4. Confessions of a Thought Addict

Hi. I’m Deborah. And I’m a thought addict.

I’ve been one all my life.

When I was little, out of nowhere I’d imagine horrible things happening, maybe to my parents or sisters.

Immediately I’d stop everything, give these thoughts my full attention, and end up crying grievously into my stuffed animals. I probably was supposed to be cleaning my room…

Guys. This still happens to me. And I’m thirty-seven.

Words that were said to me, mistakes I have made, hypothetical conversations, and potential catastrophes all pop into my head at random.

Unchecked, these thoughts have the potential to completely wreck me. They play over and over again like a propaganda video telling me lies about myself and about the world around me.

I’ve had to come to terms with how my brain works. I am a churner.

I will be forever mulling over something; so I need to pour in truth.

But here’s the thing: a small trickle of truth every now and then simply doesn’t cut it for me. I need a fire hose to flush all the nonsense out. And you might too.

Let’s talk about the Bible for a moment

I authentically cannot go any further without telling you this:

Over every other thing I will write about in this blog, flooding my mind with God’s word has been the most important habit I’ve developed.

There was a time in my life when I specifically avoided reading the Bible. I was angry at God. My insides would twist in a knot at the word “devotions” and I wanted nothing to do with the box-checking Christian life.

But this isn’t about checking a box. It’s not about being a “good” Christian, or feeling like a winner or a failure.

I need to replace the rhetoric in my brain. I need to meditate on things that are true and let them sink down deep. I need to measure the truth of my thoughts by lining them up with what God says. His word is my gauge. Not our society, not the opinions of others, not my inner critic.

Saying we are in God’s hands doesn’t bring us peace if we don’t understand who God is, what He is like, and how secure we are in His hands.

We need to read the story of mankind, how crooked and prone to wander we are. Read about God’s faithfulness and mercy and righteousness and justice played out over the span of centuries. How He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Understand our place in the story.

And we’re going to need to re-understand it again tomorrow.

When we consistently, repeatedly get God’s word inside of our hearts we have something to meditate on instead of our worries and fears. It starts to change us in ways we never thought possible.

some Nitty-Gritty Questions

What if you’re not sure that the Bible is true?

My advice? Start here:  Do you know what it says? Don’t base your opinion on what you have vaguely heard from others. See for yourself.

Read it. Study it. Wrestle with it.

At worst, it’s just a book. At best, it’s the record of a Divine Being’s interaction with mankind across thousands of years; its words give meaning and hope to our existence and point to a story much greater than ourselves. Either way, what do you have to lose?

What does doing this look like?

I used to think that if I was reading the Bible correctly, I would have some sort of deeply spiritual moment with every encounter. Or at least an emotional experience.

I’m not saying you won’t. But that’s not the point.

We are aligning our habits to reflect what we believe. We are flushing out the nonsense and learning to live in a posture of dependence.

My advice: Look at the natural rhythm of your day and give reading God’s word a place. Give it a chance to become a habit in your life. You will never regret it.

What difference does it make?

I’ve developed a healthy taste for truth and my thought addiction has shifted its focus.

Do I still have nonsense pop into my head? Yes. But I have enough truth already residing there that those thoughts don’t have the same space to take root.

I can’t tell you it’s not a struggle. In fact, when you first start introducing true thoughts into your mental ecosystem it will feel like an absolute battle zone.

But God is so faithful. He speaks to us through His word in ways our hearts desperately need to hear.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31

Now out of nowhere, glorious thoughts pop into my head.

Washing the dishes can end in tears of worship and gratitude, rather than the tears of anxiety, envy, and self-pity that come from mulling over lies.

Living my life connected with God’s word means that when hard moments come (as they do) I have a familiar, well-worn path to the truth, allowing the presence and knowledge of God to fill me and hold me steady.

6 thoughts on “4. Confessions of a Thought Addict

  1. I love this post roomie! So speaks to me in this season and I as you well know am also a churner. The Lord’s in the process of healing my mind from from pretty severe anxiety I’ve developed over the last two yrs. Getting back into a discipline of pouring truth daily into my life has been a struggle, so I needed to read this one.❤️

    Like

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