“You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken, or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.”That is what I have been doing. Confusing how I see myself, how I am feeling, and allowing those feelings to take over… rather than focusing on who I am in Christ. I need to agree with God that I truly am accepted by Him, that I am loved by Him. Nothing can change that. Not my circumstances. Not my mistakes. Not my emotions.
Brennan Manning, “The Ragamuffin Gospel” pg. 29
I have been allowing myself to follow those feelings. Tricia talked at one point that everyone has Irrational Thoughts (ITs) and Irrational Feelings (IFs). I have been having irrational thoughts… thoughts that make no sense, they just pop in there. I know that those thoughts are not my own, unless I start owning them. Does that make sense? When those ITs pop in there, I need to renounce them, refuse to follow them, refuse to mull them over, meditate on them, explore them. Just say to myself, today (or this minute, depending how often they are coming) I am not going to hang onto that thought. I am going to focus on something else.
The interesting thing I have found, and Tricia and a couple of other people have confirmed this, is that when you start following your thoughts, your feelings follow where those thoughts are going. So if you are having thoughts of bitterness towards someone, pretty soon, you start feeling bitter… and then you start thinking more bitter thoughts, and it just keeps escalating.
I have found that particularly a problem lately. If you couldn’t tell by how my last post went!!!
I wish it were easier. I have to constantly re-direct my thoughts. Because my thoughts have been running how I have been feeling the past week or so… or maybe it was my feelings that were running my thoughts. I am not sure. Or maybe it was my hormones that were running everything!!!
If you couldn’t tell, I am feeling a bit better today. :)
I have found that this week I have really been having a problem with fighting. I mean, my thoughts and/or feelings go down one path. I know what I should do. I should battle with scripture, or worship, but I am so tired. I am tired of fighting. I get so exhausted of the constant battle, that I just find myself giving in and giving up.
One of my friends asked me last night if I am getting so tired because I am trying to fight in my own power, or if I am asking God to fight for me. I mean there is some responsibility that is mine, like filling my mind with the truth… but if I try to fight the whole fight on my own, without availing myself of God’s power through the Holy Spirit, at the least I am going to get tired, and at the most, I am going to miss out on something that God wanted me to learn.
I don’t know yet if I am fighting on my own power, or if I am leaning on God. I do know that there have been so many thoughts running through my head it has been really hard to hear the whisper of God’s small still voice in the middle of it all.
Tricia told me about a picture of a bird hiding under a ledge of rock, safe and resting, while outside a storm was raging all around. She said that is what is going on with me. I am hidden under God’s wing, and though it’s dark under there, I am safe and protected by Him.
It’s hard to remember when all you can hear is that storm raging around you, and nothing else. Here’s praying that I can keep clinging to God in the midst of this storm… the reassuring thing is, I know that He is holding on to me more tightly than I could ever hold on to Him.
From Psalm 139, “You have hemmed me in behind and before, You have laid Your hand upon me…” and “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
From John 10, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”