Monday, October 27, 2014

Imperfect Progress

Yesterday was pretty bad. One of those humbling days where God wanted to remind me of all my imperfections, and there are many, and they are ugly.

His ways are definitely not my ways. It’s fascinating and frustrating for sure. I am being reminded that I need to give all thoughts over to Him minute by minute on days like yesterday or else others will get hurt. I refuse to beat myself over it today or drown in guilt, but I have to work at remembering what to do whenever the negative self-talk starts up again.

One of my top five all time most powerful learning moments came during Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study.  If you ever decide it’s time to be free from bondage in your life, “Breaking Free” is the study for you. There isn’t time for me to go into it today, just trust me. Do it. (I’ve done it six times…maybe that helps show you how amazing it is, or maybe it makes you wonder if it doesn’t work! Ha! Each time I went through it I was in a different stage of life or grief so it worked on different strongholds I had. Ask me about it sometime.)

Back to the powerful learning moment…

“Captivating thoughts are controlling thoughts.” What we think about most is what controls our emotions and actions. So what we think about is a pretty big deal. 

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:3-5

In Week 9 homework Beth gives some practical ways to get the captive thoughts under control. As I mentioned recently, many of us have deep grooves in our brain where negative self-talk, abuse, PTSD etc  have made it seem believable and normal to feel pretty crummy . It’s time to reprogram!

Recognize the lies you tell yourself and, this is KEY, REPLACE them with TRUTH! It’s not enough to tell yourself it’s not true, you must find scriptures to memorize and replay when the thought enters your brain again.

One question Beth says to ask yourself to recognize a stronghold is “What are you afraid of?”
One of those answers for me is letting people down. Even though I am on a road to recovery of my people pleasing, the thoughts still enter my mind, “If I say no to an invitation, she won’t want to be my friend” or “I have to help anyone who asks even though it means my sanity or family will suffer” or “If I can’t respond to a text quickly she will think I’m indifferent or too busy to be her friend”---I know, if you cannot relate to these statements then they sound CRAZY! And if you can relate, please know there is help! I can now quickly recognize those thoughts as lies and recite back to myself what I have learned.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

One way to replace lies with truth is to memorize bible verses pertaining to your lie. Just a simple Google search for example, “abandonment bible verses,” gives you so many you’ll need to read through and pick the ones that speaks most strongly to your Spirit. Write them down on cards and keep them with you. Beth said she even took hers grocery shopping. Whatever it takes, y’all!

She also wisely instructs those of us in recovery to avoid as many forms of deception as possible. We are extra susceptible to negative outside influence when we are making ground in tearing down lies.

I by no means have all of this mastered, but there has been “imperfect progress” which has led to freedom and joy. I want this for you, too.

If you had an audio recording of your thoughts from today, what would be the dominant theme? Is there a repeated phrase that needs to be recognized as a lie and replaced with Truth? 

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