Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV
It was one of those days. You know, the kind when you wake up feeling like you’re under a dark cloud for no apparent reason–one of those. I don’t like those. It’d been quite some time since I’d felt that way and that it didn’t shake easily bothered me. Instead of post-Christmas cleaning like I should have been doing, I found myself searching my mind as to what had brought this on. What was churning in my mind? The truth is, I didn’t want to face it, but since I longed for the sun to return to my disposition I went into the shadows to see what lurked there.
Visiting with family during the holiday season was pleasant overall but there had been some difficult situations. A particular memory was unknowingly stirred up by my husband’s sister that caused him a great deal of pain. It kept us both awake that night. It actually sat in me like a loaf of bread made from a brick. Then on another day there was the inhospitable treatment at another relative’s home. That was awful.
Then there was my ruminating over 2018 in general. It felt like a loss due to dashed hopes and unmet expectations in our family as a whole–the kind that hurts deeply because I truly expected great things for us. That led to me contemplating my own personal goals and what I’ve achieved. It seemed like very little once written out on my mental tablet. 2018 felt like I was trying to catch vapors. News flash: they can’t be caught. I guess I just wanted…more. Then I had a startling thought: I wished 2019 were over. That jarred me. Where did that come from? I thought: You better get over that real fast because 2019 has only just begun.
Lone Follower, Encourage Me came back to me. “Practice what you preach, Christi, encourage yourself.” Oh, but picking oneself out of the doldrums is so hard! “Do it anyway. You know better.” Okay.
Two to three years ago the LORD drove a scripture verse through my brain like a nail. And let me tell you, I had to have it pounded into me. But I was a willing recipient of that particular hammering. I needed it. I wanted it. And I find that at certain times, such as these, I must revisit it. This is the verse in two translations:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT
This was so important to me because I would find myself visiting a cesspool of thoughts, especially concerning my husband. I hated going to that place. That doesn’t mean hurts and misunderstandings between us weren’t real; they were, they are. But I visited them–no, I dwelt with them way too often. He and I, we’re in this for life, so I had to figure out how to shut this place down. It had way too much power over me and contaminated my relationship with him. Not to mention it corrupted me by virtue of not wanting to be the kind of wife I found myself being at times. I had to change this. But it had to be changed God’s way: with the Word.
I first asked Holy Spirit to make me aware when the thoughts would begin trickling in. My sad admission is that I had to have Him tip me off because reverting to these thoughts had become so habitual I was afraid I would not notice it right away. (By the way, this works with all thoughts contrary to God’s way of thinking).
My first severing Word:
I had to train myself that if my words weren’t kind, or they were rude, or I was irritable, then I wasn’t acting in love. I wasn’t acting in God. Therefore, it had to go. That was basic. That was doable.
I had to retrain myself to be the wife I wanted to be. (God bless my Robert who, more often than not, said he didn’t notice when I’d go off and sit by the edge of the cesspool and then apologize to him for words and actions incurred during my visit there.) More retraining and severing came from these:
What sane wife would choose cancer over a crown?
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT
I like the NKJV which says “the heart of her husband safely trusts her” and “she does him good and not evil”. I want so badly to be this kind of wife.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NKJV
I wanted to share this because this is a simple example of what retraining the mind looks like. And it works for everything and anything. Still, I was left with my current ruminations. But thankfully, as I wrote earlier, God’s Word pertains to everything.
I like what our Pastor once said:
Thanks> leads to >Joy> leads to >Peace> leads to >Answers