I have to say I love the story of Jennifer's grandmother telling her to not watch "so-poppers" which translated from her southern drawl was Soap Operas. It reminded me of my Grandma, she'd watch me after school and instead of cartoons I grew up watching One Life to Live and General Hospital in black and white. Grandma would always say "I don't know why I watch these shows that just not real life" as we sat there everyday watching them with our Tea and Grandmas homemade sugar cookies. She's right though it took me years to give up those two shows, and in many ways they contributed to some of the voices and ideas in my thought closet. Jennifer says "We have borrowed unbecoming beliefs from other people and hung them in our thought closets. We have grabbed clumsy considerations and careless characterizations and made them part of our wardrobe even when they didn't come close to fitting us."
I have been in more than one relationship that was verbally abusive, and I know that those have filled a lot of my inventory in my closet. I think the others I went shopping in the same store because of what I was told, I believed it and so I purchased it over and over again. I've watched and listened to media that says I'm suppose to be one thing, yet that simply doesn't fit me or my life. I have had people make fun of the way I talk since I was a small child. I had a very bad lisp, and spent 6 years in speech therapy to get it as is now. It still makes me uncomfortable when people say something about it. I also have a higher pitched voice and people yes even adults comment about it. Even to this day I avoid talking in crowds (must be why I like blogging and emailing) When ever this comes up I go straight to my they don't like me box, or my they think I'm weird box and put on that rag.
I'm not sure about all of you but I've been being hit with a barrage of Self Talk all week even in my dreams. I think Satan is really upset by this study, and certainly doesn't want me to stop telling myself all the things I have been over the past week, it simply makes his job that much easier. Over the last week I've been feeling frustrated over my health situation, my AIH hasn't hasn't gone into remission, and I spend a lot of time home and not out and about doing things. This morning was really bad, to the point that my husband sat with me on the bed and said I'm worried you might be slipping into a depression. Wow that's a wake up call.
I've been really hard on myself calling myself names like; pathetic, fat, useless, boring, selfish, whinner and ugly. I actually have read Jennifer's chapter 2 twice and have underlined and highlighted it that I could almost quote the whole chapter in this post. But I won't, here are a few thoughts that I will read over and over again.
"If you have been labeled by some unfortunate words in the past.....then you to know how those words can have a hold on you. Until you choose to bring that out-of-place label into the light and make it line up with truth, it will control you. Instead of wearing it as a label, choose now to label it with the truth."
"When you talk to yourself, do you choose wise words? Are they words God would put His loving stamp of approval on? Are they like life-giving water, or do they drain away your vitality, leaving you parched, dry, and arid?"
"Words matter. We cannot risk speaking untruths to ourselves because of the strong likelihood that we will believe them."
Words do hurt they hurt when they come from other people (even when they are unintentional) and when destructive, condemning words come from your own thought closet they are even more damaging. It's easier to escape the words of others, but it's hard to escape yourself. But thankfully we can't escape God either I was drawn today to remember Psalm 139. There is so much hope and truth that we need to speak into ourselves. I keep my baby picture in my Bible with this Psalm, but I haven't visited that little one in a while.
Psalm 139:7-12 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hid me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.
You see when we are stuck in our heads (thought closet) we really aren't alone God is there watching us rummage through those boxes and hangers deciding what label or name we'll choose. Jesus is there with us telling us that He has the perfect words for you, but at that moment we are trying to hide, we've got the ipod on as loud as it will go. But if we turn down the noise and before we start to put our labels on and say God I don't want to wear this anymore, I don't want to call myself word and names that you didn't create for me. Help me Lord to relabel these boxes, and fill me with your words and truth. He Will!!!! We've put these things in our closet, and sadly like bad memories we can't completely get rid of them. But Jennifer reminds us, "You can't remove those hurtful thoughts, words and memories, but by the power of God you can drain them of their potential control over you."
So now I'm going to start relabeling those thoughts, with Gods words. I will start to train myself to take my thoughts captive and replace them with God's words. "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" 2 Corintihians 10:5. I need to pray this verse every time I start feeling those words come at me. Paul also tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be me made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
My friend Kendal gave me this quote (I'm not sure who it's from she had it memorized, maybe Beth Moore) when Brett was going through the Recovery program, and I was going through a time when I discovering many things about him and myself. I would speak awful things about myself. I wrote it in my little bible that I keep at work, and God brought it to my mind this morning, right after Brett told me how worried he is about me. I thought I'd share it with you. "I have great worth apart from my performance because Christ gave his life for me and therefore imparted great value to me I am deeply loved fully pleasing, totally forgiven accepted and complete in Christ Jesus." I need to bring this one back up out of my thought closet I think it's in there amongst the ugly old boxes the ones so worn from years of pulling stuff out and putting stuff in, but this one is a beautifully wrapped gift that I've neglected to open in the last 2 years. I want to share it with all of you my friends. We can all unwrap this gift together, and replace our name calling with it.