Saturday, December 1, 2012

Philippians 4:8

Sometimes I wish that the human brain came with a format feature like a computer hard drive or a camera disc.  There are so many days I feel like I would give anything to just create a "clean slate" for my mind.  Too many old habits, hurts and heartaches filter in and sully the current day.  It's like bad "swype."  Misspellings from my past pop up automatically even though I know what's right now.

Sometimes I wish I were a different kind of person.  I wish I wasn't so vocal and open.  I wish I didn't wear my heart on my sleeve and I wasn't so "out there" on so many levels.  Sometimes I wish I could go back and be different especially with the newer people in my life.  I feel like the "new slate" opportunity slipped past me, and I find myself cringing with regret.

Sometimes I wish I could just fade back into anonymity, and that my big mouth personality hadn't already created first, second and fifteenth impressions that I always feel like I am trying to overcome.  And sometimes I wonder if the sense of rejection I feel in most areas of my life is really rejection from others or just an issue in my own heart.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't just a thinker.  I wish I wasn't someone who over-analyzed EVERYTHING. "Did they mean that?"  "What did they mean by that?" "What were they really trying to say?" "What did their tone, body language, countenance indicate?"  I wish I was the kind of person who easily assumed the best, never looked for the hidden agenda and didn't spend hours trying to exercise by jumping... to conclusions.  I wish for innocence and naivete.

Sometimes I wish I could easily assume that people like me, that my confident fear that most people are just tolerating me, or worse suffering through me didn't feel so true.  An unanswered message, an ignored phone call, a cut-short conversation-- they all have the power to send me down a rabbit trail of assumption and rejection that I just wish I didn't feel.

Sometimes I wish past hurts and offenses didn't have such a huge bearing on how I respond and relate to people today.  I wish old hurts and offenses didn't make me suspicious of people that held no part in it.  I wish I didn't assume that most people in authority over me didn't approve of me.  I wish I didn't feel like "I'm sorry," had to constantly be on my lips even when I'm just sorry that I am, and not for anything I have done.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to take it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Am I the only one who finds the practice of that verse to feel like a full time job? Because I swear it is more than a nine to five for me and it is exhausting.  Truth be told I feel like I am failing at it most days, and I worry whether the crack in my thought process runs all the way down deep into my very psyche.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure , whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I think this verse is the best hope for the "format" that I am hoping for.  It falls short, because it does not clear the brain, the memory or the emotions, but it is a form of reprogramming that has the hope of the "sometimes I wish's" of life today becoming new experiences tomorrow.  And maybe, just maybe, the other negatives will fade enough with time and experience, that I won't spend so much time struggling under it all. 

What is true? God created me to be the thinker that I am, so there must be some good purpose in it, and if I let Him direct my thoughts, and the way that I process it is meant to be a blessing and not a curse. 

What is noble? I am the adopted daughter of the most High King, chosen and set apart, fully accepted in His Beloved Son. God has plans and purposes for my life that cannot be thwarted and I don't have to be fearful so long as I am under His favor. 

What is right?  God is sovereign, and whatever I have or will face in my life has not and will not touch me apart from his permission.  And whatever another might intend for evil, God intends for good. And He has promised to work all things, ALL THINGS, together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.  And in the end, he's going to use it to make me more like His Son.

What is pure?  Christ's love for me is pure.  Whatever rejection I may suffer in my life, real or imagined, God does not reject me, He loves me, He gave Himself up for me.  I matter to God. 

What is lovely? I can take my eyes off of these self-loathing thoughts and find truth to meditate upon in God's word.  I can "retrain my brain" to think God thoughts instead of the thoughts of my own corruptible flesh. 

What is admirable? It isn't all about me.  My sole purpose in life is to bring glory to God.  Do I serve others? Yes, but even in that the purpose is to honor and direct others to Him.  And even in my broken state I have the ability to be a vessel of honor if I will am submitted to be used by Him. 

What is excellent?  That these struggles and troubles are "light and momentary" and do not compare to the eternal glory which is to come.  Life is hard, but Christ IS worth it. If my own battles bring one moment of opportunity to minister to someone suffering in a similar way, they are worth it.  God enables us to comfort others with the comfort "which we ourselves have been given."  I have learned fr more about how to love when I have felt unloved.  I have learned far more about how to lead by the times I was mislead.  I have learned the importance to show I care in the many times I felt no one cared for me. 

What is praiseworthy? Christ. No one and nothing else is worthy of our praise.  All that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent-- every bit of it, is rooted in Him.  

Oh what a messed up broken vessel I am, but I belong to the Lord and HE has purpose for me.  Come what may, my victory is assured because it is rooted in Him.  

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