It turns out, it really is that simple…

I could tell you all the reasons why I haven’t posted in a while… but to put it bluntly; I didn’t want to because I wanted to see God expand on what I wanted to tell you. For about two weeks now I’ve wanted to blog about putting on a metaphoric blind fold and forcing myself to trust God with 100% of the things I struggle with. Whether it be anxiety, stress, control freak issues, you name it; work, school, friends family and dumb drama – we both know those lists could go on for miles. Every time I set aside an evening to write to you, God told me to wait. “God, why on earth would I wait; this is the first Thursday evening in months that I’ve had free – I could have the post up before the weekend for people… like when I first started blogging..” *cough cough* “I’m still writing” is how God answered me. Well alrighty then! I’ll write when your done.. just sharpen the pencil for me when it’s my turn *wink* As always, I hope you’ve just put on a pot on coffee or started a full kettle; because reading is always better with a warm drink, let’s get real. I literally took pictures of devotional pages, Bible verses, quotes, etc. of things that continually popped up that God was stringing together for one mega message. Forest Bridge

Now, recently, I’ve been really frustrated at myself. I have been kicking myself because I am constantly comparing my abilities to the people around me and continually beating myself up about why I’m not as good as the next person. I know I’m one of the only people on the face of the earth with this issue.. but bear with me.. It was a gross cycle. One example was with work. Everyday I would go to work, and everyday at work I would compare myself to the people I was working with. “Why are they so confident?” “How can they do this so accurately and smoothly every time?” “I wish I knew what to say in those situations like they do.” Etc, etc. Everyday I would leave work feeling defeated – even if it was a fun day! I didn’t get it. On complete opposite occasions, I would go home feeling the same way. Days when I helped clients, sold stuff and laughed with people vs. days when I literally asked for help with every question that came my way, didn’t sell anything and forgot my laugh box at home in my bed. I would go home feeling defeated and discouraged. On my drives back to the house I would find something negative to focus on. BUT WHY?! For whatever reason, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to focus on the happy and positive things in my day. This went on for what felt like decades. Each hour felt like a day, a day felt like a week and a week felt like a year. I dreaded waking up in the morning. The more I compared myself the more I felt like I could get it right. “Oh, so and so does this and it works. So I’ll just do that too and I’ll start to succeed.” Pure logic right? Mmmm no. I started feeling worse because I realized more and more that I wasn’t catching up or keeping up. It wasn’t until my boss stopped me before going home one night and asked what was up, “Dude, I’ve noticed you’re just off lately. What’s up?” I did not want to tell my boss what the deal was… “You don’t have to talk to me about it if you don’t want to – I get that, but know I’m always here to chat if you need to get it out. I’ve been feeling that you’re not doing 100% though and I just wanted to ask..” I then started to tell him how I’ve been frustrated with myself. Frustrated with myself at work, with friends, with family, and with myself in general. Feeling, not good enough. He just looked at me and listened. After I finished he put it bluntly, “K, first of all, you’re not perfect. You’re not gunna hit every ball outta the park. So stop thinking you can. There’s your first issue. Second, why do you think you need to be hitting home runs 100% of the time? You are actually pulling your hair out over nothing.” “I know,” I tried to

Babe Ruth; New York Yankees

Babe Ruth; New York Yankees

explain, “it’s just when I see you and everyone else I think I should be doing better..” He cut me off, “You cannot and should not be comparing yourself to anyone. You can’t roll that way. Do you know who Babe Ruth was? Babe Ruth was an amazing baseball player. On paper; he was phenomenal, in person he was a slobby pig that had one of the worst athletic forms in baseball. But he was amazing. Babe Ruth did not compare himself to other baseball players; he had his own swing that he found and made work for him. Anybody else looking at the guy saw his bad form, unhealthy body, etc. but they also saw his stats. You need to stop focusing on how others see you. Who cares if you have to ask questions all the time – you’re learning. Who cares if you don’t make a sale – you gave them information. If you get ten balls thrown at you and hit three outta the park but miss the other seven; you need to focus on those three home runs – not the seven outs! And that goes for anything in life. Be it people in your life, responsibilities, hobbies, whatever. As long as you are doing your best you can, you need to celebrate in the little victories. And, I’ll let you now that you have your own, very unique swing that is working for you! I’ve seen it, the others have seen it. You’re doing fine and you’ve hardly been here.” I was stunned. Sometimes I feel like my boss hardly knows me and other times I feel like we’ve grown up together. As I got in my car to drive home I felt God continue what my boss was talking about. “Payton, you’ve been allowing the devil to cloud your mind with undeserved stress, guilt and anxiety. You can do all things through Me because I give you strength. Anything that doesn’t happen wasn’t meant to happen. I know you’ve been discouraged thinking you’re not good enough for the people around you but you need to stop thinking that way and start thinking about how you can be My light for them. How can you show Christ’s love to them instead of your own love?”

CokeThe next morning I cracked open my devotional book and could’ve laughed about how bang on it was, “Do not bring performance pressures into our sacred space of communion. Stop worrying long enough to hear My voice. I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being. Your mind shuttles back and forth weaving webs of anxious confusion. As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky strings of worry. Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can think My thoughts. This ability is an awesome benefit of being My Child, pattern after My own image. Do not be deafened by the noise of the world or that of your own thinking. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Sit quietly in My presence, focusing on Me instead of the things going on around you.” God also reminded me that morning that I was not fully committing the day to Him. In the mornings I would think and stress about how I would try my best to do well that day. I would strain my mind to think about how I should’ve done or what I didn’t do and how I failed instead of relaxing to see what I accomplished. God pointed out, that when I am spending time with Him, I’m constantly asking Him to help me at work; to do well and to meet the “standards” of the people I’m working with. I’m not supposed to be burning my time with God like that!

β€œWhen the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Day 2: “Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together, we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is difficult at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance light footed in the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step; clinging to My hand for strength and direction. Though the path is hard and scenery is dull at times, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you.” I felt that once again God was nudging me to first of all, set my eyes on Him. Second, to focus on my accomplishments through His strength and third, to dismiss the discouragements the devil was waving in front of my face. God then gave me Psalm 37:23 & 24, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he may trip, he won’t fall, for the Lord holds his hand.” No matter how many times I strike out, I need to look at my home runs because that is what God has allowed me to accomplish. As this week went on it felt like every day God was giving me more rope to climb out of the pit of discouragement. You know when you’re out on a hike and you come to the last and biggest section? It’s steep and thick, but you know the top is going to be marvelous? When you start working your way to the top; you have a strange, new sense of energy – because you know this is the last one before you get to enjoy the rewards at the top. That’s honestly the best way to describe my week. Every day that went past, God gave me strength in the morning and helped me to take joy in what we did that day. The next day God gave me another boost. Like on Mario Kart when you drive over the rainbow patches! “I want you to experience the riches of your salvation: the joy of being loved constantly and perfectly. You make a practice of judging yourself, based on how you look or behave or feel. If you like what you see in the mirror, you feel a bit more worthy of My love. When things are going smoothly and your performance seems adequate, you find it easier to believe you are My beloved Child. When you feel discouraged, you tend to look inward so you can correct whatever is wrong.” Instead of trying to “fix” yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed n My righteousness, radiant in My perfect love.” That is exactly what I needed before work. In that moment, I felt that God totally showed me that He knows exactly how I feel and how I have been struggling. For Him to speak directly to my heart and say hey, I know you think that you have to be doing well in order for Me – or anyone to love you, but it’s ok, I’m going to love you and will always love you anyways. I’ve felt that if I drop the ball on someone I don’t deserve to be loved by them. When I’m sharing this now, I realize how dumb that is because I would never treat someone else that way if roles were reversed. For example, the other day I had planned to skype a good friend of mine in the evening, but consultations at work ran unexpectedly late and I got home three hours after we planned to skype. I felt like I dropped the ball on her. In that moment I felt like I had failed as a friend. God then told me that He has placed people in my life that will love me despite my failures just like I love people despite their short comings. It is not about who deserves who’s love and friendship or even how much of a friend to be – we all help each other to be stronger in Christ.

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As each day past, each day got better than the previous. God helped me to be constantly looking to Him all through out my day. To shoot up those mini prayers and commit moments and people to Him. To give me knowledge and humility, humor and grace. At the end of the day my boss came up to me, “You’ve been killing it these past few days! You’re doing better?” I smiled, yeah, I’ve been doing a lot better.. “well it’s showing, not specifically saying sales or work wise, but your atmosphere is more positive. Way to be Rockstar.” My boss and I went on a couple consultations that day and we were able to talk about asking for God’s help but also being willing to act. If you want change you have to be willing to change and to search it out. You can’t simply wait around for something to magically appear on your lap. About a week ago (que dance moves) I was dreading getting out of bed and attempting to do things. But God sought me out and changed my attitude and helped me to want to change. I knew I didn’t want to keep that attitude. I love life. This is common knowledge to anyone that knows me – or has ever met me, really.Β  You have to be willing to do something. I had to constantly be adjusting my sight on the Lord through out my day. At some points, I was praying every fifteen minutes to give my anxiety to God and to ask for His help. It got to the point where I prayed before I talked to every client I encountered that day, because I knew I needed His strength to help them. I think that was one of the most encouraging parts though, knowing that God was there listening and ready for me every time I spoke to Him. It wasn’t my own knowledge, it wasn’t fluke; it was God giving me answers, allowing my boss and manager to “pop up” at the right times to conveniently answer questions. Once again, God gave me a Psalm, “Why are you in despair, o my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.”(62:8}

“Therefore do not worry about {each moment} , for {each moment} will worry about itself. Each {moment} has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

“Payton, I heard your heart and I knew you were sad. I reached out to you and you grabbed My hand. While you focus on trusting Me, I will gently pull you up and clean you off. I have said in My Word, “I did this so that you would seek Me and perhaps reach out to Me and find Me; though I have never been far from you. For in Me you live and move.. {Acts 17:27 & 28} Keep reaching out to Me and relying on Me and I will continue holding you and guiding you.” Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality.” Guys, I want to encourage you to reach out. Reach out to those around you to encourage them and to push them to keep going. You have no idea the impact you can have on someone else’s life. More importantly, reach out to God because He is always watching you and ready to jump in and help you. I was struggling with my self confidence, work, and the people around me; but not only allowing but asking God to step in has given me a new joy, a new confidence and a new love for all those things. Stop putting it off like I was. Stop waiting around allowing things to get worse and letting your heart slip into a depressing state. Be ok to accept help and be willing to change. I wish I could stress that more, it’s kinda hard over the internet.. Going home is not an option, we can only go hard.

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

 

Ps.

I wanted to say thank you by the way, thanks for staying with me, and for praying for me and even just showing you care by reading πŸ™‚ It means a lot to me, knowing that I have people out there that care about my life and what’s going on! Know that I care about you too and I’m praying for you always!

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