How do I get through discouragement?
“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”
II Corinthians 12:9
Getting through discouragement is a process that I have worked on for a long time. Discouragement is a feeling, and the last thing we want to do is allow a feeling to rule our lives. First, when I feel discouragement or depression coming on me, I check what is going on in my life and the reasons for the feeling. Most of the time, there is a reason for how we feel. This week, I felt discouraged because there were so many events happening in our lives that were out of my control.
Second, I allow myself to feel the emotion and understand that feeling or emotions are temporary. Sure, feelings can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they do go away. If I get too upset over feelings, I will feel more upset with myself when it all works out.
Third, I put my feelings into God’s hands and let Him ease my pain. He always makes me feel better when I discuss it with Him. Getting into His word and reading about all the people in the Bible that went through discouragement helps me to not feel alone. There were successful men and women in the Bible that went through discouragement, so I know that I can make it through discouragement. David is a great story to read, because, due to his mistakes and trials, he went through great amounts of discouragement.
Fourth, I talk to someone who knows and loves me, so they can listen and encourage me. At the beginning of our marriage, Brenton misunderstood my needs. Well, I misunderstood his, too. Every time I would come to him with a problem, he would try to fix it for me. This is not what I wanted at all. Actually, I just wanted him to listen to me. Eventually, I could figure it out on my own, or I would ask him to help me fix the issue. Unfortunately, this frustrated both of us, but now we are clear on what we both need. If I come to him with a problem, he sits and listens and doesn’t try to fix it unless I ask for his help.
Fifth, I accept my mistakes and learn from them. This was once a problem for me. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even try something, because I thought I might fail. The only projects I would take on were ones that I knew I would do well. Now, I understand that my failures are teaching tools and no one can succeed without them. If I have someone edit my articles and papers, the more mistakes they reveal the better. This means my papers will get better as I edit them. It is beneficial for me to get tougher skin and accept whatever mistakes I make. In the past few years, I have realized that the greatest people are those that dare to make mistakes and fail.
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