Courage, Faith, Peace, Worth

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

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I was honestly gonna post some bright picture of something really cool and talk about how awesome life is or something, but I decided against that because really, I don’t feel that way right now.

Yes, I’m tired. And maybe a little cranky. The air conditioning won’t turn on so I’m sweaty and hot and literally don’t want to do anything at all. I’m so ready to curl up in bed and sleep forever.

I read somewhere (don’t even remember where) that a lot of the time people will post super happy pics of themselves or something else on social media and caption it “Life is so good!” or something of the sort, but on the inside they’re really hurting and thinking the opposite.

And ya know what, it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to let people see that you’re not okay, and let them know that you’re not. I’m tired of wearing a mask for other people. I want to be me – whether I’m doing great and all put together or I’m at my lowest and looking like I just got out of bed.

That was an Instagram post I published on June 29th this year. I was seriously sleep deprived and depressed, and the hot and sweaty day wasn’t making things better.

i wasn’t okay.

and that’s okay.

I used to always think that, at least to the outside world, I had to be okay. And even if I wasn’t, I thought that I had to act like I was okay (AKA: lying).

I remember one time when I was probably 9 or 10 years old, and I had been having a horrible morning so far. I won’t explain it, but things were really down in the dumps. And it was only 9AM.

We left the house, because it was Friday which meant homeschool co-op, and I remember sobbing in the car uncontrollably because I was so lost and hurting. I remember hurriedly wiping my face with my sleeve as we pulled into the church parking lot, taking a deep breath, and bouncing into class like I had not a care in the world.

But when I left and went home, the dark cloud looming over me that I had hidden from other people came right back.

And I continued the same routine, every time I went somewhere. Every time we had guests over at the house. Every time someone asked, I replied chirpily with a smile, “Oh, yeah, I’m great!”

It’s funny how easy it is to be two people. And being two different people all the time, one who was “okay” according to our culture and one who was the exact opposite eventually resulted in anxiety, depression, and some suicidal and self-harmful thoughts in the long run.

It was the day that I wrote that Instagram post that I realized that it’s okay not to be okay. 

We’re human. We’re not perfect. No matter what, we should never have to “fake it” just so people think we’re “okay”.

No, we’re not okay, but God is. He’s Almighty, perfect, and the beautiful solution to all of our problems. We need to stop trying to hide behind our masks and cry out to God when we need Him.

it’s okay not to be okay.

When you think about putting on a mask to hide your feelings, don’t. Let it show. Because, people will help, I assure you. God will help, if you ask Him and let Him.

Tell someone you trust that you’re not okay. You mom, your best friend, a sibling, or maybe your youth pastor. And if you can’t find anyone, email me (bamericanwriter@gmail.com) and I will listen and try to help you the best that I can.

Don’t be ashamed, don’t hide it. Look for help, and it will come.

Love you, girls. 😘

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Courage, Guest Post, Trust, Your Walk With God

What We Can Take Away from Proverbs 3:5-6 {Guest Post by Maddi Rae}

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Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

That verse says a lot. First, we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts. Easier said than done, right?  Especially where the verse says “with all your heart”. Does that mean you and I should say, “God, I trust You,” and then go off with doubts and fear still there?  No.  We have to trust God completely and with our everything.  Yes, it’s hard, but He’ll help us.

Second, the verse says to not lean on our own understanding. Why? Because we’re human and we think we know what’s best, but we really don’t. When we lean on our own understanding, that gets us places we don’t want to be in. God knows that, too, and that’s why He doesn’t want us to trust ourselves and lean on our own understanding.  We’re meant to lean on HIS understanding, because trust me, He’s got expertise in that area.  He’s God, and our solid foundation.

And third, it says that in all our ways, we must submit to God and obey Him. He is our Father, and we are His children, and as His children, we must simply listen, honor, and obey Him.  When you do that, it please God, and He will make your paths straight.

Maddi Rae is the blogger behind God’s Bright Light. She loves Jesus, singing, and creating art in her art room. Maddi has a small calligraphy business that she started in 2017, called A New Perspective. Feel free to visit her blog!

Courage, Faith, Sin, Thankfulness

3 Epic Ways to Make the Devil Scream “OH NO” Today {Guest Post by Madi Grace}

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I live life every day wanting to be the type of young lady who, when my feet hit the floor in the morning, makes the devil scream “OH NO, SHE’S UP!”

And it’s not a hard thing to do. Today I have three simple, actionable ways guaranteed to bring you joy and bring the devil turmoil.

Also, at the end of this post, I have my absolute favorite way to kick the devil’s butt in a free, downloadable PDF you’re welcome to grab. That way alone has changed my life and took me from a radical pessimist to a radical optimist.

1. PRAISE GOD INSTEAD OF YOUR PROBLEMS

We all have problems. There’s no denying them or ignoring them.

Sometimes—most of the time, really—I’m tempted to vent about them. I just want to complain and be mad and it can take up my entire day if I let it.

But when we switch the focus, something happens. Fixing our eyes on Jesus instead of on our circumstances not only gives us joy, but it makes the devil infuriated. If he can get you focused on everything going wrong, he’ll get you depressed and living swayed by emotion.

Instead, start praising the God Who makes a way out of all that and turns everything around for His good!

When you release praise into the atmosphere, you release stuff the devil and all of hell can’t stand.

2. TALK ABOUT HIS DEFEAT AND JESUS’ WIN

I hold the keys of death and the grave.

(Revelation 1:18)

He made a public example of [the devil], having triumphed over him through the cross.

(Colossians 2:15)

Rub that all up in his face. The devil thought he had Jesus. He thought he had won. He thought people could be enslaved by sin forever.

But… nope! Now he’s nothing but a skinny little chihuahua acting like a big rottweiler. In fact, on Judgement Day, everyone’s going to look at the devil and go what? This is the guy behind all the bad? Are you kidding me? He’s a freakin’ pipsqueak! (Isaiah 14:16)

So rub that all in his face. Remind him how defeated and weak he is, and glorify the One who defeated him.

Never let him forget that Jesus now lives inside of you. You’re an unstoppable force ready to more-than-conquer your way through this life and do a wrecking-ball amount of damage to his kingdom of darkness!

3. DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE DEVIL’S WILL

How many of us want to follow God’s will for our lives?

*raises hand*

How many of us what to follow the devil’s will for our lives?

*puts hand down*

I have a very simple theology. It can be summed up in four words.

Good = God. Bad = devil.

Think God’s good will for your life is better than the devil’s wicked one?

Yep!

Nothing makes me madder than asking someone to do something and watch them do the exact opposite.

Ever don’t know what to do? Think of what the devil would want you to do and do the exact opposite.

Does he want you to believe every negative thought that comes your way until you’re a crying, crumpled heap on the floor?

Nope. Don’t do it. That’s happened to me more times than I can count. Tears are the devil’s trophy, and I’ll never give him the satisfaction of displaying them on my face out of despair again.

Not today, devil. Not now, not ever again.

The last thing the devil wants you to do is turn to God for your happiness. So do that! The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

And when God’s got our backs, something tells me things are not only going to be okay, but amazing. After all,

The path of the righteous … shines brighter and brighter.

(Proverbs 4:18)

We’re only going up from here.

Making the devil scream “OH NO, SHE’S UP!” when our feet hit the floor in the morning is just way more fun than buying into his lies.

Huge thanks to the ladies here at YLFC for letting me guest post today! This blog is the bomb. ♥

If you want an additional way to kick the devil’s butt—one that has changed my life and I think will change yours too—click here to download the PDF! The truth in this guide transformed me from a radical pessimist finding the cloud for every silver lining to a radical optimist living the most abundant life free of depression and defeat.

How are you planning to cause problems for the devil today? If you’re having a rough day, believe me, this is one of the best remedies.

grace madiMadison Grace is a blogger, writer, doll collector, and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to traveling and speaking to youth, she blogs about living an undefeated lifestyle at madigrace.org, professional doll collecting at delightfulworldofdolls.com, and writing excellent moral fiction at madisongraceauthor.com.