The American Psychological Association defines resiliences as, “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress…”
Believe it or not, the first time I heard the word resilience was the beginning of last school year. My first thought of it was to be mentally strong–which is partially true. To be resilient means to properly withstand tough situations. When I say properly, I mean in a healthy way. There are ways to temporarily forget the issue, there’s the option to break down and pity ourselves, or we can be resilient. We can get to the core of our struggles and somehow not let it throw us off the rails. In fact, when we’re resilient, we hang onto the train of life with even greater strength.
I think one threat everyone faces every single day happens in the mind. All of those thoughts–most tend to be negative. These thoughts may be repeated words from others, such as stupid, unwanted, weird, annoying, fill in the blank. These thoughts might be untrue words from the enemy: unloved, not pretty enough, not worth the time, not smart enough, too loud, too quiet…and so on.
“My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.” -Psalm 55:2-3
I recently read Psalm 55 for my morning devotional and loved every word of it. I can deeply relate to David with the verse I quoted above, I’m sure you can too. He specifically says how his thoughts trouble him– you’d think that’s the one thing we have control over in our lives! Well, my friend, many things have a strong influence on our thoughts. Simply scroll through your Instagram feed and you may notice thoughts like “I wish I had that outfit. Why don’t I have a significant other? How is her hair so perfect? Yikes…another picture with a new boy. Jeez, cover up.” Those are my thoughts 99.9% of the time when I’m on Instagram or Pinterest. Yes, I should be ashamed. But guess what? I take those thoughts and I crush them. I catch myself and I either close out of Instagram or I start to compliment each picture I go through.
It can sound something like this: “Wow, her curls are beautiful. I hope her boyfriend is treating her right! She’s gonna go places in life. This picture shows how big her heart is.”
This process is certainly harder than just scrolling, but it’s also healthier. We need to stop comparing ourselves! Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? No one in the world is remotely close to who you are. God created you to be you, and that’s all. Stop being so hard on yourself for not being the girl next to you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop comparing, stop judging, stop! I am so guilty of this, y’all.
So what does this have to do with resilience?
These negative and self-destructing thoughts are satan’s specialty. Sure, we can say things like, “Good job on getting an A on the exam!”, but that doesn’t reflect our heart if our mind is saying, “Ugh of course. Over-achiever. I want an A.” This is our daily routine of resilience. Every second of the day, we must hang on to God’s truths, because He’s our anchor. These negative thoughts drag us below the current and drown us into the mucky waters of the world.
Friend, you are not meant for this world. You were made for God and by God, and you are meant to be in His kingdom. You must rely on His strength in order to stay resilient when society tells you you’re not enough of this or you’re too much of that. You will withstand the affects of these bashing thoughts. You will pull out of you’re unmotivated, depressed, anxious, frantic, and worrisome moods. When you’re resilient, you will no longer be afraid or angry because you are going to your problems head-on with God in front of you, behind you, and dwelling in you.
You are not just “adapting well” while these negative thoughts consume you. You aren’t just “coping” when threats bombard your mind. You are overcoming them! You are resilient when your thoughts start to trouble you.
“As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle wages against me…” -Psalm 55:16-18