Can't sleep tonight for some reason. It is a hot night and I suppose that and the busyness of the week and weekend didn't allow me to sit and think too much so once I'm awake....my mind won't stop processing. The words that won't let me sleep tonight are "take every thought captive". How I live out this phrase on a daily basis has brought me strength or weakness, happiness or sadness, progress or setbacks. Since Ryan died I have realized how important this phrase has been to my healing.
My very sweet niece is living with us this summer and she and I have had some wonderfully thought provoking conversations. Through her questions I realize that how I have chosen to think about a situation has determined the outcome. One area has been how Ryan actually died. There is still some mystery to what really happened and what caused his rope to dislodge. But I have chosen to grab those thoughts that might keep me stuck in his death and on my island of emotion and focus rather on how his death has impacted lives and what his life with Jesus might look like. My knowing what exactly happened isn't going to make him come back, it will just keep me focused on what I couldn't control. I can't impact the past but I can make a difference in the future.
Another area where I have had to take my thoughts captive has been allowing sadness to creep in over what might have been; Ryan's wedding, his children, all the things a mom looks forward to with her children. But again, I cannot control what might have been but I can impact what is. I have other children that are and will bring much. This is where my mind must focus. And, I love that we have stayed connected with Ryan's friends, loving on them and encouraging them; watching them move forward in life towards all the things Ryan would have been moving toward. This doesn't make me sad or wanting, it fills me with joy to see them loving Jesus, processing life and wanting God's best. So I focus on, what is.
And then there is the big one that many get stuck on....WHY? But I choose to take that thought captive and focus again, on what is and what will be. I trust my Heavenly Father for the past, present and future. I'm just so grateful he entrusted me with Ryan's life in the past and with his death in the future.
This idea about "taking every thought captive" comes from:
2 Corinthians 10:3-6. I love The Message translation.
3-6The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
I love the idea of having an arsenal of tools for clearing the ground of obstructions and building a life of obedience and maturity. I am in a daily battle and how I respond with my thoughts impacts my healing.