How God’s Word Helps Me Fight My Mental Battles
Written by Deborah Lee, Singapore
A new colleague recently approached me, saying that she decided to ask for my opinion on a claim assessment only because the assessors who had trained her when she was first hired were unavailable. Although I knew that it wasn’t her intention, her comment made me feel like I was her last resort.
This added to my feelings of inferiority about not being chosen to train new hires and instead having to take on more workload to support the department during training. Working quietly behind the scenes has made me realise that many see me as less competent, and it’s still hard to not feel disappointed with myself.
That evening at home, as I quieted my heart before the Lord, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 12:15-18, which talks about how every part of the body is important. The passage is meant to show that God gives different spiritual gifts to the members of the church—the body of Christ—so that the different functions can work together to support the body as a whole.
But I found it applicable to my situation at work as well—where I’ve been struggling to see the significance of my role and the work I do. Through my reading of the passage, God reminded me again that my day-to-day work in quiet support is important; He sees the work that I do and expects me to be faithful in doing so (Hebrews 4:13). In His eyes, there is no role too small or insignificant.
This recent encounter was yet an invitation to find rest in God. It pushed me to reflect on the foundation of my identity, and through that, recall my security and joy in walking with God. As I repented in surrender, it comforted me to know that I am His and that everything works according to His good and perfect plan (Romans 8:28).
With these refreshed thoughts, I am determined to anchor myself in God so that I will not be shaken. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to dig deeper into the Bible and have His Word stored in my heart (Psalm 119:11). I realise that whenever we come to God and lay our emotions before Him, we also need to let His Word search our hearts and allow His truth to renew us.
Over the past year, since I’ve started working from home, I’ve found it hard to keep up with a morning routine. But I’ve decided to resume my morning routine of waking up early, making a cup of coffee, then having my devotion before starting the day.
Before I begin reading the Bible, I will utter a short prayer and ask the Lord to help me focus, to open the eyes of my heart (Psalms 119:18, Ephesians 1:18) so I can see the beauty of His Word. When certain verses catch my attention, I will pause to meditate and ponder upon it. I keep a journal and a pen with me, so I can write down reflections to help me remember God’s faithfulness.
By savoring and meditating on His Word, reflecting on the context of the verses and how it relates to my circumstances, I’ve found myself memorizing the verses as well. This is particularly helpful, as the verses I’ve memorized come to mind whenever I face a difficult situation, or when I feel weary in the day and negative thoughts start creeping in.
I recall a time when the head of another department brought her new staff to our team and introduced us according to our job titles, pointing out who was a senior and who was not. I couldn’t help but feel inferior, being a non-senior who is older and having been around longer than some of the other staff; I felt so ashamed in that moment that I wanted to just leave.
But as I surrendered my emotions to God, I remembered how God has faithfully carried me through my pain and brokenness, and how He is still helping me mature and weather each disappointment or failure at work. And so, instead of responding with disgruntledness, I was able to put on a smile as she introduced each of us.
Knowing and hiding the verses in our hearts is really like putting on the armour of God (Ephesians 6:17), so we can fight our daily battles, whether it’s physical challenges or mental struggles. Although battling thoughts and feelings of inferiority is a gradual process, I am learning through each struggle that when we take captive every ungodly thought (2 Corinthians 10:5), and renew our minds with God’s Word (Romans 12:2), He helps us respond to each situation we face in love (Colossians 3:14).
As Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say” puts it, we can keep inviting the Lord to remind us again and again of our identity as His precious children. We can think about who He says we are, even when we feel we don’t measure up.
It is true, what 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, that we can learn to find delight in our weaknesses as these push us closer to God and make us hold fast to His life-giving truths. I am convicted with each passing day of the truth in His Word, how it instructs us and helps us navigate life, and how it gives us encouragement and hope (Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16).