A mind is a terrible thing
Ok, I’ve altered the famous slogan to fit my situation… so sue me. We have all been there, haven’t we? Our mind gets the best of us. It takes us to depths of imagination that leave us desperate, depressed, and alone. We worry. We become afraid. We hide. And, all too often, we find out that the worst was only in our mind. The truth was not that bad. One worries that people are talking about them behind their back… they are planning a surprise party for them. One gets scared that people hate them… in reality, they are feeling the same way about you. It’s practically an episode of Three’s Company. Oh no! Chrissy has misinterpretted what she overheard Jack and Janet talking about… AGAIN!
I can make light. Now. Hindsight, after all, is 20/20. But I have been lost in the dark recesses of the mind. I have fallen victim to those imaginations. I have lived that Three’s Company episode… and it was far from a comedy. And it wasn’t solved in 30 minutes or less…
To say I don’t still worry over what people are thinking or saying about me would be dishonest. From the moment I re-entered my public life after my sin had destroyed the world as I knew it, my mind became my worst enemy. People talking, huddled together with their heads close— well, they were obviously talking about me. Faces that lacked smiles– those people were filled with hate, not merely having a bad day of their own. People who weren’t talking to me were not busy, they were angry. People who left the church without a word, left because of me. I am not so naive that I don’t realize that some of these situations were possibly true. After what I had been through, what I had put my husband and friends through… well, I have to expect at least some of those reactions to be true. But I took those imagings to a whole new level.
My new home, deep within the depths of my mind, led to depression, worry, fear, and pain. And that is exactly what the devil wanted to happen. He had me right where he wanted me… far away from God.
My daily devotions over the last two months have helped me to see how toxic my mind had become. It didn’t stop my mind from doing its “thing”, but I recognized the devil’s work and started rebuking him with scripture and prayer.
Let me share with you the most powerful word God sent me just yesterday. I am currently reading the Casting Crowns devotion from Overflow on YouVersion. I am a huge fan. I have been from the beginning. I follow Mark Hall on Twitter and Instagram (yes, I’m hip like that). Hubby and I have sung their songs again and again. But I heard their song East to West with new ears today.
I start the day, the war begins
Endless reminding of my sin
And time and time again
Your truth is drowned out by the storm I’m in
Today I feel like
I’m just one mistake away
From You leaving me this way
I’ve sung this song… but I never LIVED this song until now. I was in tears. Mark Hall had penned my heart. God was speaking to me… to ME… through CASTING CROWNS! And He kept talking. Mark’s scripture with his devotion included:
Micah 7:19 You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the ocean.
Anyone ever lost something in the ocean? I’ve had items ripped from my hands or washed off the beach before. Even right at the shore, I could not retrieve what was taken from me. And that was shallow water!! God is talking about throwing my sins into the DEEPEST part of the ocean. That’s irretrievable!!! And He did that to MY SIN! It is gone, people! Never to be seen again!
Isaiah 43:25 I, I am the One who erases all your sins, for my sake; I will not remember your sins.
Forgiven AND forgotten??! Am I really that lucky?! No, I am really that blessed! A dear friend (yes, I said FRIEND, Praise God!) called me tonight and gave me a word from God. We spoke of all I had been through and how I have suffered. She lovingly told me how much God loves me and how He was listening. BUT, she said (more tongue in cheek) He had no idea what we were talking about… because He had forgotten my sin! 🙂
John 14:27 I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
He has given me peace. AND He has not given it to me as the world does. He won’t take it back. He won’t ask for something in return. He gives this gift of peace to me because He loves me. Because I’m worthy.
I know You’ve washed me white
Turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through
To get me through this night
I can’t live by what I feel
About the truth Your word reveals
And I’m not holding onto You
But You’re holding onto me
He is holding on to me. And He will not let me go. Even when I retreat into my mind. He is holding on and can pull me back out again.
Jesus, You know just how far
The east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far
The east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other