Many of my childhood summer holidays were spent at my grandparent’s lovely old weatherboard home on the edge of a very long and sandy beach in the north of New Zealand. In fact the beach is commonly called 99 Mile Beach, but is actually less than that in length. On fine summer days when the tide was low there were vast expanses of golden sand and it seemed to our young minds that the beach extended into infinity. We spent long hours playing on that beach, hunting for cod and crabs in the rock pools that dotted the beach, racing each other between them and hoping to be the first to find the next treasure the sea had left behind. Occasionally a pool just perfect for young children sat beside a mound of rocks and we would have a bit of a swim in the sun warmed water.
'Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow
In the light of His glory and grace'
For so many of us the encouragement to look upon the face of Jesus is the scariest thing in the world right now.
'It's hopeless, what's the point?'
'I've lost my enthusiasm and my confidence'
'When is this going to end'
'I can't do this anymore'
Discouragement can be one of the biggest killers that stops our efforts, goals and dreams in their tracks. It is the antithesis of confidence and progress, and often creeps up on us unaware. The ironic thing about discouragement is that we are operating in the opposite of the very mindset we need to pull ourselves out of it.
An inner vow is a self-directed killer promise resulting from difficulty or pain.
I want to share a bit of a personal story because I really hope it will help you too. Many years ago I used to write short stories and poetry. The words used to flow out of me. It seems over the years my creativity in writing has all but died and at times it’s a real struggle just to write a good blog. I was discussing this the other day with my daughter while we were driving, when all of a sudden I had a picture flash across my vision, of me tearing up in anger, the book I wrote my stories and poems in. Someone had said something negative and hurtful about my writing poetry and I silently made a vow that I wouldn’t write anymore.I realised that making that inner vow about writing had shut down my creative ability and robbed my confidence as a writer – something I had really enjoyed doing. I admit to having a bit of a cry over it, sobbing all over the steering wheel while trying to drive. I’ve learnt though over the years to let things like that vow go and to forgive myself and the other person for what had happened.