(Photo by Selma Komisky)
You Have Forgotten Who You Are
By Tori Martin
Have you ever been in this state? Exhausted to the point I feel much older than my years. Stressed beyond measure that now my left eyelid has begun to bizarrely and uncontrollably twitch (yes, just like a serial killer you see in the movies, who is right on the edge!). Emotional to the extent that when one of my sons informs me that he does not wish to eat my tomato pasta after I have just placed it in front of him, I burst into tears. And a level of patience that is soon proven to be very non-existent when the person next to me is breathing just ever so slightly too loud and too heavy for my liking! Consumed by my struggle and overwhelmedness, I find myself withdrawing from socializing and making headway to the lonely world of isolation. I sink into a mild state of depression and become the definition of “sloth” with my lazy, lethargic attitude. And let’s not forget my fuzzy, messy little head that makes me forget the things that I really shouldn’t ever forget (and yes, I do mean things like my own stupid phone number).
When I was in this state of mind, it felt like I was in the middle of this huge deep, overpowering ocean with the dry land very far away in the distance. My head is just above the surface, and I’m constantly treading water. I’m fatigued, and I long to rest, even if it’s just for a little while; but, if I do rest, then I stop moving, and if I stop moving, I drown. So, I keep on keeping on and tirelessly continue to tread the water. Just as the exhaustion started to win, and I could feel myself begin to sink, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I’d been so focused on my worries and anxieties that I had forgotten who my God was. In the moment of switching my focus onto Him (thank you Holy Spirit!), I felt God reach out His hand and lift me up out of the weighty waters bringing me a word that literally changed the game: “ Daughter, you are NOT overwhelmed or struggling. You have been cleverly labelled and lied to by the enemy. You have forgotten who YOU are”
Those clear and wonderful words of His gave me back my breath, my sanity, and my strength to swim strongly back to the dry, safe welcoming lands of His love and truth.
“When my heart is overwhelmed and weak, lead me to the rock that is higher than I”
– Psalm 61:2
Have you forgotten who you are? Does it feel like you can’t cope with the constant demands of life? If the answer is yes, then let me gently remind you, just as God reminded me, you are a child of the almighty Father and Creator of Heaven and Earth and He is the only one who can label you – no one else! And as a child of God, you are more than able to face whatever is in front of you!
“For you are all children of God (set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges) through faith in Christ Jesus.”
– Galatians 3:26
When we are feeling overwhelmed, we are fighting tired. We can feel out of our depth, hopeless and at times complete and utter failures. But we must learn to not pay too much attention to our feelings. Just because we feel something, does not mean it is necessarily true. The enemy wants us to focus on how we feel, Jesus wants us to focus on His truth.
We may not be able to control and choose what happens in the environment around us, but we can choose how we respond. Instead of focusing on everything that is difficult in your life, flip your focus onto God’s promises over your life and who you are in Christ. I repeat – you are a child of God so start speaking and acting like it!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
– Philippians 4:13
Declaring God’s Word over our lives is mighty powerful and extremely effective. It should be applied to our everyday lives; however, we also need to be spiritually strong to resist the devil and his lies. The more relaxed and at peace we are, the more easily led we will be by the Holy Spirit and the easier it will be to fight feelings of stress and struggle. If you are stressed out, it is harder to focus on God and His promises for us. Learning to find rest and renew our strength in Him is truly the only way to overcome the thoughts and feelings of having the weight of the world pushing down on your teeny tiny shoulders.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”
– Matthew 11:28-30
How do we find rest in Him? We spend time in prayer, in His Word, and worship. We also must give our concerns to Him. God tells us to cast all our cares upon him (1 Peter 5:7) which is fantastic news for us worrisome folk out there! However, this does not mean we should not take responsibility over certain life choices that may be contributing towards our stress levels. Maybe there are some areas in your life which you could manage better, delegate or eliminate to make your life a little less stressful? Ask God to show you if you are unsure of where and what they are. Maybe it’s fine tuning your finances and setting a budget to ease financial pressure, or maybe you just generally need to take better care of yourself (i.e eating a more healthy balanced diet, exercising, or just having some regular “down time”). Small changes can make big differences!
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you”
– Psalm 32:8
So, trust me when I say (and yes, this method is tried and tested by yours truly!!) that if you start to regularly rest and recharge in Him, speak His word over your life, and keep focused on who He says you are, you can live a more peaceful and relaxed life no matter what curveballs get thrown in your direction!