When Thoughts Run Amok

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When Thoughts Run Amok

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When Thoughts Run Amok

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Sitting on the floor with my 2-year-old son, I was supposed to be playing the color game.  

Red square, blue circle, green triangle—it was all blurring together. I wasn’t really there in the moment with him, and he could tell. 

We have to tackle our fears, and our God is the strongest and, frankly, only defense. We just need to put Him on the field. 

I was lost in my thoughts, thoughts of fear, of pain, of helplessness, of impossibility, of the upcoming labor for our second child. At 36 weeks pregnant, the dreaded pains of labor are often not far from your mind. 

“Mama!”  

My son tries to draw me back to the game at hand. I was clearly not the attentive mother he was used to. But there I was indulging in these thoughts, thoughts that weren’t positive, thoughts that were almost paralyzing. They were very much a “woe-is-me” mentality, but I was making no effort to stop them at all. In fact, I was telling myself that it’s natural and logical for a mom to fear these things, to dwell on these things. 

So, I continued sitting there in fear until I was getting to the point of tears. My husband asked me what was wrong, and I said I was scared. I told him why.  

He tried to soothe me. “You’ll be fine. There’s nothing to fear. God will see you through.” I wasn’t having it. I had a right to be scared, and I was going to sit in my fear no matter what.  

As I wallowed in this destructive cycle I truly started to believe I wasn’t going to be able to do this for a second time. All the classes and preparation I had been doing to make for smooth labor were suddenly for naught, because I Could. Not. Do. It.  

Finally, my husband used some tough love, which I sometimes need.

“Get control of your thoughts!” he told me firmly. He said dwelling on this, letting your mind imagine the worst, is not what you’re supposed to be doing right now.  

My immediate response was, well that’s not helpful. But after some thought, I realized he was exactly right. I was lost in myself, focused on only myself and my woes, feeling incredibly defeated. 

Why did I want to stay in that state of mind? Why would I want to fight to feel helpless? 

Sometimes we let negative thoughts get the best of us instead of letting the best of us—Christ in us—quell the negativity our brains often perpetuate. 

So, I said a prayer. 

That was the start of my turn around. After, I dove into the Bible and read every Scripture I could about fear and thoughts. 

I started with 2 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
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, where we are told to bring every thought into captivity. Our thoughts shape how we feel and how we behave. But on our own, our thoughts can take over all sound logic. How do we do this? How do we capture these negative thoughts and get past it? 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). 

We have to tackle our fears, and our God is the strongest and, frankly, only defense. We just need to put Him on the field. 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous hand” (Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41:10Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
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). 

The best in us, as I said, is Christ, through God’s Holy Spirit. We have to use it. It is the greatest weapon in our arsenal against bad thoughts, against sin in general.  

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
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). 

My brain was telling me I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle the pain of labor a second time. And, really, left to my thoughts apart from God, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

But God, He can handle my pain. He can carry that burden. He can strengthen me when on my own I am weak, if I count on Him, if I turn to Him. 

He can do the same for all of us.  

So, as we go about our day, our week, month and year, we can take great solace in that we are God’s, and God will lift us up. He will rescue us. He is with us wherever we go (Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 43:1But now thus said the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine.
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; 1 Peter 5:6-7 1 Peter 5:6-7 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.
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; Isaiah 35:4 Isaiah 35:4Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.
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; Deuteronomy 31:6 Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
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). 

We just need to let Him.