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  • Writer's pictureJubilee Lipsey

Recoil or Restabilize?

If you’ve read ahead and are already thinking, “Here we go again,” yes, I am going to talk about my experience as an indie author…again, but even if that doesn’t apply to you, please keep reading. The real message of this blog will work for ANYONE, regardless of what you do or what you are facing in it.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity, but it’s also a long climb that will cause you to feel lonely, helpless, overwhelmed, and inadequate. I was facing yet another one of those mountains recently, and I was sorely tempted to give in to frustration. To add to the complication, God had already promised (multiple times and in many different ways) that He would help me past these obstacles and that I was not supposed to quit. In fact, He’s made it very clear that for now, I’m supposed to proceed with my projects and not worry about the how.

So, what was I supposed to do with the challenge that remained? What are all of us supposed to do with the challenges that seem designed to break us down?

I brought my dilemma before God (He already knew) and told Him, “I don’t want to feel this tormented and helpless when you’ve said you have my back. Please help me have a victorious attitude, and show me what to do. This is my plan so far; please bless it and send me help, but if there’s a better solution, show me.”

And He did! He provided a different solution so quickly that I realized something profound. If I had spent the previous few days wallowing, it would have been a huge emotional waste.

We all come up against these challenges, and with each of them, we have a choice—whether to recoil from the whole thing in resentment or realign with our purpose (which means realigning with God).

In Numbers, most of the Israelite spies sent into Canaan came back with a bad report, essentially saying, “even though God promised us we can take the land, the giants are too scary, and we can’t do this.” The people all wept when they heard that, wallowing as they lost hope—and there went the destiny of an entire generation (13:32).

Now, it’s not wrong to be upset or to admit fear or struggles. But deciding to believe an emotional report that upsets you when God told you the opposite is another story. The needless torment that we invite on ourselves can end up poisoning our destiny if we’re not careful.

We have a major problem in our society—one that can easily take us out if we’re not working against it in our own lives. Many of us in the West have become emotionally immature, unwilling to handle anything that doesn’t go our way, falling apart over inconvenience, unable to discern between trauma and the natural difficulty of being an adult pursuing real dreams and goals.

I dealt with this on a personal level recently when I witnessed a customer who acted like a business was doing something wrong to her simply because they had a process for ordering, and it wasn’t automatic. The customer service associates already wanted to help her, but she began the conversation with so much needless disgust and frustration because she’d already decided it was going to be too complicated.

How often do we torment ourselves similarly, choosing defeat too soon?

We all have strong feelings that may be justified at times, but what are you going to do with those feelings? You can only frustrate for so long before you have to look at the choices you have and make a decision. And who better to do that with than the God who loves you and has a plan for your life?

Practice this! The next time you’re facing something you don’t like, take a breath and ask yourself:

- Is this a violation of my rights or a process?

- Is this person trying to hurt me or do we have different perspectives?

- Is this an emergency or adulting?

- Trauma or uncomfortable?

Far too often today, we validate everyone's pain beyond solutions. People are soothed into staying stuck, and therefore, they don’t become emotionally stable enough to face everyday life. And I’ve been there!

I get so overwhelmed about certain aspects of self-publishing. I can feel the pull of victimization every time I face a new obstacle that I don’t feel qualified to work through. But my most sustainable option is to restabilize on God.

Is self-publishing unfair and expensive and complex? Yes. But it’s possible.

God set it up when it wasn’t on my radar. He’s promised and proven that He will help me. If I fall apart or give up, I will never see His promises unfold. When I feel like falling apart, I talk to my husband, I cry, I get sympathy. But that can only go so far before I have to decide what to do.

I ask the Lord, “If we’re still doing this, help me to figure out what I need to do to get over this hump. You’ve done it before, and you’ll do it again.”

I know He has the solutions I need, but I will also need to walk them out with Him. We can visit doctors and ask them to fix us, but we have to take the meds and undergo tests and drive to the office etc. If I go to God and ask Him to fix publishing and take my anxiety away, that might not happen, but I will have a lot more success if I engage my free will to align myself, my situation, and my attitude with the higher reality in my life.

It’s like the Israelites’ choice…

They could either complain and lash out at Moses because there were giants in their Promised Land or they could agree with God.

Yes, there were giants, but they were irrelevant because God specifically said that Israel would defeat them. Just because something difficult exists doesn’t mean we should focus on it to the point of torment.

As you come up against mountains in the path to your own dreams and goals, be willing to accept that there are things you must contend with, but if God already said He wants you to do this, He will help you begin the climb. And He won’t leave you until you make it.

Then, you'll find yourself basking in the sunlight of the summit, realizing your breakthrough inspired and equipped others for the same journey. What could be more exhilarating?

Be encouraged; with God, we're stronger than we want to realize. We can engage with this reality even through the challenges. That’s what restabilizes us.

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