In case you didn’t know, there is a disease out there called Stinkin’ Thinkin’. (You need to say it with a southern accent) A lot of people suffer from this disease. I didn’t realize I had it until I started going through counseling and my counselor pointed it out to me. This disease distorts the way you look at everything. It had taken over my thoughts and was making the panic attacks much worse.
At this time in my life, I did not look at God as a father who longed to show me compassion and grace; a father who didn’t want to harm me, but wanted to give me hope and a future; a father who was faithful and kept his promises; a father who guided me from a heart of love; a father who would turn my darkness into light and make my rough places smooth; and a father who would satisfy my needs and give me strength.
I had a mental block looking at God with all those wonderful qualities. It was like my mind couldn’t absorb the truth about God. I cringed inside every time I thought God wasn’t happy with me. I did not want to be in trouble. It scared me to death to think that God would be mad at me!
I found the answer to my disease was to focus on the truth about God. I wrote this in my journal. “Because of my past experience, I have a tendency to dread or resent discipline. I have no idea what healthy discipline looks like. God, your word says your correction is fair and just. You correct me for my benefit. You desire to bring me to a place of deeper maturity and wisdom. You are compassionate and not destructive. You are slow to anger. You discipline from a heart of love. You are patient with me because you desire victory in my life. You want me to repent because it brings me closer to you, not to point out my mistakes or faults. You desire obedience from me for my sake. Your laws are for my good.”
After I wrote that entry, I was listening to Joni Eareckson Tada on the radio. She was talking about praying God’s word back to God and holding Him to it. I thought that “holding God to it” was such a bold thing to say and do. But, the more I thought about it, it made sense to me because God wanted me to expect Him to work in my life. So, I started praying Jeremiah 29:11 back to Him and I pictured Him talking to me. “For I know the plans I have for you, Laurie; plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I had to believe that God was for me and not against me so I prayed Romans 8:31b, “Lord, if you are for me, who can be against me?” I had to get it in my mind that God could take what had happened to me and turn it into something good. Joseph made a powerful statement to his brothers in Genesis 50:20. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” I was desperate to see that God would take all that had happened to me and turn it into something good.
There was a little girl inside me who was desperate and needed to see God as a caring and loving father. The only way she was going to be healed was to believe His word and claim it to be true. She needed to know she was safe and could share anything with Him. She knew that God was the only way she would be free from all the pain. It was very hard for her to talk to God.
From this point on in the journey, I am also going to be sharing what the little girl inside me had to go through to be healed. I don’t want you to think I had a split personality or anything. I didn’t. But my young self needed to process things with God. She developed a safe place with Him in my mind where she could go and talk to Him and He would speak truth back to her. That little girl was mad, confused and scared. She needed to speak and know that everything she had to say was going to be heard.
So, please hang in there with me. I hope what I share can help you look at God in a new light. Scripture played a huge part in my healing. I will be giving you a lot of scripture to explore. I encourage you to pray and personalize them back to God. He loves to hear from you!
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
Is.30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him.”
Is. 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Ps. 138:7 “Lord, even when I have trouble all around me, You will keep me alive. When my enemies are angry, You will reach down and save me by your power.”
Until next time fellow sojourners!