I can change my mind.

The mind.

It’s beautifully complex but sometimes doesn’t feel so beautiful. Oppressive thoughts, low self worth, and speaking defeated words over ourselves make us feel less than.

I fall into bad thinking patterns when I feel stuck and unsure what the right decision is to make. I feel guilty if I make a wrong decision and unsure if I make the decision because I’m unsure how’s it’s going to turn out.

Whew. Feel better about yourself?

I found some wisdom from this crappy thought life yesterday.

My son woke up with a sore throat, he’s gotten strep before, so I wanted to see how he felt once he was up for a bit. Not seeing much change, I decided to keep him home.

Thirty minutes later it was pretty clear he had a little cough, but was feeling fine, no fever. He confirmed he felt fine.

So we decided to get him to school even though he was thirty minutes late.

As I was driving home from dropping my son off late, I realized I didn’t feel guilty. Confirming how I felt, truth came: This was not a pattern for my kid faking sick or crying because he didn’t want to go to school. He’s pretty tough. And it really wasn’t a big deal for him to miss one day.

NEW THOUGHTS! Truthful thoughts.

Shocked.

Ah-ha!

I thought, hey I can change my mind!

We can change our minds. Turning this into a spiritual truth, we can take our crappy thoughts captive and make them obey Christ. We can change.

(Note: see Jen Wilkins book “None like Him.” She writes a whole chapter on how this.)

This simple reality of changing my mind to take my son to school opened wide the lie: this won’t work for you, you can’t change your mind, you are stuck.

I can’t do this on my own, but with Christ I will.

The weapons I get to use aren’t more strength on my own part, but trusting in a mighty God who never gets tired helping me to do His part!

He will never fail us.

Masterpiece

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More than a decade ago my husband spoke this verse over me.  He was my boyfriend at the time and I’ll never forget that moment.  I was doubting my worth, my purpose.  I was so unsure of myself and if God could use me.  Timid, fearful.  I still struggle with some of those same identity issues.  However, when I struggle and I hear this verse I am able to go back to that suspended memory of my sweet man pointing my eyes up when all I wanted to do was look at my feet in discouragement.  Yesterday I looked up at the sky and saw a masterpiece.  Sun shining and the clouds were painted beautifully, I was reminded again of this verse.

Workmanship.  Poetry.  Masterpiece.

I’m not sure where you are in life.  Wondering what your purpose is?  Unsure if God is even doing anything in your life?  Maybe you are not sure you “deserve” for God to use you.

If it’s yes, me too.

Today I heard the song “Symphony” by Switch.  “Through all of this chaos, YOU are writing a symphony.”  A symphony.  God already knows the end of your masterpiece, He knows the notes, the details, the highs and lows.  He knows the notes that will be hit and the ones that will be missed.  Maybe, life with Christ is letting Him teach us the song He wrote for us or the masterpiece He is revealing one brush stroke at a time.  He is making us aware of the masterpiece we are in Him.  Maybe the masterpiece is us learning and growing and unlearning and regrowing.  The undoing of our old ways and allowing Him to make us new.

Being made into a masterpiece doesn’t always feel beautiful.  But I bet anyone who has laid paint to a canvas isn’t sure what the end product will look like, but at the end they step back and say, “Yes!  This is it!  I didn’t even know it would look this beautiful.”  Or someone sitting down to write a song, the words begin to flow, the lyrics fall together, and the rhythm makes you tap your feet.  It all comes together.

As we learn to walk in this truth that we are God’s masterpiece, a work He is proud of.  It’s ugly at first, we miss terribly.  Our dance moves are less than.  But all the sudden we start putting one step to the next.  Seeing connections, feeling His presence more and more.  Healing.  We begin to lean more into Him, trusting He is who He says He is.  We can trust this process of becoming.  Becoming His masterpiece.  It’s worth every step.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.  And telling you too.  It is worth it.

 

Sometimes

Sometimes it’s hard to walk this faith thing out.

I was praying last night and telling God how frustrated I was.  I have been trying to memorize verses to have a more “positive” mindset, and it just felt like a lot of work, reading books, listening to podcasts, and feeling tired.

I realized I have so much head knowledge, and now I need it to connect to my heart.  Those broken places in my heart need God’s love and redemption too.

Then, in my human dust like state, I realized that I did not have the ability to change my heart.  I could think new things and do more Bible study, but if it wasn’t sinking in to the deepest part of me it was just work with no heart.

And work with no heart is not pretty.  It shows up as pride, self-righteousness, anger, frustration, and the list goes on.  It looks like having all the right answers, but no victory to back it up.

So I cried out to God, “I can’t change my heart!”  And He reminded me of a verse.

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart…”

What?!?!?!

This y’all is what I have craved all along.

Then another Matthew 11:28, “COME to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”  It DOES NOT say “come to me when you have it all figured out and it looks pretty with a bow on it.”  It says come to me with it even when its messy and you are exhausted from trying to fight and make things right.  And I will give you rest.  Beautiful rest for your soul that is tired and weary.  Oh the promise.

Another verse, Philippians 2:3 “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Ephesians 2:9, “…not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I had been working, checking things off, but I was doing it in my own strength.  I’ve come to the end of myself, realizing that this battle for my heart belongs to Him.  And He will work this out for good.  He will do a mighty thing.  Because He loves me, and He loves you.

Maybe your saying, wow that sounds great, but how does this look.

Reaching out is essential.  We get lost thinking we are the only ones fighting when there are believers right beside us who are saying the same thing.  Pray and ask God for friends who you can trust and let them love on you.

Support and encouragement go hand and hand in this battle, even Jesus didn’t do life alone.  Having others around you allows God to use people to encourage you and for you to encourage them.

None of this is to be done alone.

We may be the one swinging the sword in our personal battles, but is there any army behind you-praying for you, encouraging you, and speaking verses to you when you’re lost.

No man is an island.  Reach out.