Saturday, January 12, 2013

Switching on the Light

Today's Unglued Blog Update
As usual...I'm just mainly putting what Lysa has said in her book with some (very little--actually maybe not at all today) of my own insight/thoughts.

I really don't like those situations in which something small feels really big. Maybe a look from someone that suddenly makes me eel they don't like me at all. Or a friend doesn't return my phone call or text & I feel like it's an indication that I'm not important. Or one of the girls makes a comment about how terrific another mother is & I feel like it's a direct indication of their disappointment in me.

Usually these things aren't true. The look was just a look with no hidden meaning. The missed phone call or text was just a slip on my friend's to-do list. The comment...well, maybe that one was a dig. Or maybe it was just a compliment for the other mom & not a statement against me. If I'm not careful, these misguided feelings can distract me, discourage me, & trigger past pain to start taunting me.

And sometimes, those misguided feelings activate that running mouth inside my head: You're nothing but a loser. You are unwanted. You are so disorganized. You are poor. You are not acceptable. You are not approved.

One small thing can have a subtle shift into an unglued feeling coming on strong. Remember I've talked about how all the negative inside chatter is a huge red flag that things internally are about to set me up for a raw reaction externally. And sometimes this comes in the form of stuffing those feelings down in the immediate. But like the subtle beginnings of soul leprosy, they start eating away.

But later, I will blow up....I'll lose it. I'll yell. I'll purse my lips & point my finger. And then (like Lysa), I hate myself because this blow up usually comes out on the girls. Right there in the midst of a family where I'm supposed to be a "Christian example," I blow it. I feel awful. And start to doubt that I'm good enough to be their mother, much less be a child of God.

But God doesn't whisper hushed condemnations. Convictions, yes. Condemnations, no.

When lies are swarming & attacking me like a bunch of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, the best thing I can do is open God's Word & immerse myself in His truth. Lies flee in the presence of truth. But just as I have to flip a light switch to erase the darkness in a room,

I have to activate truth to erase the lies. I have to capture my thoughts, hold them up to the truth, & make them line up with Scripture before I entertain those thoughts. Lysa provided an excellent example of how she did this:

THOUGHT: I am a horrible mom.
VERSE: "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
THOUGHT: I am not a horrible mom. I might have had a horrible reaction, but that doesn't define me.

THOUGHT: I didn't react like a good mother would. And I certainly didn't react like a Christian.
VERSE: "Whatever is true...think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).
TRUTH: I love my kids. That is true. I love God. That is true. I was tired. That is true. I felt insecure and it affected me. That is true. God gives never-ending grace. That is true. I can ask for forgiveness and redeem this mess. That is true. The more I think on truth, the quieter the lies get. That is true.

THOUGHT: This will never get better. I'll always be a slave to my raw emotions.
VERSE: "Set your hearts on things above...set your minds on things above" (Colossians 3:1-2).
THOUGHT: I'm tired of setting my heart on the voice of the enemy. Setting my heart and mind on lies is like setting the radio dial on a trashy station --what feeds me affects me. So, here is my heart, Lord. I set it on truth and truth alone. Here is my mind, Lord. I set it on truth and truth alone.

I should read these verses over & over & over. And let them feed better thoughts. Anytime I start hearing lies speaking louder than truth, it's an indication my soul is starving for God's Word. So I need to feed it truth & starve it of the lies begging to get down deep & mess me up.

After reassurance of God's truth, it helps me feel approved (good enough) again. Then comes the tough part of modeling Christ's teaching even in the aftermath of my awful reaction with my girls: asking for forgiveness from my family. And though I blow it when I blow up at them, I realize God's grace always allows for second chances. Instead of wallowing in the pit of what had been, I can step into imperfect progress & holiness.

Stay tuned for the next Unglued Blog Update about A Step toward Holiness.

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