“Always be joyful.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16
“Always” is an intimidating word. I’m not anything “always.”
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” -Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:11)
Paul actually wrote the words at the top, too. He was clearly a confident overachiever.
But what if you’re revisited by the doubts… and the depression… and the anxiety… and the temptation…? What then?
I mean, we fought it off so many times. We did the counseling, got the help, practiced mindfulness, prayed a ton… But back in it creeps.
What do we do?
We begin again.
We refuse to be discouraged or give up.
No one gave up on you when you were learning to walk. “What a loser! He can’t put one foot in front of the other. Forget it. He’s bound to the stroller.” Nope. They kept standing you up… over and over and over. Eventually, you started walking. But you still fell a lot. And you improved. Your legs got stronger. You didn’t quit. And now, walking is like breathing. You even sometimes run-maybe.
When you’re revisited by haunting thoughts or struggles from the past, recognize what they are—an opportunity to get stronger. Accept the challenge and walk forward. If you fall, get back up, steady yourself, and walk again.
One day, “always” and “whatever the circumstances” will be a real thing for you. Just keep getting up and taking more steps.