Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Thoughts vs. God's Word

Hi! Welcome to the Encouragement for Today Daily Devotion Readers! If you have stopped by this blog after reading my devotion, http://proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/2008/07/my-thoughts-vs-gods-word.html , I'm glad you're here.

This blog is called, "I Am Beautiful", but I can tell you that those words don't come out of my mouth easily. You see, I don't think I'm beautiful. I think I'm overweight, undisciplined, nervous, insecure, untalented, out of control, weak, unworthy, and ugly. But I know better. Those are my thoughts, not God's Word. God's Word tells a very different story. That's one of the reasons I created this blog. I struggle with negative thoughts about myself and I don't ever want to forget what God says about me. And indeed, I am Beautiful, and so are you. If I had it my way, every woman and girl in the world would view herself as God sees her, not as she sees herself or as others may tell her she is.

I'm not sure where your thoughts are today. And I don't know what or who helped to form the thoughts you have today. But I know the One Who made you. And I know that He knows best. And in order to begin transforming your thoughts to be in line with God's Word, you have to think like Him. That often takes training and being super intentional. It doesn't come natural to me, does it come natural to you? Only by filling my head with God's Word, do my thoughts begin to reflect His. So, I talk about His Word, I write about His Word, and I read His Word. I have to or I forget His Word!

I recently wrote an article on anxiety and depression for the November issue of the Proverbs 31 Woman Magazine. It was one of the hardest articles I've ever written. You see, I didn't want to admit that I was a Christian and struggled with negative thoughts. I didn't want to admit that I needed help. I tried so long to fix myself and I became exhausted to the point of practically breaking down. I don't hide those feelings anymore. And I don't try to fix myself anymore either. My life has turned around. Now when "My" thoughts enter my head, I check them as quick as I realize what I'm thinking. I say, "Now Melissa, is this what God says about you?" The answer is usually "No Way!"

I want to close with a prayer written by Sheri Rose Shepherd,


My King, You Are Words Of Life

Lord, I love You so much. I want to know You better and
walk closer with You more than ever before. So why do I struggle to sit
and read
(and believe) Your Word?


God, please grow in me a stronger passion for Your powerful
Word. Remind me that every love letter was written just for me and that each one is full of life-giving truth to live by. Don't let me look for
wisdom in this world any longer, but instead remind me by Your Holy Spirit that all I need to know about how to live can be found in my
Bible.


So I ask You now to help me make time to spend with You
regularly in Your precious Word, Your love gift to me. I pray that all
You have to say to me will rest securely in my heart and mind as I gain a deeper understanding of who You are and how much You love me.


In Jesus' Name I Pray.
Love,
Your princess, who wants to know Your Word

"The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full
of majesty." Psalm 29:4

If you too struggle with believing your thoughts over God's Word, be intentional on filling yourself with something different. Subscribe to the P31 Woman, (http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/p31womanmagazine/ReceiveMagazine.php or call 877-731-4663), keep reading the daily devotions, ask a friend to pray for you, start a blog or begin journaling God's Word, post Scripture verses all over to remind yourself of what God says about you (I do!), join a Bible study or check out one of the Proverbs 31 resources(http://shopp31.com/ or call 877-731-4663), and above all else, open your Bible. If you have questions about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus, let me know. I'll help you. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself.

I pray you have been encouraged today. Believe you are amazing and beautiful and forgiven and loved and gifted and worthy and wonderfully made, because your Creator does. And fix those thoughts on God's Word. You are so worth it!

Love and Blessings,


Melissa

***If you do want to place an order from Proverbs 31, the Shopping Cart online has been experiencing difficulties. Please call the office if you cannot order online. I'll be glad to assist you! (877-731-4663, toll free number).

22 comments:

Handwoven Dreams said...

Mellisa,

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that God has used your blog to bless me. Thank you for your openness to Him and your willingness to share your journey. I truly DO want to let God transform my mind by believing His truth about me and not the satan's lies.

Take care and thank you.

Carolee said...

I think your incrediably beautiful!!!!...weirdly when I fell into deep clinical depression it was after a manic episode brought on by lack of sleep(constant), starvation dieting(since I had just had my second child) and and a total lack in knowledge of God's word! Trying to be beautiful instead of recognizing I am beautifully made was killing me. Getting into His knowledge of me, saved my life! I was deemed to be bi-polar all my life, hospitalized and listed suicidal! I didn't feel I had anything to share today on my blog but now have the courage to post something more about the deep spiral I took after my daughter was born! To put it all in one post seems an impossible task but I will do my best to open up more.
I will share some of the lies I was feeding myself. Thank you!!!!

Sarah said...

Dearest Melissa,

This is Sarah...the one who spoke with you on the phone before this year's conference about bringing my little girl, Mariah.

I have just cried the entire time as I've read the devotion along with "I'm Beautiful". It couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. I have been under a major attack this week. Until I read this, I assumed it was just me and it was the truth. I too, struggle something awful with insecurities, feelings of unworthiness, feeling ugly because I don't look the way people think I should or the way I think I should sometimes. The list goes on and on.

I actually struggle with the opposite of you as far as the weight thing goes. I have been on the smaller side my entire life. I have a small bone frame and I've just always been thin, even after four children (I know, sounds like a dream come true, but for me it hasn't been). Well, that's the only time I had some weight on me, right after I had them, the only time I actually felt "normal". I've always heard women complain about the exact opposite of me. The thing that hurts the most is when people make their comments, especially people who have known me for such a long time. Comments such as "you're just too thin", "are you okay?", "have you been eating?". Those comments go on and on as well. The thing is, I would never in a million years think to ask someone who may look a little heavier to me "have you gained weight?", "have you been eating more?"...

Last summer was our family-get-together on my husband's side. I had been having a rough time that was just getting better because of major problems I was having in my marriage. But one by one, each and every person had something to say about my weight. I know they were probably just concerned, but oh if they only knew how much it humiliated and hurt me, so much that I just wanted to go home. I wondered why they couldn't just simply enjoy "me", instead of focusing so much on what I looked like.

Well, I've had a very "down" week, and haven't been exactly sure why, but I'm thinking it may have something to do with the fact that we leave tomorrow for the same get-together. In the back of my my mind I just know the same things will be said, if not thought. It's just making me a nervous wreck. I hate that. I know I shouldn't allow what other people think of me affect me that much, but it does. I feel like such a spectacle. I was trying to think of ways I could quickly or magically gain a little bit of weight before we go, but that's just not going to happen.

I know this isn't a very talked about subject because it's usually the other way around, but being too thin, especially according to other people, hurts just as much I think as people who feel overweight.

Thank you so much for being honest, for not hiding your true feelings. It really has blessed me this morning. And oh, Melissa, you are SO BEAUTIFUL! That was my very first thought the first time I saw your picture. More importantly, you're beautiful on the inside, you truly are.

I'll be praying for you, and if you would, could you please say a prayer for me for this weekend, well, for more than just this weekend, but it's this weekend that is stressing me out so much and I'm practically ruining my time before I even get there.

Thank you again and love you so much!

Sarah
p.s. Sorry for spilling so much here on your blog!

Joyful said...

Melissa, you just continue to thrill my heart. Your open, honesty is a breath of fresh air. You encourage me (and so many others) to come out from hiding, admit our struggles, go to God, recognize who we are in Christ and accept His love and forgiveness.

I cannot wait to read your November article (which means I should receive it here in Canada around January..hahaha). I think the reality that Christians experience depression is too often viewed as taboo - if only you claimed God's promises...if only you obeyed God's command to 'rejoice always'...if only you confessed your sin...if only you just acted happy the happy feelings would return...people want to brush it away and give a "pat" scriptural answer, denying that Christ-followers can and do experience depression.

Your devotional and blog post today are both wonderful my friend. Such wisdom.

This morning during my devotional time, a question asked that I list the names of 3 wise people I know. At first I was thinking more along the lines of 'genius' - you know the briefcase carrying, head in the books scholarly type. I then remembered that true wisdom is found in making right choices that honour God. The truths you have shared here pack a wealth of wisdom - and your name is one of my 3 names of the wisest people I know. Wisdom comes in not only knowing the truth, but obeying it. Your life gives testimony to a heart that follows hard after Christ.

Love ya,
Joy

Amy Jo said...

Hi there.... What a great devotion you wrote for today's P31 e-mail. I don't read them everyday, but today I had some extra time and was really glad I did! What great reminders of God's Word...I've posted some of them over on my blog so that I can read and re-read them. I am hoping that your words and God's words in combination will touch some of the people who read my blog as they did for me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear Melissa,

I just read your P31 "Encouragement for Today" devotional and thought I would check out your blog. I have to be honest and say that as soon as I saw your picture, I thought, how can you even know what its like to feel ugly-you're truly beautiful. I understand your want to encourage but you can't possibly know the true depth of what it means to look in the mirror and hate what you see. For me, its a big nose that not only reminds me of how different I am from most people but its also a constant reminder of the meaness and teasing I have suffered all my life because of it. Its the thin lips that barely hide the uneven not so bright white teeth. Its the scars from acne long ago. I could go on but it only gets worse and I don't want to push myself down that slippery slope once again. Bottom line is you ARE beautiful and I'd give anything to look like you. Anything to feel that for once in my life people are looking at me in awe and not disgust. Add on to that a weight problem that doesn't want to go away and well, you've got yourself a real prize. I could call myself a victim but that would be deceiving myself as it was my own free will that took the little red fruit of lies out of the hands of my tormentors and ate of it and what hurts the most is not that God didn't stop me from taking it but that He has allowed "them" to offer it to me for so long. I finally grew too weak to say no any longer. Now I don't need outside help anymore in hurting myself, I can do it all on my own and truth be told I'm much better at it then any of them ever were or could hope to be. I'm sorry that this "comment" is so negative but it is what it is. I'm glad that you are at a place of truth. Maybe one day I'll get there too.

Sincerely,

M

Debbie said...

Melissa,
If you need a "poster child" for this blog....just cut and paste my picture!

I have felt and heard every one of these negative comments in my mind. Even though everyone tells me it isn't true...I have a hard time accepting that!

Tonight I'm going to look up every one of the Bible Verses and highlight them in my Bible!

I am going through a very difficult period right now and all I am "hearing" is these negatives about myself!

Thank you so much!

Debbie

JazzyTurtle said...

Melissa,

Thank you for your words of encourangement today. I have recently had a miscarriage and everyone else around me is pregnant and not having any trouble at all. I have been feeling envious, and incapable, and sad...very sad. Your words helped me turn back to what God has in store for me and reminded me that I need to be patient and that I am beautiful. Thank you so much.

Peace, Love, and God Bless :)

Julie B. said...

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for the awesome devotion and blog today. I TOTALLY can relate to you on so many levels.

It is a refreshing reminder that (especially us women) we are not alone. We are all unperfected humans. Despite that God loves us and thinks the world of us.

I am also thankful that I have a husband that thinks I am more beautiful today than ever, even though I am about 20lbs overweight.

with all God's love,

Julie

Julie W Kelada said...

Melissa...I love you!! You are so real, so full of wisdom and so beautiful inside and out!!! You always speak to my heart and that love of Christ and chasing him spills over from your words into my heart. I have had a little rough time with negative thoughts so many times. Thanks for GREAT scripture truths!!

LOve
Julie

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

I want to thank you for your blog and your devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. You speak right to my heart and your messages have been so timely I feel as if you have been living inside my life! Thank you so much for your encouragement and reminders of the Truth of God and His Word to overcome satan's lies!

Kathryn said...

Melissa,

This was indeed a beautiful post! It is so important that we all learn to discern God's Truth so that we won't be deceived by satan's lies. And, the best way to do that is to stay immersed in God's Word!

I have been blessed by so many of your honest and Godly devotionals.

Love in Christ,
Kathryn ("Pure Wells", "Fan into Flame")

Ericka said...

WOW! thanks for the great devotion on P31 today! I was praying and journaling that God woudl give me some truth today about how He feels about me. I then got a prodding to open up my email and read today's devotion. Thanks so very much for your candidness and devotion to becoming the woman God wants you to be. I love your blog and will bookmark and visit often. Thanks for your encouragement through God's Word.

Kathie Thomas said...

I enjoyed reading your blog - I'd not seen it before. I am registered here in Australia with the P31 ministries so hope I receive their mag too.

Just wanted to say that we all experience those feels on unworthiness and it's our daily walk with Christ that helps alleviate that feeling.

I've registered for several daily devotionals so as I work at my computer all day, I keep receiving God's Word right in front of my face - it's amazing how often the messages so totally relate to where I am at that time. Isn't God good?

Cheri Bunch said...

Hey Melissa,

Your blog is more beautiful than ever! Do you have a new title? I love it! And you are SOOOO beautiful!

I just wanted you to know that I wrote about John 10:10 on my blog today. I put your blog address on it. Your wisdom will bless!
Have an awesome day!
Love,
Cheri

Dwanna said...

I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much your blog has encouraged and blessed me. I too have a poor self image. I'm not pretty and all I can see is the ugly, overweight 12 year old that I once was. I have struggled with this image since I was in the sixth grade... This week the enemy has been under attack on my family and my finances. I am trying to write myself some goals...you see, I never have been able to "have a goal". My first husband was killed ten years ago and my ENTIRE life was changed. I had no reason to believe in goals...I may not even be here tomorrow... "Just live for today" has been my attitude since he was killed. I have remarried and he is a very Godly man and he has helped me to see the importance of goals in my life...we have started watching Joel Osteen together and I listen to Joel throughout the day at work to help keep myself focused on Him and not me. To not believe the things the enemy is telling me. I am learning to stand on God's promises and believe that I am worthy of His love and forgiveness. I opened my email this morning and your blog was on P 31 M and I have never been so touched...as I read your thoughts, I felt as though I was reading something I had written. God is using you as a very powerful instrument and thank you so much for blessing me with your blog... I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family.
Thank you so very much!!!!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Melissa,

I loved this post because I can so relate to those slithering, negative thoughts that infilitrate my thinking. I think every woman fights this battle - especially with the abundance of artificial media portrayals of women's beauty.

And I love your blog title. At the beginning of the year God challenged me to say "I am beautiful" because HE says I am beautiful. At first I felt ridiculous. But you know what? Now I really do believe it.

LOVE this blog - I'll be back.

Blessings!

Lisa Ford said...

Melissa,

I kid you not, just yesterday a thought popped in my head about the negative voices. It was to write all of my negative thoughts down and then pair a scripture with it that counters that negativity. Well, honey, you just confirmed it for me. The Lord is faithful indeed!

Liquinha Linda said...

Sweet dear, I praise the Lord for your blessed words!!!
I'm brazilian and God has blessed my life by messages like yours!
Now people who visit my blog, can now visit yours too!
May God bless you abundatly!

Lidia

Dahlia said...

Thank you ! Thank You! ....I thank you and my Father. You for allowing yourself to be used by Him, and Him for know what I needed to hear today As I sit here with the tears running down my face and my thoughts racing. I know He loves me( in my head i just needed to feel in in my heart).It's nice to know that I am not the only the feels this way. In Christ, Dahlia

Melanie Stefine said...

In the Spring of 2006 God sent a message. The message is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The message is this:

In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the evening I die, death.

What does this mean? It means that Birth is Last and Last is Birth. God also gives an example so that you can understand this better. Example: Mike Douglas died on his birthday. (Note: Mike Douglas and Michael Douglas are two different people.)

Sir.Xavier Anderson said...

Depressive disorders make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. http://www.xanax-effects.com/