Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If my worst fear happens, He is still King

The Circumstance
My grandpa turned 84 today. I was 9 (give or take 3 years) when they found cancer in his body. I spent countless nights crying myself to sleep. I would play out stories in my mind of my grandpa dying, then bawl for hours before going to sleep. Fast forward 6 years and we see my doctor putting me on anti-anxiety pills because I couldn't sleep at night. I would play scenarios out in my head over and over, saying different things, reacting different ways, and usually not pleasant scenarios. Fast forward 13 years and see me as a stay at home mom, often spending most of my day with an infant who isn't much for adult conversation. I spend a lot of time in my head and if I'm not careful, my thoughts will turn south and I'll be ranting and raving at James before he even gets in the door and he has no idea why (and by that time, neither do I). I used to attend a Christian College where they had the "3-second" rule. We were not to dwell on an impure thought for more than 3 seconds. Naturally I mocked this rule by insisting I just had multiple 3-second segments of impure thoughts. I wish I had understood that this wasn't just a "rule" but a training lesson for healthy living. But I was 18 and knew everything.

The Word
2 Cor 10:5
"...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"

Phil. 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

The Application
Yes, I know these versus. Yes, I know I should "take the high road"/ "live in the red line"/ live always in "prayer and thanksgiving", but doing it is another thing. It takes practice. If I started practicing controlling my thoughts at the age of 9 I would be pretty good at it by now. I'd recognize quickly when the enemy was stealing my joy. I could have spent my time praying and thanking God instead of worry about things that never happened (my grandpa overcame cancer and I made it through high school without too much traumatization). Since it's all about me, I choose to start now. I am thankful that I at least recognize my need to do this. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit to help me fight the battle for my mind. A lifelong practice: taking all thoughts captive, stopping the thoughts that do not honor Christ and replacing them with thoughts that do. Will positive thinking stop bad things from occurring? No. There is no "mind over matter"; I still live on planet Earth. But seeing life through Kingdom-colored glasses (knowing there is a bigger picture that I can't see, but the One who can see it is Trustworthy) will change how I respond to my circumstances. In time, I learn how to trust God more and more. Since it's not about me at all, in all situations (from getting lost while driving in my car to a death of a loved one) I want to say, "It is well with my soul".

TOOLS: Continually be in the Word. Memorize/meditate on scripture. Worship. Journal about answered prayers and how God has helped me through in the past. Know the Old Testament, how God continually fights for His People. Pray. Know that I am precious to Him.

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