I am currently writing this from my bed after my last full week of classes for the semester! While this entire semester has been a challenge, this last week of classes was especially hard for me. In some ways, it felt like I was moving backwards. My sadness has been pretty much at the forefront of my mind. Anxiety has seemed even more prevalent than usual. New anxieties have been entering my mind, and it’s been very discouraging, to be honest. The enemy found me in my weak state and has been trying to take me down. (Bear with me while I combine a couple different topics and attempt to bring them around full circle, hahaha.)
The season I’ve been in can feel very lonely at times, and this week I’ve had thoughts that have tried to convince me that things will always feel that way. And even though I knew the thoughts that were entering my mind were not true, I kept thinking them, and they felt so true. That’s what makes it so hard to put negative thoughts out of your mind — lies can begin to feel more true than what’s actually true. The way I was feeling was telling me that my unwanted thoughts were truth. The situation I’m in was convincing me that my unwanted thoughts were truth. I was able to think of more reasons why the lies were true than reasons why they were untrue.
I know this is work of the enemy. Satan is smart, and he manifests himself into our lives when we are vulnerable — that’s what he’s been doing to me. This week especially, he has been trying to convince me that I’m not worthy of love that is unconditional. That I am inferior to the people who have hurt me and the people who seem to have it more together than I do at the moment. That my struggle with depression and anxiety is going to ruin good things for me and push people away. That I can’t trust without fear of being hurt. That I can’t be happy without fear of it being taken away. That I will never be fully seen and fully valued by someone.
I have to say, these thoughts have been floating around in my head all week, and they are very hard to get rid of. I didn’t mean to think them and they definitely were not wanted, but Satan found a way to disguise himself in my own internal dialogue, and those thoughts started to really eat at me. The thing about lies from the enemy is that they are so. believable. Satan ties a lie to something specific and says, “see? ________ wouldn’t have happened if this weren’t true.” That’s how he’s been getting to me. I look at my circumstances, and it makes so much sense to me to believe the lies he tells; Satan can make a lie seem like such an obvious truth.
If this was taken from me, then clearly I was not worthy of having it.
If I could be hurt this badly so unexpectedly, then there must be something about me that makes it easy to do.
It’s easy to make “if/then” statements like these when you’re in a period of grieving and battling confusion. I always try to figure out the why for everything, and I get so frustrated when I don’t have answers. I know a lot of people are that way. When nothing makes sense, we usually try to make things make sense, and that’s when Satan can come to take over. And when we’re sensitive and vulnerable, it’s not hard for him to do. We experience a lot of negative feelings when we are going through hard times, and those feelings can make us very prone to believing things about ourselves, our circumstances, and the Lord that are not true. Because, like I’ve said in previous posts, feelings can be very powerful. Or at least, we can give them too much power.
That being said, I’m very, very passionate about the importance of not living by our feelings. I’ve mentioned it before, but I truly believe that our feelings should not be considered an indication of what we should do, where we should go, or what we should believe. I think the whole “follow your heart” thing is a little silly, because there is no real guidance there. Feelings are not always concrete — they come and go, and yet so many people think we are supposed to base our decisions on them, as if they’re what’s supposed to guide us. But, more often than not, we only chase feelings of comfort and security and happiness, when God never promised us a life of only easy feelings. Sometimes we have to go through seasons that don’t exactly feel like walking through a field of flowers, and just because it might feel uncomfortable and seem wrong because of how hard it is, that does not mean that it is wrong. (I think I added just about every form of emphasis that WordPress offers on this one.)
In life, God leads us through places that might make us feel unhappy, uncomfortable, or unsure, but he never leaves us there. I think that’s where a lot of people get it wrong. So many people see hard times and the feelings that come with them as a red flag to get out of a situation, and often we are too impatient or feel too uncomfortable dealing with the negative feelings to wait on God to see us through the difficult circumstances we’re faced with. Instead of coming to him and seeking his guidance to help us through the hardships we experience, we are quick to assume that God must be telling us it’s not right if it feels too hard for us. But, our feelings can be very deceiving. They can take us places that we were not meant to go, and they can lead us away from the things God has for us. That’s why we are called to rely on the Lord and his guidance; not the guidance we think we are receiving from our feelings. I know that the Lord can give us feelings that are intended to help guide us in certain circumstances, but I believe that when he does that he gives us the wisdom to know that those feelings are from him. Because feelings constantly change, but God’s will doesn’t.
Just like God’s will doesn’t change, neither do his truths — no matter how we are feeling in a certain moment or for a certain season (see how I brought it back around!!!!). No matter what lies Satan throws at us. I could have made two separate blog posts with how much I want to say, but I see such a correlation between the two issues and I felt like tying them together would only help further my main point, which is:
What is right or true is not based on what we feel, and I’ve been realizing, especially this week, that this applies to so many different areas of our lives.
When we initially feel God leading us to a certain thing, and we are confident that it was him who led us there — whether that be a relationship, a school, a job, etc. — it doesn’t matter what we feel after that. In moments when something we were certain was from the Lord stops feeling right or starts feeling too hard, we need to rely on the Lord to carry us through, because our feelings will try to convince us to retreat. And Satan will try to convince us that those feelings are from the Lord.
Likewise, when we know what the Lord says is true, we can know that it is always true — regardless of whatever lies the enemy puts in our heads, and no matter how true they may seem. Because Satan will always make lies seem like the truth. But, we can’t allow ourselves to start believing anything other than what God initially told us was true just because our feelings in certain seasons may waver. God has already told us that we are loved, valued, and worthy. That means, any thought we have that contradicts those truths is a straight lie from the enemy. I’ll just go ahead and paraphrase those last two paragraphs:
If the thoughts/feelings we have conflict with what we know God led us to/says about us in his Word, they are most definitely not from the Lord.
I know this is pretty lengthy, and if you made it through the whole thing then I appreciate it. I say all of this to note that our feelings are something Satan likes to use to his advantage, in many different areas, and we need to be aware of that. I’ve been realizing this more and more, and I can look at certain situations in my life and see where he had a foothold in that way. This week, Satan really started to get the best of me by playing on my feelings, until the Lord reminded me of all the things I’m writing about now. The enemy truly does come to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants to ruin every good thing in our lives, and I think it’s very important to be aware of the ways he can try to do that. Because, if we’re not careful, and we let our feelings dictate what we do and what we believe about ourselves, it can lead us in the complete wrong direction, even if it feels right initially. The way to combat this is to remember to lean on the one who is never-changing — even when it’s uncomfortable, unhappy, or uncertain for a season, and even when lies seem to speak louder than the truth that he whispers to us. Choosing to rely on him will always be better than choosing to rely on our feelings, no matter how trustworthy they may seem.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6