Updated: Oct 16, 2020
I bet you weren't expecting that as the overarching statement for this entry today,
My heart started thrumming at V8 speed as I sat staring at the man preaching through my TV. On my bed sat a pen, a notebook, and my Bible. Then Pastor Steven Furtick announced, "I'm not what I thought."
This penetrated my skin and pierced my heart. A thousand insecurities burst forth. One by one, they overcame me:
I thought I was a good friend. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I was a good Christian. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I put anxiety behind me. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I was level-headed and a force to be reckoned with. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I was a good writer. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I was helping people. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I had answers. I guess I'm not what I thought.
I thought I would never hurt those I care about. I guess I'm not what I thought.
For me, what I think is what I think I know.
(My grammar professor would kill me if he saw the violation of subject-verb agreement there).
But seriously! What I think is what I know. I think and I believe that God is real. So I know God is real, right? When I think, I begin to know. And when I know, I feel confident in what I know.
Thoughts control our feelings.
In an earlier entry, I described the voice of anxiety as "the Whisperer." Silencing the Whisperer is something I thought I did. Well guess what, Steven Furtick?! I'm not what I thought either.
I tell my psychiatrist I'm fine. I tell him I have it under control, because at the end of the day, I know I do. Ever since I conquered the Whisperer, I felt as if nothing could sway me from my ultimate goal: happiness. That was until the time of COVID, civil unrest, face masks and quarantine. Quarantine allowed me to relax and LITERALLY live like the stereotypical college student sleeping in their parents' basement. This pause, this time of nothingness, this lack of activity, led to me putting my guard down.
The Whisperer has a way of creeping in when we put our guard down. The next thing I thought became what I THOUGHT I knew: I'm not what I thought.
There is no greater prison than self-worth. Especially when our self-worth is directly fed by our achievements.
My achievement was conquering the long-fought battle of mental illness. My self-worth came from what I had overcome. Not from who I am as a person. Not from what makes me AK, the girl writing to you today.
So my conclusion is, I'm not what I thought. I need a life. I need a dramatic altering in my lifestyle, because without one I will never be what I thought. COVID-19 has forced change upon the way we live our lives. Some people still cannot go to work. Some people are in hospitals struggling to breathe. Some people are protesting in frustration by society's inability to acknowledge injustice. Some people are walking around aimlessly without masks; they are completely apathetic to slowing the spread.
I can't possibly expect to have the peace and mind of Christ when my life is empty, dormant, and inactive.
Is your life empty? Do you feel like you have nothing to do? All your chores are done, your homework is done, your shopping list is completed, your Netflix series is over, and now there's just nothing. The emptiness is the Whisperer's front door. Keep that door locked.
There's so many things we can do during these times to keep us from emptiness, dormancy, and inactivity. For me, it is building this blog. Putting Purely Pastiche out there gives me so many things to do. Not just write.
I'm in a battle with the Whisperer as we speak. It feels like a rematch. At first I thought I was losing, but here are the things that I have done to defeat him a second time:
- Praying and reading my Bible. (James 4:8).
- Seeking friends and enriching my current friendships (Ecclesiastes 4:10).
- Trusting even when I don't know and life is spiraling downwards (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Choosing to surround myself with people who are kindhearted when I feel overwhelmed (Proverbs 12:25).
- Starting something new. A new brand collaboration, a new blog post, a new craft, a new story, a new DIY project, a new friendship, a new phone call, etc.
I don't have all the answers, but I promise I have found some. Don't let the anxiety of the present destroy this moment for you. Get a life. Restructure it if you need to. And if you ever need anything, you have a book of answers and hope restored just one google search away (The Bible).
All the Peace,