All my life I was raised to believe in myself, to know that God created me just the way he wanted me. Yet I cannot think of a more predominant doubt, fear or source of anxiety than my own fear of failure. I clearly remember telling my friend Ashley that she could make a certain dance team (which was extremely difficult to make). I remember telling my friend Lacey that the $12,000 she needed to raise to go on a year-long mission trip was totally achievable when you know that you’ve been called. But don’t start asking me to believe in myself. I know that I can do a lot of things. But man, if there is a shadow of a doubt as to my success, I just don’t even want to try. I remember being so crippled by the fear of failing. Failing at a job, failing a friend, failing my family or, even worse, failing God. It’s still so easy to get caught in the lies that Satan tells me about being worthless or useless. It’s so easy to drown in our sorrows, to let fear, anxiety and hopelessness cripple us.
Combatting the natural thoughts and fears going on in my head was a daily struggle until, one day, I heard a lady being interviewed on the radio, and she mentioned Philippians 4:8. She said that whenever she had negative thoughts about her husband, or fear and anxiety about a situation they were facing, she would say the verse aloud and think on those praiseworthy things.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
— Philippians 4:8
This may not seem life changing to you, but for me this literally rocked my thought life. This was a tangible thing that I could do to take my thoughts captive. I know that I cannot do much to change my circumstances, and I definitely cannot do much to alter the actions or thoughts of someone else. But I can take captive my own thoughts. I can think on true, and honorable things. I can think things that are beneficial to my health and my family.
Sometimes in life, things seem impossible. So many things seem insurmountable. But Jesus defeated death. He did miracles. He loved when no one else could. I have to lean into that when I feel the impossible pressing in on me.