So, I was scrolling through my email and Facebook-land this morning and everywhere I turned, there was encouragement for situations that I’m facing right now. I know sometimes Facebook can be depressing and filled with bad news. I must have amazing friends there because today was just one timely word after another. So, I thought, “What better way to continue to build that encouragement in myself than to share it with all of you?”
Confession Time: I am an over-thinker. I tend to look at things logically and, well, sometimes life is not logical…and faith definitely is not logical!! I saw a t-shirt the other day that said “Follow your heart but take your brain with you”. I thought, “Finally, one of those sayings I really get!” I might still buy that t-shirt 🙂 Because of the way my brain works, I also over-analyze situations. I try to come up with every possible scenario that might ever happen before I take a step forward. As I’ve shared with you a little bit in the last few blog posts, my life has been full of changes for about the last 8 years. So many of them have required me to step forward with no idea how the rest of the path looked or what I might find waiting down the road. Sometimes, my over-thinking brain contemplates only (or mostly) the bad things that could happen if I move forward. That’s not a good thing and I have been working on it (I’m a work in progress!), but a fascinating book lent to me by a friend 🙂 made me realize how important it was to replace those negative thoughts as soon as they come. (The book is Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf)
I studied a lot about the brain and the effects of trauma on it, especially in regard to learning, while raising my boys. What I am loving about this book is that she uses the Bible to prove the science of brain chemistry and vice versa. One of the things she mentions is re-forming the brain connections made through a traumatic experience (whether that’s an injury, abuse, illness, etc.). Reading this made me realize how important it is to remind ourselves of what God has said about us. It literally changes our brain chemistry! Here is where I hope to encourage you because I know I’m not the only one who’s ever gone through a hard experience that changed the way you see yourself.
Yesterday, as I was reading the book, it really hit home that I need to replace some of my thinking. (And here’s where I share my real life even though transparency is scary) If you’ve been around for any length of time, you all know I love to write. I always have. I actually have 2 books that I’m working on right now that I hope will be a blessing (and have nothing to do with Amazon selling). But, years ago, I told someone close to me that I wanted to write a book, that I felt like I had something to say and could help people. They (I know that’s not proper grammar, but I’m using it here) laughed at me and told me that no one would ever want to read anything I had to say, I was a nobody. I quickly put that dream away in the closet of my heart and locked it up tight. Maybe you can relate to that? Maybe you’ve had someone speak things over you that destroyed your dreams, took away who you are…
I heard those words ringing loudly in my head for so many years that it took a lot of encouragement from friends to start writing a few years ago. The thing is, I still hear those words every time I sit down to write. They have been especially loud the last few months. It’s why I have put off finishing those books I had been working on. I started to try to replace those words with something else. I wasn’t super committed to it, though, until I started reading this book. Seeing all the science behind the scriptures reminding us to think on things that are pure, lovely, and of a good report (Phillipians 4:8) made me realize I needed to get serious about it.
My desire is to encourage women and build them up. It’s a passion that burns deep in my heart. So, yesterday I looked up a scripture that would be in line with this desire, that I could use to replace those negative words spoken over me. I’ll share it with you because I’m sure you’re wondering what it is 🙂
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I might give a word in season to him that is weary.” Isaiah 50:4
That is what I want to think about, what I want to consider when I write, because that’s who I want to be – someone who brings hope. I know it will be a process to work through. That’s ok. One step at a time so that eventually when I sit down to write, I only hear what God has said about me instead of the words from that other person.
I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’ve never shared these details from my story until today. I just really hope it encourages you that whenever you remember the negative things people have spoken over you or done to you, you can begin to choose to re-frame those memories with what God has said about you. It takes time. Be patient. Sometimes, it may seem like you’re taking one step forward, two steps back. Let God rebuild your hope to see the amazing future He has for you. His boundless love will give you the strength to pull your dreams back out of the closet. Maybe you put those dreams away by your own choice, maybe someone else put them away for you. Either way, it’s time to get your dreams out, dust them off, and start believing again that you are worthy of those dreams in your heart. Grab a friend and share your dreams together – It will help both of you! I’m praying for you today. ♥
Keep Dreaming ~