I dreaded the mornings but I was eager to go to bed. My sleep was a sweet escape. I loved it because I could leave my reality behind and enter a realm of complete solitude. But waking up proved to be dreadful, a lull, and a struggle. I had zero motivation and very little energy. It was a new day, but I was still facing the troubles of the day before.
Have you ever experienced this feeling? I won’t venture as far to say that I was depressed, but I was most definitely discouraged. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sometimes it feels like that in our walk with God doesn’t it? We pray, we fast, we earnestly seek God, and nothing seems to change and that’s when discouragement nestles itself in our lives.
I too spent months in this despondent haze. Thankfully, by the grace and love of God, while my situations haven’t changed, He has changed my perspective and strengthened my endurance. I wrote a post on my blog called A Date with Discouragement. The post was a reminder to believers not to beat ourselves up because we get discouraged. It’s a season God uses to get us where we need to be and to strengthen our walk with Him.
The question is, how can properly deal with discouragement and utilize it for our benefit and not to our demise?I have learned a few things that help keep me hopeful and strong when discouragement wants to weigh me down.
1. Switch Up Your Routine/ Change Your Habits
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results then do something different in your life. Your situation doesn’t have to change for you to change. Modify your morning routine or start one if you’re not doing something already. Switch up your commute to work, workout in the morning or in the evenings, drink more water, or spend less time on your phone. Pick something you’ve grown accustomed to doing and switch it up. It’s time for something different!
2. Try Something New
A rut is a sure fire way to stay discouraged. While I love going to Starbucks and ordering my go-to iced vanilla latte, there are hundreds of items on the menu that have never touched my tongue. Life is full of new experiences and adventures. It’s easy to find security in familiarity but there is excitement and stimulation waiting beyond your “go-to.” Let this season teach you more about yourself by trying new things.
3. Don’t Stop Praying
I don’t know about you but for the longest time I had a spiritually unhealthy concept of prayer. Prayer was intended to communicate what I wanted from God and He in turn was supposed to hear me and grant my wish. Well, when your situation doesn’t change does that mean your prayers should stop? The answer to that is no. Prayer is our line of communication with God and our vein to get a pulse on God’s will for our lives (1 John 4:14-15). God ALWAYS answers our prayers, either with a “yes”, a “no”, or a “not yet.” Our responsibility is to not stop praying just because we’re not seeing things change in “our” time. In this season, don’t let discouragement silence your prayers. I know it’s hard to keep praying when nothing is changing but don’t let the enemy win. Stay before God in prayer and see Him work!
4. Don’t Be Alone
I struggled with spending time with family and friends during this season, but this is the time when you need community the most. Don’t just hang out with anyone either and don’t think you have to silence what’s taking place in your own life to be happy for the sake of others. If you don’t have friends or family you can be vulnerable with, seek out relationship with those who support you in every season of your life.
5. Do Something That Makes You Happy
Or enjoy something that brings you happiness. While happiness is a feeling and feelings do change, happiness is an important feeling to experience. There is no shame in enjoying your favorite cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop before work or taking a long hot bath with a good book. Deliberately choose to do something either once a day or once a week that brings a smile of contentment and joy to your face.
I know combating discouragement is indeed an effort, but it’s not an effort made in vain. One of my favorite preachers, Pastor Jentezen Franklin, said something that I rehearse in my Spirit daily. He said in His message one Sunday, “What you’re praying for is on the other side of not giving up.” It is okay to get discouraged and even have doubt, but don’t throw in the towel there. Find ways to combat discouragement and you will soon find yourself on the other side of the battle, standing victorious!
Until Next Time,
Much Love, Megs
Abi Megan Reid
Founder, Much Love, Megs
Hey ya’ll! The name is Abi Megan Reid, but my friends call me Megs and I am the fashion forward, coffee drinking, Jesus loving girl behind the blog, Much Love, Megs. I am a 21 year old college graduate and a future business owner. I love all things art and design and I LOVE writing! Along with writing blog posts I love to express my love for Jesus through song lyrics. In fact my sibling group just launched a new single that I wrote called “Endurance.” You can check it out on all digital music platforms.Let’s chase Jesus together, grow together, and be who God has called us to be together!