Janet Chester Bly
To fight for peace, interrogate yourself, like King David did: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5 NASB)
Figure out what’s wrong. Calculate what’s rumbling around inside that’s got you uptight, scattered, maybe hard to live with. Ask, “What’s the matter? Why do I feel this way?” Stay with it until you hone in on the key issue. A problem well-stated is half solved, so some say.
I stood before a group of young mothers and asked, “What one thing is your greatest struggle?”
A buzz of replies scattered around the room: “Being a good wife.” “Being a good mom.” “Knowing whether to work or not.” “Saving money.” Spending less.”
Delighted that these topics fit the theme of my prepared talks, I opened up my notes. But Shelley, an attractive and talented leader, slipped up her hand, let it down, then eased it up again. “I’ve read so much about self-image. Some of it has helped. I still don’t quite understand. How come I’m still trying to know myself, to like what I see? To feel at ease with whom I am?” She blushed as she glanced around the room.
Surprise registered on a number of faces. One by one, the other gals nodded agreement. Encouraged, Shelley added, “I’m afraid to attempt anything too ambitious while I battle questions like, ‘How do I look today?’ ‘How come so-and-so isn’t speaking to me?’ ‘How come I can’t do anything right?’ Do you ever get past this lack of confidence stage?”
She looked to me, a much older woman, to give advice and assurance. My mind whirled to sort out a semblance of wise words. Yet all I could think is that women my age struggle with similar challenges. In fact, aging changes can trigger more insecurities to overcome. What could I say that would help them gain perspective, to get a grip? To feel comfortable in their own skin? I knew well the spiritual journey balancing act. . .accept yourself, but also seek improvement. At the same time, forget yourself and reach out to others.
How do you find contentment in being you?
Spend some alone time to assess:
1) Where you gain your sense of significance.
2) What’s your foundation for fulfillment.
3) How well you accept your place in the world right now. . .how you look. . .how you relate to others.
4) Exhort yourself with spiritual truth, such as, No matter what, I am God’s deeply loved child just as I am. I matter to him. I can come to him at any time confident that he won’t turn me away. He forgives me for whatever I’ve done. He allows me a fresh start. He has a wonderful plan for the world that includes me. I know I’m headed to his glorious forever home. (taken from John 1:12, John 15:15, Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 3:12, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 1:5)
Adapted from “31 Days To Personal Peace”Free download of entire article available at http://www.BlyBooks.articles.htm