My last couple weeks have been FULL. Full of good, yes. But, also full of unexpected, frustration, busy, chaotic stuff.
Arm broken in two places, growing bent …. anxiety at outdoor school for middle guy …. daughter’s soccer club changing everything–she can’t even try out ……. father-in-law wanting us to buy into the business in 18 months (can we?) …….. one kid playing a sport requiring a ton of time (and that we don’t really love) …….. soccer team that I coach has to figure out what league to play in because the one we planned on playing in, dissolved …..got a call from school district lawyer about oldest’s 504 plan (a 2 year issue we have been dealing with) …. ….. need to write a letter to superintendent of the district (per his request) about the 504 plan …. working everyday in different schools for different teachers, with different kids …… (I am sure this is much like any of you…or that some of you have MORE than I… I feel bad even putting some of my list here….)
And all the while, God is doing stuff. He’s working…. and this time he was talking to me about my MIND.
A friend tried to encourage me on Monday when one of the situations above got my mind thinking every possibility, every outcome, every angle. She tried to tell me, “It really will all work out, God loves you, knows you and the oldest and you will be in a place He needs you”
I got kinda frustrated. Not with her, just the circumstance. “Yeah, it will ‘work out’… it did for Joseph in Genesis….but how many years was he in slavery, or prison before he did….I just want it ‘my’ way. Just one area of my life to feel normal, organized, predictable”, was the short of my (ridiculous, immature, selfish and very real) reply. I said a few more things, and felt extremely frustrated while thinking of all of the possibilities and running them through my mind.
Oh, I was being honest and –whoa–, in sin, I know. I am being honest here. I knew (as I said it) that I don’t want to follow MY plan…but I felt like it. And God told me…. “Hold every thought captive….”
Okay, I hear you God. And I did hear Him…I adjusted and apologized to my friend…
But this problem I was frustrated with kept entering my mind…my realm…from emails, texts from other people, more emails to forward…I was just going to ignore the problem…think on other things…..but God had other plans….this “issue” kept (and is still) making it’s appearance…. more emails, more conversations, questions about “the issue” asked of me.
“Hold every thought captive…and make it obedient in Jesus.”
Oh, so I can’t “ignore it”? I have to make it obedient to Jesus? I have to say in my mind… “I trust your ways. I trust they are better than mine…I really do. I trust you care. I trust you love me….I trust you love my oldest….I trust you know what you are doing…”
But. But….my mind it keeps moving… But…. Flashback.
I don’t know what the conversation was, or how it was presented, but I remember being identified as something in school, for “gifted kids” (Whatever, I am not one of these, but somehow tricked them into thinking I was, haha!) and somehow, at that time in my life, I picked up, “Rachel, you are a very good brainstormer. You come up with lots of ideas, different angles, and have a creative thought process…” I don’t know if those are the exact words said, but that is the message I took to heart. It is a message I have believed and acted on for the entirety of my life: I am good at ‘brainstorming.’ My mind…..
Well, I learned this week, that when you brainstorm the good — the creative — the solutions, your mind is moving, thinking churning…..and guess what people….I JUST NOW (this week) realized that my mind is thinking, churning and processing ALL of the NEGATIVE possibilities of life, as well!!!!
“Hold every thought captive….”
So, Wednesday, after listening to a talk in this small group I am in…and hearing the speaker quote the bible verse, “Hold every thought captive and make it obedient in Christ Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). I confessed to my small group. Confessed my struggle, and shared where God wanted me to listen.
And then this morning…I read this, in the “Living Life Undaunted” book of 365 Readings and Reflections from Christine Caine….May 2nd:
He wants me to Spiritually Exercise my MIND.
And even in the chaos, even amidst the distractions in my life, the world’s views, the enemy’s diversions…God speaks.
The problem I spoke of…it is still a “problem.” But, I will say, the more I relinquish my mind to the issue, and don’t dwell on it, thinking of ‘all of the possibilities’, the more I let go (as another friend suggested I do, haha), the better I feel.
So, I have a challenge — a way to “spiritually exercise”. I will be trusting, thinking on these things…anything that is good, pure and noble. And consciously trying to hold the overwhelming flood of thoughts, brainstorms, ideas – captive in obedience to Christ Jesus.
What is the answer to your question? If you are to “exercise” the body, soul or mind, which one do you feel is the most difficult to strengthen you as you learn to follow God? Easiest? Why?