When Darkness Creeps In

Last night was one of those nights.

One of those nights where my day had gotten the best of me. One of those nights where my soul just felt battered and bruised. One of those nights where I was dwelling on all the wrong things. One of those nights where the darkness crept in.

And I started processing through comparisons…

What I give vs. what I get.

What I want vs. what I have.

What I have to do vs. what I have done.

I was feeling small tiny minuscule.

But God is big BIG.

So I prayed that He would help me focus. Focus on all the positives instead of all the negatives. Focus on the Light.

Do you struggle with this nasty game of comparisons? How do you combat it?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Such a sweet post, Lindsey…so true and raw. I get this all the time. One day I am actually confident, I live in this state a few days, and then I'm just normal.

    How to fight it? I try and reflect on affirmation I have received in my time with God and words spoken through friends….

    you are lovely 🙂
    My recent post Forgiveness and Reconciliation

  • Scott D. Winter

    I really admire the honesty, transparency, courage, and risk you bring to your blog posts. I want my blog to be like yours when it grows up.
    My recent post Go Tell It On the Mountain

  • That's one of by biggest problems. I know I shouldn't compare but I do, and it's crippling at times!

    If people have some good advice on how to stop, I'd LOVE to hear it, I'm going to be following the comments on this post closely.

    Thanks, Lindsey

  • Emily

    Wow, I'm glad it's not just me. I keep having to back to focusing on what I have vs. what I want… Who God is vs. what I'm not… and How God moves vs. my need to 'feel' His movement. Great post. Hang in there… the Light wins over Darkness in the end. But it can be a pretty crazy ride!

  • I struggle with this all the time. Like Anne I always have to remind myself to go back to the time I spend with God and let Him reaffirm who He is in me. Insecurity drives this part of my life and I have to remember that God is not finished with me yet!
    My recent post Booksneeze

  • Maybe I do compare, I don't know. But what I do know is that just recently I've battled a darkness that creeps in at the oddest times. It's never happened before and I'm totally over it! (I wish!)

    But a thought that has come to me over and over for the past few weeks (I mean pounding on me) is that the truest thing about me is not what I believe about myself, not what others believe about me, it's not even what may SEEM to be the truest thing – but the truest thing about me is who God says I am, period. It has sent me to the Word to investigate God's promises and to claim over and over that I am worth it to Him and that He loves me beyond reason.

    Thanks for a great post.
    My recent post The Sweet By and By, Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

    • "the truest thing about me is who God says I am, period." = very wise

  • Maureen

    I've had a few of those nights lately….. and I do what you do. pray.
    My recent post I made it…

  • Christy

    I too have those times. They are so overwhelming…lately I have worked really hard to not that darkness cloud my life.

    I found this quote a while back and it has become a prayer on those dark days. I also try to remember all of the blessings surrounds me. Family. Friends.

    Light of my heart, do not let my darkness speak to me. -St Augustine

    I have been really digging into the Word too.

    I think it is a learning process…some of us are still learning how to fight it.

    (strangely… I blogged about Darkness today too!)
    My recent post Darkness

  • Jen

    Oh yeah… It seems like there are days/weeks where I am constantly comparing myself to others in every aspect of my life. I will be praying for you just like I pray for me too when these times come.
    My recent post God Ideas

  • I pray Philippians 4:6-7….that God's peace would guard my heart AND my mind. And that God would take EVERY thought captive (2 Cor 10:5)….those thoughts are not coming from Him! Satan deceives and uses doubt, anxiety, fear, comparison, etc. to wreak havoc on your spirit. I love that these verses are a promise. He WILL guard your heart and mind.

  • Amy Nabors

    This is exactly how I felt last night and today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Time to pull myself up.
    My recent post Some Scrapping

  • I don’t struggle this more than once a day. 😉

    I love the transparency. It gives everyone else permission to be real.

  • As an aspiring author, comparison seems to be ever-present! I look around at all the people getting published and get mad at God when I know I should be trusting in Him and His plan.

    I try to apply the same tactics I used when recovering from my eating disorder: When I am comparing myself to someone else, I ask myself, "What would it be like if we all looked the same, acted the same, had the same job, and succeeded in the same things?"

    Life would be boring. God has purpose in the darkness of comparison: to shine the light of His perfect plan.

    A plan that includes you and me just the way we are at just the place we are in.
    My recent post Everyone Deserves to Feel Beautiful

  • Thanks for the candor, Lindsey. For me, when I'm in those times (usually everyday at some point!), I combat it by 1) adhering to Philippians 4:8: "…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things." 2) remind myself that even the Israelites used to be build small stone monuments as a spiritual marker of what God had done for them or led them through. We all need to identify and then re-visit our own spiritual markers. 3) Donald Trump wrote once of the importance of keeping a box of momentos handy that can be held, read, perused, especially when times are dark. These can be inspiring notes from a friend, an article you may have read, photos from a memorable moment, etc.

    For me, these work.

  • Kim

    Lindsey, I had one of your 'last nights' today. I was ready to surrender to the dark –the 'comparisons', maybe even do a child in Walmart aisle 3 temper tantrum. : ) But, instead, I did an unexpected. I took a step back, trusted in my faith and reacted to the 'dark' in a positive way by reaching out, and giving positives to another person. By immediatedly replacing the dark with light, it gave me light — comfort.

    And, what Dennis up above me said about Trump's mementos… Someone once told me to store your 'happiest' in your mind, to pull out when the poverty of pain strikes again. It took me awhile to learn this. But, for me, it can be as simple as that.
    My recent post Dusting Away The Blog Ghost Poo

  • Chrystie

    I don't know about comparison. Well, maybe I do. I usually don't measure up. I do know about darkness though. I have battled depressive tendencies off and on most of my adult life. Sometimes the darkness is overwhelming. I've been there over the last couple of weeks. But there are a few things that always (well, almost always) help.
    First, like Cindy said, focusing on what God has to say about me. I'm fearfully and wonderfully mad…He rejoices over me with singing…etc.
    The second thing I do, is try to stop listening to my own thoughts and I start praising Him instead…either through worship music or reciting some verses of praise from the Bible. It tends to shift my focus off of me and onto God.

    My recent post Siesta Celebration!

  • Chrystie

    I don't know about comparison. Well, maybe I do. I usually don't measure up. I do know about darkness though. I have battled depressive tendencies off and on most of my adult life. Sometimes the darkness is overwhelming. I've been there over the last couple of weeks. But there are a few things that always (well, almost always) help.
    First, like Cindy said, focusing on what God has to say about me. I'm fearfully and wonderfully mad…He rejoices over me with singing…etc.
    The second thing I do, is try to stop listening to my own thoughts and I start praising Him instead…either through worship music or reciting some verses of praise from the Bible. It tends to shift my focus off of me and onto God.

    My recent post Siesta Celebration!

    • Chrystie

      Haha, I just noticed my typo about being fearfully and wonderfully mad. That should be made, not mad…but maybe I am fearfully and wonderfully mad. Who knows?
      My recent post Siesta Celebration!

  • All the time… Every week! I have yet to combat 🙁

  • Testing.

  • You're not alone! Guilty…just last week. Even wrote my own post on the subject. 😉
    My recent post Experiencing God, Again…

  • I have this tendency to compare my insides to other's outsides…. #sigh


    My recent post Misfit Still

  • I think anytime we experience rejection of any type we are headed for the comparison couch. Someone, somehow has received more votes than us. The worst part is that in a sense it's true, someone is getting more notice than us or so it seems. Confidence in what you're doing is a good defense but there is probably more.

    A life long sufferer.
    My recent post Neon Gold

  • When you figure out how to really do this, let me know, please?
    My recent post Mail pattern weirdness

  • Gail

    Well, I guess you can see that you're not alone. That is the beauty of transparency.

    This reminded me of another revealing post I read earlier this week. It was written by my dear friend, Shelia Mullican (@SMullican). It's entitled "Sometimes I Wish I Weren't Me." You may want to take a look at it.

    http://anam-cara.typepad.com/anam_cara/2010/01/so

    Thanks so much for opening your heart for us. I love the quote that Christy put up:

    Light of my heart, do not let my darkness speak to me. -St Augustine

    It may very well speak, but we don't have to agree with with it says.

    Love you,

    Gail

  • This is why I have said for a long time, social media has been one of the best things for me, but also one of the worst things for me.
    I can play the comparison game all day long and feel very small, like my life means absolutely nothing.

    I have no formula or secret answer, I struggle, feel depressed, and eventually realize how foolish I am, and that I am feeling sorry for myself. Usually that comes by a nudge from God.
    My recent post Leaders Under 30-John Saddington

  • Oh, yes… I'm very good at comparing! And I'm very stubborn, It's not a good mix!

    I'm discovering to not let things bother me. To give the benefit of grace to the other person rather than judging that since they cancelled having lunch with me that I'm not important to them, etc. etc.

    It's not easy for me to let things go. I expect people to play by my standards and interpret things through what I would do instead of allowing them to be and think differently.
    My recent post Rediscovering Joy

  • Without the Light you will stumble and fall.

    .I certainly have been learning humility and learning more about waiting on Him. Praise God; in my weakness He is strong. There are times in the valley when I lean on God and get victory and times when I give in to flesh and struggle to let go and let God. But He never moves.

    Enjoying your blog. Can't wait to see you at Blissdom.
    My recent post Technical Difficulties

  • thanks for this … for me the battle is between the "me" I am right now vs. the one I'm praying I'll have the strength to be.

    Comparisons are the enemy's way of saying "God could've done better when he created you." That's a big fat lie and one we choose to believe several times a day. It's exhausting trying to keep focused on what's real and true, helpful, positive, light-bearing and God-glorifying – but it's worth it. I dig deep into His word, because there – comparisons are n/a- nothing is comparable to God!
    My recent post Helping Haiti Live event

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  • the fact that you got to the point of praying that so quickly challenges me. i need to "lift my eyes" far quicker than i ever do.
    My recent post she was my first