In the sixth year of my sobriety, things were going great on the outside. But in the midst of a flourishing non-profit, with huge and scary goals that will only get achieved in faith—and seeing those things get achieved, I learned this valuable lesson: even then, life can suck.
For the first time in my life, I began to have battles with really severe depression. Moments where I’ve lost the passion for what I do. Moments of sheer panic. Like, uncontrollable, knock-me-down, think-I’m-about-to-die panic. I knew those were only moments—they aren’t my life—but man, did they feel real.
I had let fear push me back into a place of apathy, hesitancy, and worry.
I am a naturally confident person, but I had multiple moments—entire days—of thinking and believing I’m not cut out to do what I am doing. Wrestling with a whole group of “D” words: depression, disqualifying thoughts, deep fear, devastating doubts.
But I have discovered the truth about what was really happening to me. Every single one of those moments, each emotion, all the misplaced feelings and crazy cycles of out-of-character reactions and fears, all the panic attacks, the worry, and dread—all of it was rooted in lies the enemy was trying to get me to believe about myself, lies meant to steal away what God has given me.
So you know what I decided, and what I hope you’ll decide, too? I decided then and there that I will not believe another lie.
My calling is too great, my marriage is too important, my future is too bright, my story is too sacred, and the people God has given me to lead are way too valuable for me to get trapped in another lie from the evil one.
We must learn to recognize the lies. Because recognition helps us neutralize the lies.
The enemy wants to lull you to sleep and then place that lie right in front of you. The unaware version you will snap that lie right on up and give it a good home. But the version of you who is on guard for lies will leave it right there, maybe put a couple of orange cones around it so you’ll remember to leave it alone the next time you encounter it.