Not all Confidence Conflicts are Beauty Battles. Attacks on our identity come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Most of these conflicts are mountains–whether we made them out of molehills or not.
Grief is a very real and very difficult Confidence Conflict, which leaves you feeling small and overwhelmed. Emotions are raw, vision is blurred and the path to peace is hard to find. There were many times during our journey when we lost our way, broke down, gave up or separated from each other emotionally. We did, however, make a decision to reunite and help each other over the mountain of grief. Eventually we found our way through the woods, but I don’t believe we would have made it to higher ground if we hadn’t called out to God for help.
I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! -Psalms 121:1-2
Confidence Conflicts are intimidating.
Whatever your challenge–whether it be relational, physical or emotional–if it is all you see it may make you feel small and threatened. By nature, we can become consumed by our problems. When our heart is broken, our health is failing, our children are hurting, our addiction is ruling, our finances are dwindling, whatever it is that demands our attention, it is hard to focus on anything else. The more we focus on it, the bigger it gets.
How do we scale the rough terrain of a scary cliff and not fall to our death? Sometimes we huddle into the corner in fear. It takes time to calm down and find the strength to step away and lift our eyes to the mountaintop.
It is helpful to ask advice of others. Most people want to help, but not all advice is helpful.
Some help is hurtful.
I think of some of the painful things people would say when Rebecca fist died and I thank God for my husband’s wisdom. He helped me realize that we should not take their words personally. We should look at their heart just as God looks at our heart.
If you have never climbed my mountain, you really have no idea how to navigate the cliffs and pitfalls. If I see your useless advice as an insult, it may consume my energy and only add to my burden, but if I see your words as an attempt to help, I can gratefully receive it as love. A hug may not show me how to hike the slippery slope, but it may give me the energy to figure it out.
In reality, even good advice is only words. Advice from someone who has conquered the very same mountain you are climbing may be valuable, but it does not get you to the peak. You must put in your own effort if you want the victory for yourself.
Confidence Conflicts are unique.
I think of the times my husband experienced victories and I was still feeling defeated. We were hiking the mountain together, but we each had our own battles to face.
Comparison was not helpful.
Finding victory over whatever challenge you face has nothing to do with anyone else’s accomplishments (or failures). A friend’s sobriety, a coworker’s raise, a cousin’s healthy delivery or happy family does not change your battle. Unless you allow it to encourage you and give you strength… or consume you and rob your energy.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the mountains before you, I encourage you to lift your eyes higher. No human can understand it all or direct your path, but if you call upon the Maker of Heaven and Earth, He will guide you to victory in Him. His guidance is not advice; it is hands-on, powerful, active help. He knows you intimately, He understands your needs, desires and purpose and He has a plan for your future and your present. Seek Him for each step of the journey and trust Him for outcome. One day you will stand at the peak and gain a new perspective of it all. There will be other mountains to climb, but with each one you will have the mountaintop view of the last one to increase your faith and give you strength to Carry On, Warrior!
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