So recently I’ve been thinking a lot about mindsets, your words, and the power they have over you, in you, and in your life.
Growing up my mom and dad have always taught us children about our words and how much power they have. How much power something YOU say can have over another person, and even yourself. How much your words can build up, or tear down. I always remember when growing up how much it would mean to me when people would call me beautiful or compliment me in some way or how much it would hurt when I was criticized or belittled. Which sounds totally silly, right? How is it that me telling someone that they are beautiful and worth it make them feel that much better? I find it so beautiful how words can build someone up, which is probably why words of affirmation is one of my love languages. The Bible is so full of these wonderful words of affirmation and God telling us that he loves us. How cool is that!?
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29)
I definitely think on the other side of that that negative words also hold considerable power. Like when you don’t feel like you're good enough, and you tell yourself that you can’t do something. When you’re criticized by another person that you hold respect for. These things hurt because words can hurt. Because words hold power. It’s been like that since the beginning when God created the Earth using His words.
The day before I got surgery on my ankle the doctor told me that after the surgery I would most likely not be able to walk normally again. I knew much much better than to believe him at the time., but as the months progressed and I didn’t feel like I was making as much progress in my health that I wanted, even though I was putting in the hard work, I got discouraged and what he said to me kept creeping back in to my thoughts. His words, even though he and I might not have realized, had power over me. I was the one that allowed them to have that power because I was the one that believed them.
Another thing about negative words is that you don’t have to believe them! “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--THINK about such things” (Phillipians 4:8). You don’t have to believe the lies or negative words. If it’s untrue don’t let it have power over you (hah that rhymed).
So, If these negative words are like a poison… why do we use them? And why would I want to intentionally belittle another person or myself…
Also if positive words also have power, to make someone feel better, safe, loved, beautiful, stronger. Why don’t we use them more often?
This past week I’ve been speaking and praying these words of encouragement not just over other people, but over myself. It’s not selfish to tell yourself that you’re beautiful and worth it because you truly are.
I speak over myself words of encouragement, knowing that I’m getting stronger every day, that God’s Word is true and that “by His stripes I am healed and I am whole” (Is. 53:), and most importantly that I AM LOVED!
“Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
So I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time, and I decided that now is much better than never!
First off, As much as I would like to think I am, I’m not perfect. I have fears. I’m human…
I fear the ocean (it’s full of lurking creatures with nasty agendas)
I fear confrontation (simply confronting people, not necessarily hostile/argumentative situations)
I fear public speaking (one of my worst fears it’s horrible)
There are many more, but I figure you don’t have all day.
It’s strange how fears can hinder us.
My fear of the ocean has kept me from being able to explore some of the beauty of Gods creation. It’s silly really, if you think about it. The likeliness of me not making it out of the water is slim to none, yet it has such a power over me.
My fear of confrontation is something that I’ve struggled with since I was little. My parents would ask me to go ask the lady working the cash register for some ketchup, and I just couldn’t do it. As the years have passed this has changed for me a little. I live in a foreign country so confronting people is something I deal with every day. If I want something from the store or a shop I have to deal with these thoughts that run through my head telling me “What if they talk to you and you don’t understand them” or “Your Bulgarian isn’t good enough, you’re just going to say it wrong and end up embarrassing yourself”.
My last biggest fear is one of public speaking. I know that for most people this is a fear, but I still feel like this is a silly, and pointless fear. I mean really, what’s the big deal with speaking in front of a few people. Though when I try and make sense of it, it feels silly, in my mind I still can’t shake it. Even though I’ve taken 2 semester long classes in speech (with great teachers), every time I step up in front of someone to make a speech, I lose the ability to breathe and speak. Which is a bad combination considering once I find the ability to breathe and speak again I end up trying to do them both at the same time, and it’s just a train wreck … just imagine how awkward that is.
So what does this have to do with anything?
Well, recently I took a trip outside my comfort zone. Not willingly, let me tell you. What had happened was that my mom wanted me to voice my opinion at a conference. She wanted me to teach a seminar on everyday evangelism. I welcomed the topic, but DID NOT want to speak. As the time came for me to talk I knew that it wasn’t right for me to be so selfish. I know that my opinion matters, and to let fear stop me from voicing it was just plain stupid. So I did it. I spoke. Even though I was shaking, I was fearful, and had to control my breathing, I knew I was doing the right thing. And let me tell you what I got out of leaving my comfort zone, even though it wasn’t so fun at that moment, was MUCH better than if I hadn’t. I’ve even done 2 more seminars since then.
Although this post is kind of about my humble defeat over fear, I really wanted to use this as an example for other people. Isn’t it weird how people only push their comfort zone if they have to- if someone makes them or pushes them to?
Have you ever heard that quote about how “life begins outside of your comfort zone”. Well, I’m here to say it really truly does. It sounds kind of silly, but I’ve really found happiness in being able to say to the devil “Looks like you don’t win this round buddy”
What does this mean to you? Or even to me?
What I’m trying to say is that fears are just distractions from living the life God intended for you. I understand why it says in the Bible not to have them. Have some courage and say “pish posh” to your fears and start with a tiny step out of your comfort zone. Once you realize how fulfilling it is you won’t just put your feet in, you’ll be diving into the water (even though there’s a 1/1,000,000 chance there’ll be sharks). You’ll realize how much fun you could have had playing in the water, how many friends and life experiences you could have by simply not being afraid of talking to people, and how much fun it is to speak your mind, even in front of a lot of people.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”
Thus ends my long, informative, train wreck of a semi-motivational post. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!