Tell Yourself the Truth
Negative thoughts assailed my mind from every angle. At first I did not realize I was under attack because the thoughts made sense.
As I pressed my hand on the rug to boost myself up to my feet, I heard the first punch thrown, “Look at how the rug is matted down. You need to be a better housekeeper. What a mess this house is.”
“Boy! Was that ever the truth,” I thought.
Then the next one hit. I was struggling to pull my slim beige top over the bulges on my body. I was on my way to Bible Study and I hoped to look somewhat “put together.”
“Look at how much weight you have gained,” the punch hit me hard in my rippling midriff. I stretched and pulled the material every which way to keep it from clinging to my spare tires.
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“When will I ever start exercising?” I confirmed the thought echoing in my mind and reflecting off the mirror.
Catching my breath, I headed down the stairs, recounting all the paperwork pending for my new job, including a health exam that I still had to schedule. The paperwork was due in two days.
I grabbed the white tile kitchen counter to balance myself as my mind whirred out of control.
“How was I supposed to get all this done?” My thoughts began a downward spiral.
I was flying by the seat of pants for Bible Study that night and I had another study in a few days. There was an article I was scheduled to write, photos I wanted to take, a dental appointment, shocks for the van–the high-pitched screeching noise whined as the record spinning in my mind went faster and faster.
The final blow nearly knocked me out.
“And just how do I think I am going to manage this full-time job with everything else that must be done?” it hit between the eyes. “Am I even capable of performing this job?”
My breath was being sucked away, my mouth dry as dust. I was overwhelmed and saw no way out. Anxiety was ready to deal the last blow.
Then the Lord reminded me, “Tell yourself the truth about these rampant thoughts. Take them one at a time.”
As I refused to exchange blows with my assailant, I turned away from the punches, asked Jesus for help, and focused on the one task at hand.
Slowly the anxiety exhaled with my breath. Physical release from the pounding negative thoughts oozed through my pores.
I released my fingers from the kitchen counter, picked up my purse, and with great relief walked into the garage, climbed into our van, and headed to Bible Study.
Clearly, I had just experienced the freedom that comes from taking your thoughts captive to the Lord. That Scripture has jumped from my head into my experiential heart.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Have you ever been paralyzed by your thoughts? What do you do?
Isn’t it the truth that we have to remind ourselves of Truth! I love it when the Psalmist said, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God!” Sometimes we have to speak truth to ourselves. Good for you for recognizing it before you were knocked out! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by GG. We always have to be on our guard. So true! Thanks for adding the other Scripture on putting your trust in God.
From My Heart to Yours,
Thank you for your encouraging comments. I know how crippling those bouts of anxiety can be. I’ll be praying for you.
It’s good to have a distraction for your mind–even reading–to redirect your thoughts. I’ve also found something that works well when I feel overwhelmed is to focus on getting just 1 thing accomplished that day. Then congratulate yourself on that.
Maybe we can talk more. I’ll drop a line to you with my e-mail.
From My Heart to Yours,
Wow! That was the exact verse that came to my mind as I was reading your blog! Good likeness and illustration as I have experienced the punches of the evil one just yesterday and the day before!!! Thanks for the great reminder and sharing your life with myself and others. Love, Me
You have no idea how much these words spoke to me this morning. I am having a terrible bout with my anxiety these last few days. What a battlefield! Your words were very encouraging to me.
What do I do with paralyzing thoughts? If I’m totally honest, I’m afraid most of the time I get paralyzed…
And then I pray my heart out – I tell God everything. The line I liked best from your post was this: “As I refused to exchange blows with my assailant, I turned away from the punches, asked Jesus for help…” I really liked your image – just walk out of the boxing ring, refuse to exchange blows. Let Jesus fight the battle..
Thank you, Janis – I needed this today.
p.s. On a strictly “human” note – when I get really nervous, I read “like a crazy woman” – sometimes a book a day!
I go through this often. Especially as a writer. I want everyone to like my stuff and the first time something is said negatively, it blows up my whole day.
I keep reminding myself that God loves me and he loves me so much that he died for me. Kind of puts things in perspective for me when I get down.
Thanks for your word of encouragement today.