After giving my testimony during the online International Grace Party today, and speaking briefly about panic attacks that I had once suffered from, I came across this post of mine from January 15, 2008. I thought I'd share it again here.
I like thinking. I like thinking so much that I do it all the time. :) Ok, so maybe it's not a matter of whether or not I like thinking. It just happens. However, in Christ I do have the power to take control of my thoughts and to not let them carry me away. Our thought life can be very destructive if we don't discipline and guide our thoughts with the truth of God's word.
Sometimes our thought lives lead to humor! One day when my son was 4 years old he had sort of a puzzled look on his face and finally he said, “Daddy, I try to stop thinking but I can’t.”
I wasn’t exactly sure if I’d heard him right so I said, “What???”
He said, “I try to stop but it keeps doing it.”
I replied, “What keeps doing it?”
He said, "My head."
There's no such a thing as a switch to turn off our "thinker." But again, we want to take our thoughts captive rather than being captive to our thoughts. In the past I've shared how I overcame panic attacks through scripture and through turning my trust over to God. Through a counselor who I met with in my late teens (shortly after my panic attacks began) I had come to see that my panic attacks were partly due to thinking about things too much and especially worrying about things. I didn't realize that I was over-thinking things and over-analyzing things, and worrying about things so much. Unfortunately, although my counselor did help me to see the cause of my problem, she didn't speak the truth that I needed to hear to overcome my problem. It wasn't until 2 or 3 years later that I overcame by the truth of God's word.
This post is mainly just a reminder to us all (including myself) that we can turn all our thoughts and worries over to God - all of our thoughts and worries - and walk in the truth of His word. He loves us and cares for us. We can cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). We don't need to endlessly think about all these things. If we simply include God in our thought lives (He is, after all, One with us, as 1 Cor 6:17 says), then we can think restfully rather than anxiously. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33), and He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).
I've been thinking about some of this lately, and my thoughts were highlighted through a conversation with a lady who works in housekeeping at some of the places I visit daily for my job, and through a humorous incident at home. This lady has shared with me lots of times about how she is a worrier and how she really thinks way too much about things. A few days ago we were talking about this again and she told me that most of the time she'll focus in on one thing and she'll be obsessed with that one thing and she can't let it go and she'll let it bother her all day long. She says that occasionally that one thought will turn into several thoughts and she'll be overwhelmed by many thoughts instead of just one. Can anyone relate? :)
Well, on Sunday evening here at home, my daughter opened the wrapper of a little Dove chocolate. Each individual wrapper has a saying on it, and my daughter read hers out loud. The wrapper says:
"Don't think about it so much."
Ha ha! I really got a kick out of that. I'm saving the wrapper to give to my housekeeping friend. And to top it all off, as my innocent and naive little daughter was reading the wrapper again, she looked somewhat confused and she asked, "Don't think about what so much?" "What is 'it'?" We laughed and we explained that "it" means "anything that you may be thinking about too much!"
I'm pretty positive that this saying will not help anyone to automatically stop over-thinking things. In fact it's one of those things that we could easily and unintentionally turn into a law or rule that in the end works the opposite of what we intended. However, I do think that it can be used as a good reminder that in our lives in Christ, we have been made free and we shouldn't let our thoughts control us and take us over.