You finally have a chance to sit down. The house is quiet, the day is ending. You climb into that favorite spot of yours and you just take a deep breath. You close your eyes for just a moment when suddenly you remember the conversation you had. You wonder if the words that were said were completely true. Did they mean that comment in a negative way? You question the motive, the tone. Yet you shake your head and try to move on. But then you remember the text from the friend; she responded days later. Was that intentional? She responded to the group text right away but not your personal. Was it an accident?
You move on again to just relax and you decide to open Instagram and start to scroll, and after 5 minutes you have seen 20 photos of other people losing weight, getting pregnant or engaged. Buying that new dream house, releasing a book, writing a new song, or having just the best day ever and you throw your phone down and immediately feel inadequate, insecure, and incompetent.
You sat down to breathe, to rest your mind, to relax in the quiet, but what happens when we get in the quiet is we realize that it's not so quiet after all. Because all day you were busy and those feelings and thoughts didn't have a chance to be recognized, but once you have a moment here they come rushing up and rushing in. You and I do one of two things.
1. You acknowledge and work through them, surrendering them to the Father and finding healing.
2. You ignore them and go to an escape, that really isn't an escape. It's a trap.
I come to you with these words not as an expert but as a student longing to have her mind rewired because if this year has proven anything to me it is that the only words that are completely trustworthy are Gods' and I am not wasting another year getting caught up in the earthly brokenness when I have been called higher to live in a heavenly beauty. Those two choices above reveal to you where you are living.
We must learn to mind our mind. Be aware of your thoughts, and be aware of the path your thoughts lead you down. Like when you are getting ready for the day and you are talking out loud through a scenario just in case it happens. Usually you are explaining yourself or you are defending yourself right? Or you are driving and you remember something that happened and how hurt you were and suddenly a pleasant drive just turned into a very angry moment. Your hands are tight on the wheel and you feel heat rising up in your chest as you replay the scenario like a scene from a movie. Like it just happened. How did you get here? Your thoughts led you here.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
/ˈstrôNGˌhōld/ - a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld
This verse has been speaking to me for weeks now. I always saw strongholds as good. The Lord if my stronghold, my tower, my protection. Psalm 94:22, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 27:1-3, yes and amen to these but this verse refers to the strongholds that are not good ones. And I think for the renewing of our minds to take place we MUST recognize these strongholds that are present. These strongholds are built on lies we have believed. Those lies become realties that we begin to live that effect the way we see. The way we see ourselves and the way we see others, the way we see God. They don't just mess with our vision but they then change the way we speak and love and serve, they change the way we dream and set goals, the way we walk in confidence and assuredness of our hope and future. And it all started from a thought in our mind that has now turned into a stronghold.
There are places in our mind that could potentially have these strongholds we begin to defend them, as if they are real. Do you see the danger here? The deceit of the enemy and the craftiness. And it all happens in between our ears. I recently listened to someone speak about the power of our minds and a lot of big words I didn't fully understand, but what I did take away was this. Our brains want the quickest way to think through something, the way we always think. For example, if you have a stronghold that says, "I am not loved." And you wave to someone and they don't see you, your brain will take you down this "road" so to say, this thought, this stronghold that you are not loved. This road becomes a highway and it gets bigger and bigger that you continually believe you are not loved.
"But be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind..."
What is so beautiful if you are in Jesus is that we have a choice. We can change our thought process. And you know how long that takes? Ten minutes. It takes ten minutes to create a new thought and for that thought to make a "new road" in your mind. Just ten minutes. So my dear sister in Christ, if you can muster the strength to face those thoughts, the ones that you know lead you down the wrong roads, and let the Father renew your mind, you will be transformed. You will be set free.
I encourage you today to take captive those thoughts to the obedience of Christ. Because when we walk in obedience, heaven comes down, we begin to see and hear the way He intended, and we begin to think on the things of heaven. We just have to mind our minds.
Disappointment. That's the feeling I have been facing the past few months, and maybe like me, in the middle of what seems to be the hardest year we have faced, you can resonate with that word.
The job that is not at all what you thought it would be, the homeschooling hopes that were quickly dashed when you began to feel "not cut out for this". The friendships that you thought were something that they just aren't. The family situation, the truth being revealed and you are left picking up the pieces to a very big mess that you did not make. Disappointment leaves us with an ache and an anger because you know things could be better. They really don't have to be this way, but the reality is that they are. And you are left ..well disappointed.
I have felt a bit stuck here in this disappointment. Maybe it's my own doing and a lack of better perspective, maybe it's hormones because for some reason after baby #4 my body seems angry at me, or maybe just maybe the Lord is wanting to teach me something...to have me dig a bit deeper past the disappointment and have me look at my hopes and my expectations and where I am placing them and in whom am I placing them.
(of a person) sad or displeased because someone or something has failed to fulfill one's hopes or expectations.
I am learning as I trudge through this disappointment that whenever we place the key to our happiness or, our hopes really, in someone else's pocket you are setting yourself up to be disappointed. Because people fail and they are flawed, with the best intentions they try but they will never meet your hopes. People are inconsistent, they don't love like you, not all in like you. They don't ask the question back, "And how are you doing right now?" It's one-sided, you wait and wait but as every day goes by without a text or simply an acknowledgement on one of the thousand of social media platforms you are left disappointed, because yet again your hopes were broken.
Your hope in your spouse because you are just wanting them to see all you are doing and help or acknowledge, you just feel so weary so exhausted from it all. And that being the most vulnerable relationship, when our hopes are dashed there it can feel like running away is the best option.
Your plans you had set your hopes in, the way you really wanted things to go and because of many unfortunate events nothing is going as planned and you are completely defeated and want to just give up.
Or that big dream you have, the husband, the baby, the big job, and there again you see someone else got what you really want. You are left comparing, feeling deflated and defeated, wondering what's the point, is it ever going to happen for me?
Let's face it, many times we talk negatively about ourselves is because we haven't met our own expectations. You set a goal and you can't meet it. You gained more weight the past month than you lost. You wanted to wake up early but you just fall short every time. You fall back into those old habits and ways and you are left angry at yourself because you are disappointed in you.
So, what do you do? This isn't the first or the last time you are going to feel the weight of disappointment. You can't change people but you change you...or rather the Lord can change you.
It was nap time, so I put my son to bed, and snuck across the hall to my room to sneak in a quick workout. (Don't think I am awesome ok, I ate a lot of cookie dough the night before and felt like I needed to balance it all out)
I was in front of my full length mirror doing my workout and I heard Him say, "You can change the way you look, but I can change the way you see." I sat straight up and the weight of my disappointment hit me. The friends that have let me down recently, the hopes I have that feel so unreachable, the dreams and desires that I wonder, "God am I crazy to even believe this could be real?" They all came like a wave and as the tears poured I began to except that the disappointments are pushing me to see differently. And in a year like this, 2020 being the number of "perfect vision" don't we all want to see a little differently? All the truths that have been revealed on a national level, it's so heavy on the heart isn't it? And as I am sure what has been going on in your personal life isn't any lighter, what if we allowed the Father to change the way we see it all.
Ourselves seeing how much your body has done and being proud of all you have walked through and believing in wholeness for yourself. Our relationships to just love without expecting anything in return. Our spouse learning to give grace upon grace. Our Children loving them selflessly and not looking to them to be someone they are not. Our neighbor with the opposite political view. The person at church who thinks a bit differently about things than you.
Oh, what if we hit New Year's Eve and our hope wasn't in politics. It wasn't in a vaccine. It wasn't in people, a ring, a baby, the longing of our hearts...no, what if it was all in the UNseen.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.
(ESV, MSG, TPT)
We were meant to put our hope in Jesus. In the eternal, the things unseen. I heard a quote that says, "Hope is acknowledging the reality of a situation but in the same breath acknowledging the sovereignty of God." And isn't that just it. We see what it is, but we Hope in what God can do in it. Not hoping in people changing, not hoping they finally accept me, that they finally be the friend I long for, but we hope in what God wants to do regardless of what people do. We hope in the unseen, the things we can't imagine, the impossible is only made possible with Jesus. And it will be done if it is His will and it will happen ALL for His glory. Now what if we went into 2021 with new vision for everything and everyone in our lives? Then 2020, your disappointments will be well worth it all in the end. Because your disappointments push you to the appointed King over your life who cannot let you down.
He never changes nor forgets you. He sees you right where you are and He longs for you to see Him right where He is and will always be. On the throne.
Praying Fresh Vision for You