I think the mind likes circles. Thoughts spin in cycles, positive thoughts twist and turn into the ugly, and a wandering mind can spiral downwards if left unchecked.
Such was my condition this morning. I had begun the day by posting a verse on Facebook about how being who God made us to be is enough. But then, as I was walking home from the library just a few hours later, my mind dove into the deep end of dejection and discouragement over my composition. The trigger was a familiar one: appearance.
Saturday morning errands pre-showering means no make-up. Most of the time I’m relatively comfortable with this, as I will see few people and I’ve come to care less about what strangers think of me. This morning was different. January was quite the month, although I didn’t know it. That’s another way our minds tricks us–I thought my stress level was fine, that I was daily trusting God for all of my needs. I believe, though, that God designed us with built-in “alerts” that kick in when our minds are in denial. Just like Shakira’s hips, my body doesn’t lie, and the effects of a month of stress are written all over it. One of the main places stress attacks is my skin, and January did a number on it. The result was that I was not at all comfortable with showing my bare face to the world.
So I found myself bummed over my current physical condition and avoiding anyone I came across, and from there it was only a single twirl into lamenting all the personality traits that make me a difficult or unloveable person. Praise God, though, for His swift interference. By the time I reached home, fully immersed in self-deprecation, He was already starting to remind me of His own words which say that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I encouraged myself by saying, “He does not make junk,” and that, like so many other trials, “This too shall pass.”
It comes back to belief and trust. Do I trust in my own limited thoughts, experiences, and circumstances or do I believe the words of One who knows the beginning from the end and knows me better than I know myself?
A perfect segue into this week’s poetry prompt, which is to write a poem based on beliefs.
Clap if you believe
Take a leap of faith
Belief spurs action
I trust the chair will hold my weight, so I sit down on it
Actions speak louder than words
It’s not what you say, it’s what you do
Action reveals beliefs
I put all my money in the bank, an indicator that I trust the institution
But how little we analyze
Our own beliefs
And one day perhaps we find ourselves
On a very different road than we intended
That’s not all she wrote
Long-held beliefs leave grooves
But grooves can be filled, new ones formed
Believing is a choice
What will you believe?