitting. Raising her head from some paperwork at her desk, Mrs. Self said, “Yes?” “Well…,” Dizzy began. “Yes, what is it?” came the reply with just a touch of impatience. Dizzy finally answered, “You see, I’ve remembered something that I may have left out the last time…and I’m so disappointed I just can’t get past it…After all that I’ve done for her…I just couldn’t believe it, so…I came.” “I see. You’re dredging that up again,” replied Mrs. Self, who had put her pencil down. “Have a seat. Let’s go through it once more. We might strike upon something that will help, this time…” Dizzy dutifully sat and recounted every morbid detail; she had it memorized. As she spoke, the serene countenance of Mrs. Self was initially merely attentive; as the story went on, there became a noticeable flatness to her face, which turned to concern, then worry, then unveiled distress.

 The maid came and offered coffee and light snacks. As more time passed, she came again and drew the curtains with the approach of evening. Unflagging, Dizzy continued. With no end to this meeting in sight, dinner was ordered and eaten as the monologue forged on. Mrs. Self said little. She was noticeably disturbed; she had eaten a mere few bites at dinner. Finally, Dizzy drew in a gusty breath and said, “So, you see, of course, why I just had to stop by. I just had to. I had to talk to you again.” Mrs. Self merely stared. Glancing down at her watch, Dizzy exclaimed, “My! I had no idea it was so late! I will be on my way at once.” The maid, who had been waiting within earshot, handed the lady her hat and coat and showed her to the door.

 Mrs. Self sat as though paralyzed, gazing into the fire in the hearth. No new answers had come tonight. In fact, this time around seemed to have been worse than all the others before. She glanced at her desk and all the unfinished work piled upon it. Her mind was mushy and vague; she felt as though she had run a marathon and was utterly drained. Why, oh why had she let this happen again?

 

 

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If you’re like me, discouragement and disappointment come knocking often. In my life now, my discouragement stems more from personal struggles or from thinking of “where I should be now” or thoughts along those lines. There was a time in my life where the words and actions of others would be rehashed ad nauseam in my little mind. Hurtful words, situations and relationships would all surface at some point in my daily thought-life.

Yesterday I was ambushed. I went to have a dress hemmed by a local seamstress and was dismayed when I put the dress on and stood on the platform for her to take measurements. With bright lighting and a two-walled mirror, it was impossible to hide the truth. Was it really this tight when I had first tried it on? In embarrassed agony, I stood and mechanically answered her questions. I was fairly confident that the thought must have crossed her mind that rather than taking a few inches off of the bottom, she should have been adding a few inches to the middle! As I walked outside into the blazing Texas sun, I felt so ashamed. And then I heard it. The knocking at my heart’s door. Rat-a-tat-tat. It was her again….Discouragement. And even though I KNOW better, I let her in! You know the rest of the story: my day was ruined.

My friends, let’s remember together that when discouragement shows up on our doorstep, we do NOT have to let her in! We do NOT! The Word of God says to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ! (2 Corinthians 10:5) Instead of foolishly inviting her in, we are called to intercept her as the traitor she is! Don’t fall for the trap I did yesterday. Yes, it is true that I need to lose weight, but NO, it is not true that I am a complete failure. Yes, it is true that this is a part of me that God is helping to work me through, but NO, it is NOT true that I am defined by how I look. Filter those thoughts, sisters! We are so harsh with ourselves, but our Lord…He is ever so gentle with us.

So whatever the situation that threatens to discourage you, don’t allow the poison past your doorstep. If there’s a need, take it to the Lord, but don’t let the need take you down. The next time that ol’ girl comes knocking on your door make sure you DISMISS her with a slam of the door!

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