Create a Life You Love

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How to quiet outside voices so you can finally hear your own.


True Friends Rescue us from our Thoughts

I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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“Our minds are bad neighborhoods, we shouldn't go in them alone.”

I’ve heard it said that our greatest gifts are also the hardest things about us. And I’m really starting to believe that’s true.

In my case, it’s my mind.

My thoughts are so often a happy place. My mind is filled with ideas and inspiration and color, so much so that sometimes I find it hard to sleep.

I find joy everywhere—am delighted by the tiniest things, and heartwarming moments can bring me to tears without any hesitation.

My mind is a lovely place, and I love spending time there. What a gift!

But my mind can also be dangerous territory, and two weeks ago I was harshly reminded of that fact.

My thoughts can be a slippery slope. I gain my footing and feel as though I could never fall. The world is lovely and I’m loved within it—I can’t imagine a cloud darkening my blue sky.

And then something happens—a small something, a tiny something, a look or a comment or a misinterpretation sends me reeling. And before I know it, I'm sunk. I slip into a dark hole where the sky is no longer visible and insecurity has cast a shadow over my lovely world.

And I just don't know how to get out.

Reassurance can never sink deep enough to help me out, because in that hole, fear rules the land.

I’m afraid to believe their loving affirmation—because, the hole whispers to me, what if it’s not true.

I sit in the hole with the mud up to my knees, resigning myself to a truth that feels sad and real and impossible to escape. 

And the longer I stay in there, the harder it is to get out.

I’m not exactly sure how this happens, but I think it begins when we start believing the lies.

The nature of life is that we often find ourselves with negative tapes playing in our heads—repeating like a hopelessly scratched CD.

You’re not enough.

You’re a failure.

You’re ugly.

Nobody could ever love you.

And in response I make a feeble attempt at fighting back but lose the battle—allowing the lie to hit me square in the face—shaking my confidence and my footing.

They’re getting fed up with you.

He doesn’t love you as much as you think he does.

You’re going to mess this up.

You’re broken.

The lies get more vicious and more ridiculous, but as I’m toppling backwards, I forget that they're lies. And then, in the hole with mud up to my knees, I don't know how to stop believing them.

So what do you do then? 

I honestly don't know. I don't have a magic answer or a tutorial on never believing another lie.

But I do know that as I sat in the hole a few weeks ago, I was rescued. 

I had a string of people—Carl, Betsy, and Chantell—meet me in the mud, and tell me true things until I could hear them.

Carl held me as I cried big, hot tears, and whispered things that are true about me, and about my life, and about his love for me until I could stand again.

And then Betsy showed up—and with hard truth, she called my fears what they are—lies. And didn’t tolerate them for a second, helping me do the same.

And then Chantell came. She sat on my bed, praying for me, holding my hand, and stroking my hair as she whispered prayers that touched the deepest and most lie-filled parts of my heart.

Not one moment was the cure—not one solution was the magic one—and it wasn’t a quick yank of truth that got me out of the hole.

I didn’t learn some monumental lesson about how to resist lies forever-and ever-amen.

But what I did learn is that sometimes you need someone to climb in with you. 

They gave new meaning to the phrase “the hands and feet of Jesus,” wrapping me up with love that I didn't deserve, tears and mascara smudging my face and dripping onto their shoulders.

And sometimes this is what you need. You need people to jump in with you and tell you the truth you need to hear, and repeat it until you can understand, and say it again until you’re ready to stand up and use the rope together.

My mind is both a blessing and a curse, and sometimes I get tripped up and tangled in a heap of sad things that I forget not to believe.

And I’m still working on that. I'm learning how to speak truth to myself even and especially when I don’t believe it.

But in the meantime, and in moments when I can’t find a breath, let alone a way out, I’m so grateful for the people who have climbed in with me—bringing me their love, the truth, and a rope.

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by lies? How do you get out? 

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  1. Arionne says:

    Yes! I am constantly overwhelmed by them! And if it weren’t for my friends and family, they’d swallow me! I think the biggest thing for me is to actually speak up and tell someone or at least, just get out and be around people when it’s happening. People can’t always help you if they don’t know or see you.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

  2. Hugh says:

    Yes. This was really good Stephanie! Thanks for sharing these super great truths and honest experiences. This post isn’t just for women but men also… so good.

  3. Ashley says:

    This is great and so relatable for me! When lies take hold I can go down veeeery quickly.
    I am currently doing a study on Nehemiah. During one part of the story, many people are pestering Nehemiah with lies in an attempt to distract him from his work. The author of the study offered the reminder that using lies is Satan’s oldest trick, dating all the way back to the beginning in the garden when he spoke to Adam and Eve “did God really say?” and “surely you will not die!” (Gen 3:1-7).
    It’s amazing the power our thoughts have. I, like you, have found that prayer and having people to speak truth to me are the best ways to combat ugly lies. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren says:

      Ashley, thanks so much for sharing a bit from your study of Nehemiah! I really needed the reminder that lies are a trick of Satan. I’ve been battling fear and insecurity about an upcoming move halfway across the world for a new job, and yesterday finally broke down in tears, worried that I haven’t prepared well enough or that I don’t know enough to be good at my job. Throughout today, godly people have been countering the lies that had crept deep into my mind, and your comment drove home even more that sometimes these lies are a deliberate attack (all the more reason not to give into them). Thanks, again! And thanks to Stephanie for a post that voiced so much of what I’ve been experiencing recently.

  4. Holly says:

    It is so comforting to hear that someone else falls into these pits that are inexplicable and unkind and terribly unhealthy. One of the lies that gets me is that I am awful for letting myself fall into these holes. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Lindsay Cotter passed along your post to me today, because I have been dealing with these thoughts lately and had to write my own post about it as well. Now that it is out there in the open, I am ready to move forward and take those necessary steps to work on me one step at a time. XOXO

  6. Chantell says:

    I love you more than you’ll ever know friend. Thank you for the times you have whispered truth and worth to me, to help me crawl out of my hole. You are so dear to me Steph.

  7. Vanessa says:

    Loving this. So thankful for all the times you’ve found your way into the mud hole I’m sitting in. I’m just thankful for you.

    And always proud.

  8. Dawn says:

    This is, quite possibly, my favorite thing you’ve ever written.

  9. Elle Alice says:

    SO glad I found you through Natalie Grimm’s Heart Stirring blog! You are a beautiful soul with the ability to write from a hurting heart. Your raw honesty is coupled with raw hope in the power of Jesus…. and that’s a beautiful thing! I am right there with you for this whole post. I have experienced the depths of the valley in my own life these last few years and it is such a comfort to be surrounded by trusted community of friends who lift you up when you’re at your lowest, remind you of Biblical Truths to battle against all the enemy’s lies, and who just sit there and listen. It has been the most healing and redemptive lesson in my life. I am so thankful that our God is a God of community. He is Father, Son, Spirit; fully and perfectly united. And since we are to image Him, we too are called to unity, especially in regards to our burdens. Thanks again for your honesty! This post resonated with my heart and where I have been on and off the past few years, and most specifically in the past month

    • Stephanie May says:

      Thank you so much Elle! This means so much to me! I’m glad that you found me too. 🙂 Blessing and abundant peace to you.

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