Around this time every year, I start reflecting on how my life is progressing. I wish I could say I’m always pleased with my self-evaluation.
Too often, I find myself utterly amazed at my ability to doubt, fear and regret. Instead of seeing the fruit I desire, I notice too much precious time spent striving and not enough time spent thriving. Too many moments focused on fighting back negative thoughts and too little spent on cultivating the truth.
The truth is timeless, but the time we spend outside of it has a profound effect on how deep our roots grow and how high we can reach. It doesn’t change. The truth remains stable throughout our ups and downs.
But the truth does have the power to change us. It becomes a solid foundation on which we can build, and it refuses to be shaken by temporary nuances. The truth remains true even in the face of our deepest fears and unspoken doubts.
Today, I’m sharing with you 10 truths I wish I had believed 10 years ago. Why 10 years? Because that’s around the time I burned-out, lost my joy, hated my job and wanted out of my life. Because that’s when every weakness, flaw and imperfection decided to introduce itself to me. Because that’s when I came to the end of myself and found God. These 10 truths became breath to my dry bones. They filled the empty places of my heart and spoke life to my body.
If you find you are taking yourself for granted, belittling your self-worth, devaluing your potential, neglecting self-care, or self-sabotaging your happiness, today’s a great day to start believing these truths.
If only I believed…
1. My worth is not in question.
Psalm 139:13-14 – For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (ESV)
I was born with value my soul recognizes even when my mind does not. Not feeling worthy does not change my self-worth.
2. My future is never without hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)
Even when I do not know what tomorrow holds, I can be confident of this one thing — hope. Hope goes before me and paves the way for better tomorrows.
3. Fatigue is an invitation to rest.
Matthew 11:28-29 – 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.
I’ve always seen fatigue as a part of life. It’s how you get things done. If you are not worn-out by the end of the day, then you apparently wasted your day. The truth is fatigue is how our body reminds us to take care of ourselves. It’s an invitation to a divine exchange.
4. My weakness has potential.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (NIV)
Weaknesses are only opportunities awaiting a revelation of what is possible. They are a chance for me to experience grace on new levels.
5. Peace is a readily available gift.
John 14:27 – I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (NLT)
Many wars are fought over peace; some in my mind. An anxious heart has difficulty accepting gifts it can’t fully comprehend. Receiving this gift means I have to give up my fight to understand.
6. Scripture has life-changing power.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)
There will always be new books, new research and new ideas being birthed, but none of these will ever hold more power than the Word of God. Choose it as the definitive answer over all other resources.
7. Good is a pre-determined destination.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)
On the way to the destination, you will journey across all types of sorrow, pain, disappointment and failures. Don’t visit too long at any of these stops.
8. Life has many seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 –There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (NIV)
In one season, I spent most of my days changing dirty diapers. In my current season, I navigate the complicated waters of teen hormones. Each season is different. Some are more difficult than others, but it’s only for a season.
9. Jealousy is a silent killer.
Proverbs 14:30 – A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. (ESV)
I wasted many years comparing myself to others. Instead of celebrating their successes, I feared their gain was my loss. Jealousy is a slow poison, destroying you from the inside by blocking your personal growth. It puts unnecessary boundaries on your ability to excel.
10. There’s plenty for both of us.
Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Life is not a fight or competition. There is an abundance of everything for everyone, including you and me.
Learn more about renewing your mind, body, and spirit in my new book SACRED REST. In it, I describe seven distinct types of rest you need, discuss the resulting 12 gifts of rest, and give practical tips on how to spend more time enjoying the good in your life.
Article featured in Leading Hearts Magazine October/November 2018.
SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH is an internal medicine physician, author and speaker. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. www.ichoosemybestlife.com