The upcoming new year is like packing up and moving for me. I am packing up old thought patterns, my insecurities, doubts, a few fears and more! I am too old, too close to heaven to finish up this life with those things. Without going into too much detail, the last few months have been hard. The kind of hard that shook me to the core. No, it isn’t my marriage, or kids, or anything like that. It is me. Maybe it was turning 40 and realizing that I am not going to live forever. Or, possibly it was looking at my children and realizing the world they are growing up in isn’t the world that I grew up in.
Regardless, I cry out to the LORD every day to rescue me from myself.. You know what though? I haven’t had one of those instant, miracle kind of experiences of being delivered. It has been the slowest, hardest, scariest process He has ever walked alongside me in. I am not on the other side of it and spend most of my days talking to Him about it. If you have grown up hearing, “Don’t question God. Don’t ask Him why?” Then like me you may have developed a fear of asking Him questions. Without even knowing it I found myself not being able to discuss much of my heart with Him because of that.
With all that baggage I packed around in 2017, I have decided to pack it all up. However, I am leaving this box out in 2018, it is one that you can only put things into and not take anything back out of. Once it’s in, it’s in! No looking back.
I was scouring the internet the other day for how to stop repetitive thinking. There is something called ruminative thinking. It goes something like this.. we repetitively think about negative emotional experiences over and over. Not just around holidays or specific events but like EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I proceeded to go and get myself some verses in Scripture to counter this ruminative thinking. Here’s a few:
- Romans 12:2
- Philippians 4:8
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- Jeremiah 33:3
- Proverbs 28:26
- Proverbs 4:23
- Ephesians 4:22-32
- 1 John 1:8
- Matthew 12:43-45
- Matthew 21:22
- Matthew 15:11
- 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Romans 7:25-26
- Proverbs 3:5
- Colossians 3:2-5
I have intentionally left them for you to look up. Highlight them in your Bibles, handwrite them on post-its or index cards and place them throughout your home or car.. keep them close and when those thoughts start their cycle, begin to replace them one by one. Please know that I am doing this with you. It is hard but we know hard right? It is harder to stay where we are right now than it will be to move forward and chase after the LORD and His promises for us. Let’s run toward Christ in 2018.. but remember, don’t look back! Also, if you’re like me and have a tendency to fall down, just get back up and keep on running. Our God is a very patient Father!
To help you get started here is an example:
Why do I always get left out or feel like I am not good enough? I just want to be included and treated like every one else.
2 Corinthians 10:5- We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.
Packing up 2017,