The Battle in Your Mind … Guest Post by Heatherly

I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Heatherly. She has a great heart for God and for women in trouble around the world. She also knows what it means to fight the battle in your mind…I know you will be blessed by her post.

The Battle

Early in the morning and in the night’s last moments before I drift off, the battle wages. 

In college, I would stay up as late as I could in order to fall asleep hard and fast, waking up to the jarring sound of my alarm with just enough time to get to class. I wasn’t partying, but my sleep pattern was one of avoidance.

I was attempting to avoid the battle with my thoughts.

As you can probably imagine, this battle plan of avoidance didn’t work very well, but at the time, I thought my only other option was to lay in bed each night with all of my day’s, week’s, life’s mistakes swirling about my mind with the energy of a hurricane. I confessed the same sins over and over, believing that confession would make them stop, but instead rehearsing my failings led to a warped image of who I was and a belief that I could “never be good enough” that fractured my self-image and caused rifts in my relationships.

I didn’t yet realize that those sins had already been removed from me as far as the east is from the west {Psalm 103:12}, and that in this case, what my Creator wanted from me was not a confession of those long-forgotten sins and failings, but for me to take those thoughts captive to Christ {2 Corinthians 2:5}.

That concept had confused me since the first time I heard it. As a young woman with little biblical background and a habit of seeking advice from my peers and not my adult leaders, I tried many ways to bring them “captive.” I envisioned my thoughts in a jail cell. I repeated over and over “I take you captive! I take you captive!”

{Do I even need to tell you that didn’t work?}

There’s no magic formula to taking your thoughts captive, but I learned some healthy habits along the way that have certainly helped.

1. Acknowledge that this thought is not a healthy or God-honoring one.

My rehearsing my forgiven sins did nothing but allow the enemy and my flesh to do a job on my self-worth and self-image. Instead, I had to learn to recognize when errant thoughts came if they would stand against the Truth of Scripture.

2. STOP the thought in it’s tracks.

I’ve learned to say to God {out loud or in my mind, depending on the situation}, “I know this thought is not from You because You never contradict Your own Word, and Your Word tells me……”  This leads me right to:

3. KNOW God’s Word.

Spend time in it, memorize it, study it, meditate it. Hang it on your walls, write it on your mirrors, hide it in your heart. If you don’t know what God’s Word says, you can’t measure the truth of your thoughts against it! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind {Romans 12:2}.

4. RECRUIT support.

I have a handful of amazing women that I meet with for Bible study. They are the first ones I call when I can’t get a handle on my thinking. They pray over me, they speak truth over me when I can’t stop my thoughts long enough to do it for myself, and they pray protection over me while I battle.

5. REST in the truth of Scripture.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to repeat a truth from Scripture over and over, as if trying to convince myself that it is true. When my family was stranded after a badly timed breakdown on a recent roadtrip, I just kept repeating, “I know You are El Roi. I know You see us. I know You are Jehovah-Jireh, our provider. I know you are taking care of us.”

It took awhile for my thoughts {and emotions- whooo-boy!} to catch up with what my heart and mind already knew, but reminding myself over and over that God is who He says He is stopped the those thought from spiraling out of control, and allowed me to “not be anxious, but in everything by prayer and petition bring my requests to God, with thanksgiving present my requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” did in fact guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

 

Early in the morning and in the night’s last moments before I drift off, the battle wages. 

I have the benefit of a battle plan, and knowing that He has already won the war.

 

Heatherly Lane Sylvia is a mom, wife, home educator, speaker, writer, and apprentice grace-giver. Her greatest desire is to live a life following after God with abandon, and she hopes to be a blessing to as many people as she can while she figures out exactly how to do that. Het is passionate, loud, addicted to books, and loves her friends, old and new. She adores the blogosphere and would love to “meet” you there. She’s also pretty sure that blog comments and tweets are her love language. Check out her blog A Pinkdaisy Life or follow her on Twitter @Pinkdaisyjane.

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