Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Anxious Thoughts: A Blessed Redirection


My last post describes my tendency to get swept into the swirl of anxious thoughts that often spew, uninvited, through my mind.

This thought-pattern God is uncovering is one I didn’t even realize as a part of my life.  And I am recognizing—even this very moment as I type—that the hands doing this uncovering are those of a loving, gentle, powerful Father providing firm guidance.  Guidance my life needs.  Guidance my heart craves.

He is continuing to speak truth about my tendency towards anxious thoughts . . . .  And I wonder whether I’m the only one who might benefit from hearing what He seems to be saying.

For most of my life, I’ve believed that this experience: the unexpected and overwhelming flood of worried thoughts, the chokehold of worry, the careful, fear-motivated efforts to avoid each “worst case scenario,” the compulsion to make absolutely sure that I am not the failure that these thoughts suggest . . . . For most of my life, I’ve mis-labeled this experience as God’s conviction.  

It’s one thing to feel anxious, have worrisome thoughts move through my mind.  But it’s another thing altogether to interpret those thoughts as originating from a loving heavenly Father.  To understand the frantic, fear-filled flood of worried "what-ifs" as God's way of speaking, guiding, moving me in the right direction is, simply put, wrong.

I think this is why Jan Johnson’s explanation of the “search me oh God” prayer has brought such deep relief to my very core:  For years, I have believed these anxious thoughts were from my Father.  And that belief has caused me to give those anxious thoughts an incredible (and mistaken) level of power in my life, in my heart, in my decisions.

He is inviting me to see this experience in a new way, to recognize my anxious thoughts as something else altogether.  To identify them as not-my-Father’s-voice.  To confess them as sin, even.  Then to release them into His hands.  And to release my mind from their fiery, fear-triggering clutches.

He is allowing me to see my anxious thoughts in an altogether-different light.  A light I am trusting to be His.

Even as I’m being released from this long-cultivated, spiritually exhausting pattern, I’m also being invited to something new.  To learn a different way of hearing Him, of recognizing His guidance, of sensing His direction. 

So I wait.   My heart is craving for Him to continue this blessed uncovering, this welcome redirection, this new way I’ve longed for without even realizing it.

Hallelujah.

8 comments:

  1. I needed that today. Thank you.

    Lisa

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    1. Lisa, you are more than welcome . . . . I'm blessed that you landed here for a few minutes.

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  2. What a nice devotional. I pray God guides my fingers as I write, too. Without Him, there would be no inspiration.

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    1. So true! Thank you for visiting, and prayers that He'll lead you in your writing.

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  3. The power of confession. For seeing things as they really are. For TRUTH! Confession brings our cleansing and our healing. Hallelujah is right, Anne. Thank you for your confession. Our Father teaches us to confess our sins one to another and promises that if we do we will be healed! Why don't we do it more often? So I, your friend, hear your confession and smile knowing your healing has come.

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    1. Thanks sweet Eileen . . . . . Truth can be hard to get at sometimes, and hard to hold on to. Writing it out helps, I think.

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  4. I just wrote you a huge response and it vanished when I tried to publish it.... Yep, it was that good! =) So, since it's late, let me just say thank you for your authenticity and I will share my heart with you next time I see you! Love, Marisha

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  5. Marisha . . . oh, the mysteries of cyberspace! I will look forward to seeing you and hearing.

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