I felt like I was going crazy.

I was not ok and I knew it. I just couldn’t snap out of it.

I was emotional and exhausted.  Anxious and stressed.  And I couldn’t even pinpoint why…

It’s times like these that I don’t know where I’d be without my core beliefs.

I was first introduced to the concept of core beliefs several years ago.  Core beliefs, defined by Google, are “basic beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world we live in. They are things we hold to be absolute truths deep down, underneath all our “surface” thoughts. Essentially, core beliefs determine how you perceive and interpret the world.”

Whether we realize it or not, we all have them.  Some are easy to identify, and some we may not even realize we have.  Although I’ve drifted a bit from the true definition, I’ve been intentional over the years to establish some things that I believe to my core.

Each core belief that I’ve established state a truth that I firmly stand by.  Whether it’s Bible-based or life-learned, these beliefs can apply to any situation, no matter the details.  They often center or ground me when I feel overwhelmed or confused.  And they keep me focused and relieve unrealistic expectations that I may have.

Here are some examples I’ve picked up along the way.  They’ve been the reminders that I needed during hard seasons, days or moments.  They’ve offered direction and guidance when I felt lost.

  • “Don’t doubt in the dark, what God gave you in the light.”
  • “Trust intentions.”
  • “Have I prayed about it as much as I’ve talked about it?”
  • “The power is not in the one saying the prayer, but in The One hearing it.”
  • “Saying yes all the time doesn’t make you wonder woman –it makes you a worn out woman.” – Lysa TerKeurst
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to, or are even supposed to.” – Cindy Miller
  • “Don’t believe everything you think.”
  • “Bad moments don’t make bad mommas.” – Lysa TerKuerst
  • “When in doubt, don’t.”
  • “Before you go tearing down fences in your life, find out who built them and what they were built to protect you from.” – Rachel Coltharp
  • “If you’re too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.”
  • “If God is pleased, then stop worrying about who isn’t.”
  • “Disappointments are often the result of unmet expectations.” – My momma
  • “God leads by His peace.”

Earlier, I’d briefly mentioned that I’d been going through a rough time where it seemed that my thoughts were spinning for days.  I felt frenzied and anxious.  I was making rash decisions and I didn’t feel like myself. Most of it was just “life” that I wasn’t managing well, combined with poor eating habits and sleep patterns, but it all crashed together, creating a terrifying tornado in my thoughts and emotions.

In the middle of my unstable moment, I almost bought a mini home.  The incentive: how much money we’d save from our current monthly housing costs. I still love this idea, but this particular mini home was so small that my kids thought the bedrooms were closets. They were barely big enough to fit a single twin size bed, and nothing else. But I was convinced we could do it.  The fridge only stood to my 6’4” husband’s chest, and he had to duck to go into the bedroom. I could see that this would make some things tricky, but I had this frustrating determination to make it work.

I was also just hours away from signing the forms to take on a large paper route which would require my family to be up and out at 4 am, 6 days a week. I told myself it would be good for the kids to learn this responsibility.  I tried to convince myself that I could do it – knowing full well that I personally require more sleep than most – on a good day.

My husband and I were not on the same page with all of this. This was rare for us!  And instead of that being enough to bring me to my senses, it fueled the fire.  I was working hard at trying to convince him that I was on to something.  In the meantime, my house was a mess, the laundry and dishes were competing for the tallest piles, I was late on deadlines and in survival mode at work.

I was so confused about what to do and I felt like I was going crazy.

I could see that I wasn’t thinking clearly or making good decisions, but it’s like I couldn’t stop.

One day that week, I ended up just going to bed.  It was too late in the day for a nap and too early to go to bed for the night, but I was desperate to silence my spinning thoughts. I hoped that sleeping would help.

My husband came in and asked what was wrong. I didn’t feel like I had the energy or clarity to talk, so I just said that I felt overwhelmed.  He prodded a bit, while sitting on the bed next to me, encouraging me to share what I was feeling with him and talk these things out.

As I finished emptying my head and heart, he gently spoke up and said “Let me ask you this, we believe that ‘God leads by His peace’, do you feel peace about any of this?”

Ugh.  This stopped me in my tracks.  Clearly, the answer was no.  That’s when the tears started and I immediately felt the pressure lift and God’s peace begin to sweep in so sweetly.

As the heavy chaos cleared, so did the answers I was looking for.

No, I did not have peace.  That realization helped me come to the conclusion that these decisions I was trying to make, were not right for me and my family, right now.

My core belief that “God leads by His peace” is based on scriptures such as:

  • Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid.”
  • Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you.”
  • 1 Cor. 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…”

I encourage you, my sweet friends, to take some time to pen out some of your own God-centered core beliefs and revisit them often.  These truths that remain, no matter the details of a specific situation, can help to bring clarity, wisdom and peace to whatever you may face.  Take His Word and apply it to your life.  Trust that it stands firm, because He stands firm.  In our ever changing world and our emotional ups and downs, He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  What a gift.

Beverley Letner

Beverley Letner is a graduate of Gateway College of Evangelism. With 2 school aged kids and being married to Steve, a College Football Head Coach, “family time” often involves sports. According to her kids, when not working her full time job as a Supervisor, or attending a sporting event, Beverley likes to “nap and make leftovers”. In reality, she wear’s many hats ministering with her husband in teaching, singing and administrative roles within their local church. She is also a curriculum writer for the Pentecostal Publishing House, where she contributes to both Word Aflame and The Discipleship Project. This year, her and her family are representing their province (Prince Edward Island, Canada) with the Atlantic District as PEI’s 1st ever Bible Quiz team.

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