Do you ever just have a thought (or multiple) spiraling in your head and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get it out? Maybe it’s a worrisome thought, or a frightening thought, or a memory that you can’t seem to get past. Something that is so deeply rooted in your brain, that even when this thought isn’t the prominent thing you’re thinking, it’s still always in the back of your mind.
For the past few weeks, I’ve found myself stuck in one of these “mind rutts”, as I like to call them. I’ve had one certain thought spinning around in my head and no matter how hard I try (on my own), my mind won’t slow down. This single thought (which eventually snowballs into something bigger than what it actually is) can end up affecting everything I do – my words, my actions, my attitude, and even my relationship with the Lord if I’m not bring what’s on my heart to Him.
To put it in a scenario for you, it’s almost as if there’s a grumpy old man living in my head, slamming his fist against the walls of my brain, and doing absolutely everything in his power to get my attention, drive me crazy, and ruin my day. This has been my thought life for the past two weeks and, needless to say, it has not been joyous and uplifting (until recently, but we’ll get to that later).
97% of the time that I spent listening to that old man in my head create so much commotion and noise, I’d felt an incredibly heavy weight on my shoulders. I’d felt guilty, as if I had failed God. As if I had failed to be the kind of Christian that I was “supposed” to be. I kept thinking, “if I had the proper faith in God, this would not be happening. I would not be struggling so hard to control my thoughts, and they definitely wouldn’t be controlling me.” I began to wonder what I was doing wrong, where I first went wrong, and how to make it all go away. No matter how much I worried about it though, the thoughts never stopped.
I want to clarify, it’s not that these thoughts were bad; that wasn’t the problem I was having. They weren’t corrupting or sinful, but they weren’t things that I didn’t need to obsess so much over either. They were things that I needed to leave at the foot of the cross because ultimately, no matter how hard I thought about them or worried about them, I was still not in control of the situation and I still never will be. The thoughts revolving so relentlessly around in my mind weren’t evil or carnal, but rather, they were repetitive, anxious, and spiritually draining.
I’m speaking in past tense as if I’ve found a solution (which I have – stay tuned, we’ll get there eventually) and am 100% out of my rut, but I’m not. That grumpy old man is still very much in my head, he’s just been a bit quieter lately than he normally has been – and why He’s been so quiet is what I want to share with you today.
Honestly, I have been in and out of feeling God’s peace in my mind over this whole hurricane going on inside of me. I spent time with the Lord talking it over, pouring my heart out to Him and just begging Him for peace of mind, and He would be instant to give it to me. However, I found myself waking up the next morning with the very same unsettling feeling and state of mind that I was in before. This made me feel like even more of a failure, because I knew I had faith and trust in the Lord, but apparently it wasn’t as steadfast as it needed to be.
But laying in my bed one night as I was talking with the Lord, I came to a realization (through His grace showing it to me, not by anything I had done) that I had to jot down before I went to sleep. I knew if I didn’t, I’d forget everything He’d said to me and the way that He said it. He’d worded it just so beautifully, I knew I couldn’t come up with anything better on my own if I tried.
God revealed to me that while all of this nonsense had been going on in my head, there wasn’t a moment that went by when He was not there with me. He helped me see that in the moments when my restless soul became still and my hectic thoughts would grow silent, He’d been filling me with the peace that can only come from Him. He assured me, “I’ve heard your prayers. I’ve been with you this whole time.”
Hearing and knowing this in my heart brought me a sense of comfort I hadn’t felt at all since this particular season in my life started, and it warmed my heart. What He said next though took me by surprise. I’ll be honest; my ears were open, but I’m not totally sure I wanted to listen.
He told me that while yes, He’d given me wonderful peace in those times, there were still those moments when I was burdened by my thoughts, and those were the moments when my soul would reject that peace that He was sending me. He told me, “in those moments, you didn’t want it.”
Obviously my first initial response was, “…huh?” I’d spent so much time praying over this whole thing, reading God’s word, and contemplating why everything was happening the way that it was – was He serious? I thought He’d said He’d heard my prayers? If He had heard them, surely He knew that I wanted His peace?
Then he continued, “let me finish.” He said, “you wanted comfort, but you wanted control. You wanted peace of mind, but you wanted to be in charge as well. You were trying to hold yourself together, while asking me to hold you up. You can’t rely on your own strength – you will fail. You will fall, and you will crumble, because you will have no foundation. Build a foundation on my word, and seek your help entirely from me, and you will find peace, strength, and comfort like you’ve never known before.”
Needless to say, I felt like someone had just shined a light in the darkest parts of what I’d been feeling… because He did. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The more I understood why I’d been struggling to have a steady amount of true peace in my heart. The more I understood why I would fail miserably every time I would attempt to “fix” was was going on inside of my head (and my heart).
God had been giving me peace the entire time. The whole time I was dealing with this grumpy old man in my head, He was reaching out to me with open arms, just waiting for me to fall at His feet and give Him all of my troubles. But I can’t pick up the peace of God if I don’t let go of the other things that I’m holding onto so tightly, and leave them at the foot of the cross. I only have two arms. But I’m learning more and more everyday that God can carry it all. Even me, if I’ll let him. He is bigger than the tornadoes that cause havoc in my mind.
When He brought these things to my attention, I felt conviction in my soul, but He also reminded me of one other thing: that I am human. He told me that while He wanted me to strive more and more each day to be closer to Him, He knew I wasn’t ever going to be perfect. He knew that before I did.
He said, “even on the days when you wake up with a hurricane raging inside of your head, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed me, or that I’ve failed you. It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with you – it means you’re human. It’s in your nature to make mistakes, and has been ever since Adam and Eve, but that is why you need to cleave so tightly to me.”
He helped me remember that I’m a soul that lives inside of an earthly body, which is subject to all kinds of changes. To all kinds of highs and lows. To all kinds of emotions and thoughts that oftentimes, I can’t control. I’ve been told before that we can control our thoughts, but without Jesus, I, personally, am much too stubborn to listen to myself. I’m still learning how to listen to God.
As humans, we’re going to make mistakes every day. As we get closer to the Lord, I believe those mistakes will lessen, but until we enter into God’s kingdom, and as long as we’re living on this earth inside of this fleshly body, we will be prone to mistakes. That is inevitable and unavoidable. The only man to ever walk this earth and not make a mistake was Jesus – and we certainly not Jesus.
I will throw this out there while I’m already here though: if I go back into something willingly, knowing that it’s wrong and that it’s against the will of God, then I will be in trouble. There is something wrong if I find myself in that situation. For example, if I’m tempted to go somewhere that the Holy Spirit would not be, and I’m fully aware that God’s directing me away from this place, but I ignore His instructions and go there anyway, I’m in a very dangerous position. That would not only show that I’m making the wrong decisions, but that my priorities aren’t in the right place. It proves that my priority isn’t God and His will, but me and my own. It says that I’m far too concerned about my feelings and emotions, rather than what God says I should do, to care about doing the right thing.
Y’all, I don’t have my life figured out. I am not perfect and will be the first to tell you that yes, I do make mistakes every day. I’m not proud of that by any means, but God is good, and if that’s all you take from this, I’m okay with that. My purpose here isn’t to get tons of likes and follows – it is purely to spread God’s light. Anything else would be pointless.
Like I said earlier, that grumpy old man is still very much stuck in my head, but God is bringing me through it day-by-day. He gives me peace even though I do make mistakes. Even though I fail, He still loves me, and shows me His mercy and grace again and again each morning. And I know He cares about you too – He cares about each of us on this earth very deeply.
I kinda feel like this post was a bit all over the place, but I suppose that matches who I am as a person sometimes, so it sort of fits. I’m not sharing all of this with you to say, “hey, look at me, I’m so important that God speaks to me.” Friends, God can speak to anyone – and we are all equally important and valuable. I’m not sharing this to put myself on a pedestal, or to make people feel sorry for me. That is the last thing that I want.
I’m sharing this with you because maybe you’re going through something, and you could really use some encouragement. Maybe you could hear a good, motivational story. Maybe you could use someone letting you know that no matter what you’re going through, or what’s going on in your head, you are not alone. You are not on your own and you are not invisible. You are seen, you are heard, and you are loved far beyond anything that anyone could ever type on a computer screen, by a God who created the universe. I hope and pray that you know that in the deepest parts of who you are, and that you never forget it.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:Psalms 146:3-6 KJV
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave a comment or send me a private message! I’d love to chat with you, and I’m always open to POSITIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE discussion. I hope you’re staying safe and healthy through all of the madness going on in the world right now! Much love, friends!
Jesus Loves You
4 Replies to “Spiritually-Draining Thoughts and What God is Teaching Me Through Them”
Your amazing and your enough! Christ created you in his image so that you could shine your light daily for all around you and I’m so thankful I’m one of those around you daily. Love you lots!
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This is such a positive and encouraging message. Thank you for sharing it and reminding me that we can’t do it alone; we have to hand it over to God.
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Wow this is an amazing post, I love it!
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Aww, thank you so much! I really appreciate that!