I could have done better.
I shouldn’t have made that mistake.
I knew that, why did I not remember?
Why am I so upset over this?
Why am I not happy?
What if I mess up?
What if I can’t handle it and am not capable?
Sometimes we are our own worst critics, and I am super guilty of that. I am guilty of holding myself to crazy standards, and then being so hard on myself when I don’t meet them. I’m not as bad now as when I was in high school, but I definitely haven’t broken the habit for good. It’s so easy to be joyful and optimistic on the outside, but in the inside be living in a state of fear, anxiousness, and worry. I question so many things, rather than just have faith and trust God with the process.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
My senior year of high school after I committed to Kent State I went to a Chemistry Scholarship reception where I was being awarded a scholarship as an incoming freshman. My mom and my high school chemistry teacher came along, as he was the one who recommended me for the scholarship. I remember feeling so intimidated afterwards. The people seemed so crazy smart and there were doctoral students presenting pieces of their research and I remember not understanding anything they were talking about. I questioned whether or not I could keep the gpa required for the scholarship, whether I would be able to handle being in the honors college, whether I would be able to get into (at the time) med school. I was so worried, and I remember my chemistry teacher telling me that I would be fine. Looking back I realize I was worried for nothing, and it is crazy how I worked myself up so much about it. I tend to overanalyze things, which doesn’t help my worried thoughts, as I can so easily let them consume me. I find myself going to the same kind of thoughts heading into DPT school. I know the thoughts probably aren’t rational, but it still doesn’t make them go away.
When I fall into these negative spirals, I am learning to focus on the truth.
Remembering that I am capable. Remembering that God has given me certain gifts to use, for His glory. Knowing that He wouldn’t put me in certain situations without purpose, if I wasn’t meant to be there. Trusting that if something is in His will, He will give me the right tools and help me succeed. He will give me strength, I am strong because of Him.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
During my sophomore year of college I remember being in a small group through my college church and one of the girls felt like I needed to be told that I was loved. It was random because I hadn’t really told her a lot, but she felt like God was speaking through her to tell me that. We wrote on a card other truths that we needed to hear and I remember taping it in the inside of my bible afterwards. Mine were:
I am loved
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 7: 7-9
I am worthy
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
I am capable
In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.
1 Samuel 18:14
I am valuable
She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
I think so often we make assumptions about people. We thing certain people have everything together or that their life must be perfect. We label people as unstable or stable, crazy, nice, or mean. We make labels for other people based on surface level things, but there is so much we don’t know. We don’t know what battles someone is fighting in their heads, or what their situation is like with family or friends or relationships. There are so many elements to a person’s life, and it is not in our place to judge them, as only God is all-knowing. I’m definitely guilty of judging too, especially when I waitress and someone is really mean or doesn’t leave a tip. Sometimes I wonder how someone can be so mean, but in reality I have no idea their situation and it is not right for me to judge. We have to give other people grace, and also give ourselves grace. I think of my reactions a lot and how they impact people. If I react with love and grace and treat people kindly even if they treat me poorly, it might not be easy, but it can only do good rather than harm. A few months ago I read Everybody Always by Bob Goff (amazing book by the way, highly recommend), and I remember him talking about how Love Always Wins. I think we can always do a better job at loving people. From our neighbors to parents to coworkers to classmates to strangers, we can always improve and do a better job.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3: 3-4
Not only can we try to learn to love people better, but we also need to realize that God loves us, so much. He loves us when we are sad, angry, happy, worried, when we doubt, when we question. His love for us never wavers, He is for us always. He wants us to talk to Him, He cares about how we are feeling. He wants us to find our refuge in Him, because he cares so deeply for us. He knows we mess up, but He loves us anyways, He gives us grace. He is with us when we grieve, when we don’t understand what is going on, because all along He is the one who truly understands the big picture, and wants to be there to comfort us. Rather than be our own worst critic and let thoughts that aren’t from God consume us I pray that we remember His love and rest in truth. When we doubt or worry we must remember Gods love for us and trust Him. We must remember that we are valuable, capable, worthy, and most of all loved so deeply.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14