Why You Are a New Creation (even if you don’t believe it)

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who Am I”?

Years ago, when I was at my darkest moments with my battle against depression, I was asking that question all the time.

I felt like I had lost myself. I didn’t recognize who I was. During that time of my life I was angry, full of self-condemnation, snapping at my family, and sometimes being downright mean to my kids. I don’t say this lightly when I say I hated myself.

Then God . . .

Through counseling and God’s grace I learned that I am a new creation. I am NOT a toy the enemy of my soul can play with. I have control over my thoughts, which means I have control over WHAT I allow into my head and WHO I allow into my life.

The truth was (and still is) that I’m a new creation the moment I surrendered my life to Jesus.

You see, because I allowed negative thoughts and false beliefs to flood my mind, I was full of anger, guilt, and self-doubt. I believed that God could not reach me where I was, and this was even AFTER I had decided to give my life to Jesus.

The enemy wanted nothing more than for me to remain stuck in this mindset. And you’re fooling yourselves if you don’t believe he wants the same thing for you too.

If we believe that Jesus cannot or does not completely change us once we become His, then we are still living under the law, not grace. The enemy of our souls would love nothing less than for us to believe that Jesus is not powerful enough to miraculously change our lives.

Does this mean that all of our bad habits and attitudes are instantly gone? No, not at all. What it does mean is that God has made our souls new. He has provided us with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, we need to grow in Him and become more like Him every day.

We need to remember, because of what Jesus did on the cross over 2000 years ago, we are NEW CREATIONS!

Your homework for this week:

Read 2 Corinthians 5: 17-18. How has God given you the gift of a being a new creation?

(Content from this blog article was taken from my group Facebook study and 30 Day devotional, 30 Days to More of Jesus.)

 

 

Join us over in our Facebook group, Choosing JOY, where you’ll find support and encouragement as you journey through depression and anxiety.

 

 

 

3 Virtues to Look For in a Friend When You Have Depression

3 Virtues to Look For in a Friend When You Have Depression

When you’re struggling with depression or anything else that may hinder your mental well-being, you want to have a friend beside you that will be a support and encouragement for you. Below I’ve listed three virtues I highly recommend you look for in a friend to walk alongside you during your darkest times.

Honest but Loving

When you are struggling with depression or anxiety, often you are not thinking rationally. Runaway emotions and panic can set you off and cause your mind to imagine the worst possible situation.

You need someone who will be honest with you about what you’re feeling or thinking. Someone who will come alongside you and tell you you’re being irrational, or that you need to take a break. But you also want this person to do it in a loving manner.

Often I tell my kids, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it that matters.” Isn’t that the truth? Two people can say the exact same words, but with different inflection or a high or low tone, it can come across as kind or as terribly mean.

Look for someone in your life who has spoken honestly to you, but in a loving, compassionate manner. This means they express truth to you in love.

Encouraging but Truthful

You want someone who will encourage you but not tell you something that isn’t true. A person who will flatter you in order to make you feel better is no better than someone who outright lies to you. They are placing your feelings over the truth, and that is never a good thing.

You need to be encouraged during times like these. You need to hear positive affirmations, but not at the expense of the truth. Look for someone who will encourage and support you on your journey but will not tell you a lie in order to make you feel better.

A true friend wants to see you grow and flourish while being truthful in their encouragement and support of you.

Confidential but Respectful

This is extremely important. How can you open up to someone if you are afraid they are going to share your life with other people? Sharing your depression and anxiety with someone can leave you feeling extremely vulnerable. You need to be able to trust this person with your life, maybe even some secrets you’ve been hanging onto. You can never fully confide in or share with someone if you do not completely trust them.

On the other hand, this person also needs to respect you enough to tell you if it’s time for you to go see a counselor or a therapist. They need to have your permission to share with your spouse or another significant person in your life if they feel you are going down a harmful path. You will only share with someone else if you know they respect your feelings and you know they will keep them in full confidence.

In my newest course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety, I tackle this issue along with 4 others that will help you live a victorious life no matter your circumstances. I would love to have you join me. Click here to learn what’s included in this course (HINT: A 30-minute strategy phone call with me for FREE is just one of the bonuses included.)

Have you found a friend with the virtues I described above? Who helps you with your journey towards peace and strong mental health?

 

 

 

 

Discover Your Breaking Point (Before IT Breaks You!)

There are many strategies you can use to prevent an anxiety episode or minimize the effects of a depressive episode.

One of those strategies I teach my clients is to discover your breaking point, and then stay far away from it!

What is a “breaking point”?

For me, my breaking point was when I was overwhelmed, freaking out, and feeling completely out of control of my life. This would send me into a spiraling cycle of anger and guilt. When this happens (and still does at times) I am miserable, exhausted, and so is the rest of my family.

A very practical way to discover your breaking point is to perform your very own self-test.

Keep a daily log of your activities and attitudes. Do this for one full week. At the end of your testing period, take note of your poor moods and attitudes. Then ask yourself questions like these:

Does my bad attitude follow a particularly hard day?

What activities were I involved in that may have had an effect on my attitude?

Was it a bad day at home with the kids?

How was work for myself that day?

The following week, remove one of those activities that appeared to influence your mood.

Are you volunteering somewhere and you need to take a break or cut your time in half?

Can you have your spouse or another parent drive your child to his/her after school activities?

Do you need to say “No” to certain events that you have attended in the past?

If you simply cannot remove any of these activities from your life then you need to ask for help.

Do you need help with the kids after school?

Do you need help with cooking meals or with cleaning the house?

Ask your spouse to take on more of the child-rearing responsibilities or house-cleaning responsibilities. Trust me, my husband would much rather be in charge of putting all the kids to bed each and every night, or take over laundry duty, then to see me making myself miserable, and the rest of the family along with it.

Take note if this helped or hindered your attitude. You can repeat this process to pinpoint any certain activities that bring you close to your breaking point.

 

 

Join me January 1, for “5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety”. In this self-paced course you will learn how to change your mindset, separate self-deception from truth, and discover your own breaking point.

 

 

How to Replace Self-Deception with Life-Long Truth in These 4 Steps

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Knowing how to distinguish the falsehoods we have believed about ourselves from the reality in our lives is HUGE when it comes to living with victory over depression.

Why is that?

When you are struggling daily with depression and anxiety, there are days you feel like you are going to lose your mind. Your mindset is completely skewed by the lack of control you have over your emotions and your mental health.

How do I know this? Because it’s what happened to me over 10 years ago.

When my first daughter was born, I experienced something I would not wish on my worst enemy. Post-partum depression. Like any illness, some are hit harder with symptoms than others. I had every single symptom in the book.

Irrational anger, high expectations for myself and my family, overwhelming guilt, feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of worthlessness, and believing that my family would be better off without me as a wife and mother.

So yes, when you are experiencing the above symptoms, you are deceiving yourself and believing all sorts of lies and untruths.

What do you do when you are unsure what is true and what is false in your life?

pinterest-ad-2Write down everything you are thinking about yourself or your situation.

Essentially this is called a “mental brain dump”. Get a sheet of paper, journal, whatever you can use, and write down the beliefs you have about yourself, or that you’ve heard others tell you. I suggest not spending more than 10-15 minutes on this.

Review your “mental brain dump” list.

Read through each statement you wrote down one by one. If you need someone objective to help you then, by all means, enlist their help.

Write the truth to each statement you wrote in step 1.

This area may take much longer than 10 – 15 minutes. If you have quite a long list, I suggest tackling 5 statements at a time. This process can take a while, but it is the most important part of the process. If you are going to live in victory over depression and anxiety, you need to KNOW and BELIEVE the truth about yourself.

Choose one Truth each day or week to focus on.

This may seem like some psychological mumbo-jumbo to you but trust me, it works. How do you change something over time? By creating a new habit. By reviewing each truth every day or every week, you are creating a new habit in your mind. The habit of finding the truth about yourself and your situation, no matter how painful and difficult it can be.

We will be tackling this exercise in my newest course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety. This is one method I use to replace the lies I have believed about myself with the truth of my current life situation.

5-keys-email-courseThis course will launch April 1 for the introductory price of only $147! (Regular price $197 returns May 1.) It includes a downloadable workbook, email support, video lessons, and a FREE 30-minute consultation with me at the completion of the course.

Interested in the course and want to keep updated on all the deets? Click here to learn more.

Have you ever used this method to fight the deception you have believed about yourself? How did it help you? Are there other methods you have used to bring the truth back into your life?

 

 

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