This is not a blog about hiking, so it doesn’t really count. (I know I promised to write about my over night hike…like anyone cares…but I am seriously lacking inspiration) I was visiting my friend Gail yesterday and sharing some thoughts and she asked me to post them, so I figured why not.
I was sharing with her about my “break through”—for as long as I can remember I was trying to control my emotions, believing my thoughts would then change, only to recently discover that I had to control my thoughts first in order to gain control over my emotions. I was feeling so confident and victorious when I shared that with Gail, but not so much anymore. It’s not that I don’t think the Holy Spirit is teaching me and guiding me in changing and gaining advantage over my wretched thought life…but I don’t think I can count on my emotions to be so easily tamed. Not that controlling my thoughts is easy…it’s harder than I ever imagined! I’ve never paid that much attention to them—they just run around my head like wild banshees, and I always figured they weren’t doing anyone any real harm.
Now that I’m noticing the things I think (egad, they can be dreadful)
I’m realizing how hard it is to ‘take captive’ these messed up thoughts and get them under control. I’m giving these thoughts constantly to God and asking Him to change them, and I am seeing some real change and it’s getting a little easier. (I told Gail I would picture a wild horse, and then Jesus would be riding it and calming it down and getting it under control…maybe that’s a little weird but it does really comfort me) Only problem…even so, my emotions have taken a total nose-dive. I really thought if I could gain victory over my thoughts, I would have victory over my emotions as well. I’m quite discouraged…and trying so hard to ignore the emotions and still keep my thoughts in check. But when my emotions are bad, my thoughts are even worse and even harder to quiet down. But I have to keep having faith that God is capable of changing me, and I have to be patient and continue to trust. So here is my list I use to assist me in my prayers when my mind is being so unruly…it’s five ‘surrenders’ and five ‘helps’. (I do them on both my hands…it just helps me remember them)
1) I surrender my mind and will to you, and trust you are able to subdue them.
2) I surrender my need for approval and praise from others, and trust that only you deserve praise.
3) I surrender my desire to change others, and trust in your power to change them.
4) I surrender my despair over my powerlessness to change myself, and trust in your power to save me.
5) I surrender my thoughts of judgment towards others, and trust in your judgments.
6) Help me accept your grace and see value in myself.
7) Help me give the same grace to others, and see them as valuable.
8) Help me think on things that are lovely.
9) Help me accept suffering and not grumble.
10) Help me believe you can do all things.
There are so many more I could add if I only had more fingers! I hope anyone reading this is helped by it…I hope my daughter reads it and makes her own. (“Help me not worry about money and trust you can take care of me”…actually that’s one I really should add myself!) And Gail, if your reading…thank you for being such an encouragement and listening to me ramble.