Monday, August 1, 2016
Brain Bugs and a Box of Kittens
"Are you okay Sooz?" Husband asks and I tell him I'm fine and ask why. "Because you keep taking these deep breaths all the time." He is (understandably) very wary of my health since I had a mini stroke in 2014.
"I am fine Honey. I guess I am taking deep breathes when I'm fighting negative thoughts, you know." Oops, I really need to work on doing my inward battle a bit more inwardly.
It's a continuous war, isn't it? The dark and judgmental thoughts that pull us down even when our life can look oh-so-pretty on Facebook or Instagram. The day after my last post, I reread it with objectivity and thought it sounded like this lucky lady was on vacation or enjoying a lovely retirement of relaxation.
When the reality is not like that at all. I tried to capture and share with you some sweet moments that are important to me. Not because they are normal, but because they are special and probably temporary. My life schedule is on the verge of a few huge changes and leisurely mornings by the pool will be a Happy Thought to keep me flying like Peter Pan.
God and I have worked together for years to re-train my brain. My default thought patterns are an ugly tangled up mess that you do not want to read about. It is an ongoing battle that we are fighting for me. Many of you are fighting this inward battle also. You know what it is to pace around an empty (or crowded) home and wish you were anywhere else but there. You understand catching yourself obsessing about the tiniest negative and watching it grow into a monster. My deep breaths are sounds of war.
A sweet little book called WALKING BUTTERFLY says it this way..."Taking our thoughts captive requires strength and determination. It can be a little bit like trying to keep a dozen kittens inside a box with no lid. As you are grabbing one, another will escape. As quickly as one takes off, you must pull it back where it belongs. It takes constant surveillance and purpose. But if we can create a new pathway of freedom, it is worth the work." Page 143
This morning I texted a friend while in tears about one of these "escaping kittens". She beautifully asked me if I was letting the enemy make a hockey puck of my heart. (I just went back to my texts to quote her just right!) Yep, there is an enemy that thinks it is hilarious to get all up in our business and mess with our minds, hearts and emotions.
Want a Bible verse about this?
Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (physical) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (bad thoughts), casting down arguments and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
My friend's reminder was helpful and true. She pulled me back into the truth and away from the precipice of despair. Sounds dramatic, right? Well, I was feeling dramatic and my heart was broken. She gave me some good advice to go with this reminder and I am thankful for friendship and modern technology. :)
I am currently watching a ridiculous new show called "Brain Dead". It's about politicians who are doing things completely out of character because of a tiny mysterious bug that has crawled up into their brains through their ears and it has eaten away the part of the brain that provides balance. I know, stupid and kinda gross, right? (But wouldn't it explain SO MUCH right now? AND I am not recommending this show to you at all. Last time I did that, the show turned a nasty corner and I regretted mentioning it.)
These people do not know that they are believing lies. They are making life and government choices based on ideas that are not their own. Feels familiar somehow. We have an enemy who will whisper lies into our ears and the words make sense and we breath them in and begin to repeat them to ourselves until the lies feel completely true. This is called a stronghold in the spiritual world.
The deep breathing that scared my husband was really evidence of me making a decision to expel the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ideas. Positive truth to fight the negative lies...even though at first the lies sound more real than the truth. Make sense? It takes determination to keep replacing the garbage with goodness. To keep grabbing kittens and getting them back in the box. (So MANY mixed metaphors!)
Reminding myself that I am loved by God. Reminding you that we are all learning and growing and no one has won the battle yet. You will see the highlights of lives online because they are highlights. Even the amazing stories in the Bible are simply the most spectacular moments in the lives of ordinary people trying to figure life out.
Fighting the battle.
Catching the kittens.
Ignoring the ear-worms. Ick.
Taking thoughts captive and being the boss of your brain.
God loves me today even when I mess up and believe stuff that is not true. Yay, I am SO GLAD, because it happens a lot!
If He loves me, then I know for sure that He loves you too!
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