Is something gnawing away at you these days? Do you recognize something edgy in your heart that is bringing you down?
Have you been mad at someone for longer than a little while? Have you been wronged or rejected and you just can't quite shake the anger and resentment?
Well, I get it. I've been there. I have to admit that I allowed bitter roots of rejection and fear to just about strangle the life out of my heart leaving me sick and tired and lifeless. Not really the Christian way of living, huh?
The good news is that there is hope and there is a way to air out your heart. Now, root excavation can be a bit overwhelming and painful BUT the reward is, in a nutshell: freedom.
When it comes to finding emotional health and wholeness, since 2016, I've been on a quest for a total brain overhaul, brain reboot!
I learned to take my toxic thoughts captive by using images. I likened my toxic thoughts (basically any notions contrary to the Truth found in the Word of God) to a field of dandelions. There were sooo many that it felt positively overwhelming.
But once I started isolating and analyzing each negative thought, I was able to cut it off and replace it with a Biblical truth. To reinforce the strategy I began using images to represent and help me remember the life-giving truth.
This process took a while. Just because I nipped the flowering "dandelion" didn't mean there wasn't another one sprouting up beside it. Yet daily I began reviewing the images during my prayer time to remind me of the Truth. Then during the day, when the same thought I had captured or another similar one came rolling across my mind again, I had a quick and easy visual trump card to play against it.
Over time, I grew a bit weary of dealing with the variety of toxic thoughts stemming from the same root. And I needed to regroup a bit and simplify. I took the list of toxic thoughts that I had cataloged over the last three years and categorized them. With a little help from a friend, I discovered that I had two major roots in play in my mind and heart: fear and bitterness.
I have learned that the opposite of fear is not bravery but rather love. And the opposite of bitterness is gratitude.
Our thoughts direct our actions. Fear and bitterness were crippling me in many ways and were robbing my joy. Somehow I knew this wasn't God's way -- I just couldn't bridge the gap on how to change until I replaced toxic thoughts and any lingering roots with the Truth by habit.
If you find yourself doing or saying something you regret later, examine your thoughts. If you find your heart is infiltrated with sinful roots that are choking the life out of you, examine your thoughts.
And what a great time to do it! Some of us in Kentucky have started our spring cleaning. Why not shake out our hearts a bit while we're at it and get rid of whatever is holding us back or hindering us in our Christian walk.
Be encouraged: It's never too late to start! And God will help you in this journey-one dandelion at a time! Remember to start with a grateful heart because even in the longest and widest field of never ending dandelions, God's love can find you!
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
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