It doesn't always have to be this way.
This month marks five years since I started therapy. If you’ve been around my corner of the internet for any length of time, you know I am a huge believer in Christian therapy. Therapy has enabled me to navigate some of the most difficult moments of my life while still functioning as a semi-normal adult.
A few years ago, well into my healing journey, someone asked me, “So, do you think you’re over it,” meaning did I think that I had officially healed from the abuse I experienced as a teenager?
On one hand, yes. I’ve processed many feelings surrounding the physical trauma I suffered.
But on the other hand, the emotional trauma has a sneaky habit of popping up at the most inopportune times. And from everything I’ve heard, researched, and everything I know from my counselor - this is to be expected.
I’m coming to accept that healing will never be a destination. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey I will travel for the rest of my life. And truthfully, this is how we all operate, trauma or not. Whether you’ve experienced abuse, the death of a loved one, the rejection of a caretaker, or losing a job, a relationship, or an opportunity you thought was “it,” we all have healing to do, forgiveness to give, and feelings to work through.
And no one more than me.
I’ve started going back to therapy weekly because I can feel those emotional things popping up again. And instead of waiting for the “crisis” that would eventually come as a result, I wanted to go ahead and try to figure out where these feelings were coming from… and what they actually were.
It’s been here that I discovered that my unseen thoughts are actually affecting my life. Thoughts of worthlessness, bitterness and smallness have now become feelings of the same thing. And those feelings are wreaking havoc on my life.
And listen, I’ve always known I struggle to “take my thoughts captive.” There have been many times over the years that I wished I could just stop thinking the things I was thinking, just stop feeling the feelings I was feeling. And I tried to for as long as I could remember. But inevitably, I’d end up shoving the thoughts down instead of addressing them.
Pretending that the thoughts didn’t matter has ended with me feeling like I don’t matter. And feeling like I don’t matter has seeped into every part of my life. Every relationship, every ministry opportunity, every business venture. And it feels like I will always be this way.
Or at least, that’s the lie that Satan wants me to believe.
But what if it doesn’t have to be this way?
What if I decided, at this moment, that I won’t listen to him anymore? What if I decide to remember that, actually, I do matter? To God, yes, but also to many people… starting with my husband, my kids, and my family? What would change about my life?
Everything. Everything would change. And I’m ready for that.
I’m slowly learning that it doesn’t have to be this way, but nothing will change until I change it.
So let me ask you this question: Do you need a change?
What thoughts are you listening to that have become feelings? What lies are swimming around in your head from years ago but have come back to haunt you and derail your life now?
Let’s stop believing the lies right now. Let’s start replacing them with the truth right now. Let’s start heading in the right direction right now.
Over the next several months, my hope and prayer are to exchange these lies that are so ingrained in my mind with the Truth God has given me in His word. I will not pretend to think this is going to be easy. I woke up battling for my thoughts first thing this morning. But I will not give up. I will not let the enemy have any more territory in my mind than he has already taken. We will take back this ground together. We will conquer these lies one by one.
Don’t you dare let the enemy steal one more thought.
Don’t you dare believe the lies he’s whispering to you.
Don’t you dare allow him to take any more of your time.
Stay tuned in right here as we dive into everything I’m learning about renewing my thoughts. We’ll talk about practical ways to take our thoughts captive while picking new ones to fill our minds with. I hope you’ll join me as I share what is working for me… and what isn’t. What comes easy, and what doesn’t. And I pray that you’ll have some wisdom to add to the conversation.
So buckle up, friend, because we’ve got some ground to cover and some enemy territory to take back.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6