“I’m a failure.” 

“I’m worthless.” 

“I’m ugly.” 

“I’m fat.” 

These are some of the greatest hits that play in my mind. My negative self-talk has colored much of my life, even after I became a Christian. Sometimes I’m really diligent about renewing my mind and monitoring my self-talk, but, after a period of success, I tend to fall back into a rut. 

A few months ago, I found myself in a ditch of negativity of my own making. I had isolated myself, ignored my responsibilities and had stopped caring for myself. I didn’t want to deepen my friendships. I didn’t want to succeed in my business, and I didn’t want to step outside of my comfort zone. I was overwhelmed by my negativity. 

I knew this wasn’t right, and yet, every time I would even begin to question my thoughts, I would collapse under a barrage of negative language. I was stuck in a rut of my own making and was having trouble digging myself out. I wanted to be in a funk, so I sat in the ditch I created, sinking deeper into the muck of my own unhealthy thoughts. 

God was patient with me during this time, but he didn’t let me stay there. 

One fateful conversation with a friend was just what I needed to change. She lovingly spoke truth to me without knowing what my mind had been like. The joy and light she carried rubbed against the spindly edges I had erected to protect myself. 

After our loving interaction, I had no choice but to act. I couldn’t continue with the unhealthy patterns I had become so comfortable with. These are the steps I took to renew my mind and get out of my negativity ditch. 

Repent and Listen

Repent is a big, scary church word that means changing your mind. And that’s exactly what I did. I followed this up with silence, and asked God to speak, something I had neglected during my time in the ditch. I submitted myself to His will instead of my own. I bowed my knee to His opinions. I shut my mouth so I could listen and wait for His response—and I was willing to wait for as long as it took.

Change Daily Inputs

Part of renewing your mind is changing what you’re meditating on. I have a lot of negative thoughts about myself, but God doesn’t share those.

He thinks the world of me, so I have to focus on what He says about me instead of those things that aren’t as I would like them.

“I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“I am more than a conqueror through he who loves ME.” (Romans 8:37)

“I am his masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he prepared in advance for me to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

And, the hardest one for me to believe most of the time, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

These became my anthem as I walked out the process of changing my mind, knowing that behavior always follows belief.

Honesty in Community

Then I reached out, casting many lifelines to trustworthy people. Though I would be more comfortable doing things alone, I wasn’t made to exist in isolation but to thrive in community.

These patient God-followers stick with me when I’m processing and will help pull me away from the ditch when I’m tempted to dive back in, which happens often.

There are still times when I would rather be back in the ditch. I’m comfortable there, isolated and alone, but that’s not where I belong. So, when I feel myself drawn back to the ditch or picking up a shovel to dig a new one, I run to God, his Word, and godly community. I have to open myself up, raise my hand, and say “I’m struggling, will you help me?”. This isn’t ever easy or fun, but the payoff is worth it. 

If you are a fellow ditch-dweller, I encourage you to try these and see what happens: change your mind, replace your inputs, and run to godly community.

Commit daily, sometimes hourly, to not crawl back into the ditch and ask those you trust to help. 

The truth is, we weren’t created to be ditch-dwellers. Instead, let’s experience the fresh air, sunshine, and truth we were created to bask in. 

~

Are there worries that you’re facing that have severely impacted your wellbeing? Take time today and recommit them to Jesus because He cares. And know that God has also provided the gift of mental health professionals to help when needed. While we do our best to provide you with resources that will help you in your journey as a woman on mission, please note that no article we share on mental health can replace professional help. So If the darkness is overwhelming and you are in need of help, please reach out to a trusted professional counselor. And, know that we love you. Each and every one of you was made in the image of God, valuable and treasured by Him, so please hold on and never give up.
Sarah Callen
Sarah Callen

Sarah was raised in Tucson, Arizona, but now lives in Dallas, Texas. Currently working a 9 to 5 job, in her spare time she loves to be with friends and do anything creative that her hands find to do. She believes every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story is worthy of being shared.

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