As soon as my husband walked out the door the morning of December 26th, I leaped out of bed and started removing the Christmas decorations. Each item was placed in a pile on the dining room table. Then the storage containers were brought in one at a time, packed and taken right back out to the garage.
While packing I thought of my mementos in time and people of the past. Ornaments made by friends, decorations passed down from my grandmother, or Nanny, and little treasures my children made in school. Each piece had a story and a heartfelt attachment.
Yet as I packed them away, I found some items had not even been unpacked. So I decided to re-organize. I discarded broken items, or things that had remained packed for several years. Pieces that were no longer used were given away. I emptied four bins and filled two large trash bags.
To make decorating easier next year, the bins were organized with a purpose. They were packed according to the tree, porch décor, lights, shelf items, stockings or kitchen decorations.
Wouldn’t it be great to do that with our thoughts and emotions?
I have good news! We can.
Often I’ve held onto wrong thoughts or damaged emotions instead of discarding them. And I continued to store them year after year. Mainly, because I didn’t think I couldget rid of them or didn’t know how to discard them, so I simply kept them.
Yet I am learning to care for my soul.
C. S. Lewis said:
It is simply soul care. The soul is where your mind and emotions originate.
Have you ever cared for your soul?
Most of my life has been spent nurturing my body more than my soul. Sure, I have done some things to nurture it like: going to church, reading my Bible (at inconsistent times) doing Bible study, but mostly I cared about my body not my soul.
Therefore, I am now reaping what I have sown. I have a cluttered mess of wrongful thoughts and damaged emotions. As an example, for many years I have felt stupid.
Thoughts such as:
· I don’t have a college education.
· I don’t have any skills.
· I am a nobody.
· I am not as good as others.
· I am ugly.
· Some people make fun of me.
· Other people don’t care what I have to say.
· I don’t know the Bible well.
· I’m not good enough.
These consistent thoughts verified, solidified and certified in my mind that I was stupid. And I believed it year after year after year. And because our words, emotions, habits, and decisions all originate in the mind, I kept acting out from that wrong belief.
Oh Lord, help the person who hit that sensitive nerve, for I erupted into an emotional hot mess to cover up my feelings of stupidity. I didn’t want anyone to know how I felt internally, so I learned schemes to cover it up. And the pattern repeated itself over and over again throughout the years.
I am learning to care for my soul by purposely taking every thought captive as 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs. I am grabbing onto my negative thoughts and pursuing where it originated. If it is something that has been packed away year after year to my detriment, it goes in the trash. Then I replace it with God’s word.
· If it is doesn’t belong – it goes.
· If it doesn’t line up with God’s Word – it goes.
· If it is a lie – it goes.
· Then it gets replaced with a truth from God’s Word.
I am not stupid. I am loved by God.
The creator of the moon and stars, of day and night, plants and animals, the ocean, seashells, and people – created me with the same intensity, thought, and devotion. He loves me with all my quirks, failures, baggage and hang-ups yet he nevermade me stupid.
· Isaiah 42:1 – I am chosen and he delights in me….
· 2 Timothy 2:15 – I do not need to be ashamed….
· Colossians 3:12 – I am God’s chosen and dearly loved…
· Phil 1:6 – He began a good work in me and will complete it…
Supernaturally what takes place is I begin seeing my purpose with more clarity. As my thoughts change, so does my life. And like those Christmas decorations being considered and then organized with a purpose, I am practicing those same steps in my thought life. Just as my house is becoming clean and orderly so are my words, emotions and decisions. My soul is getting cleaned out and I am becoming free to be who God created me to be!
And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free….. John 8:32