Hello, my name is Abigail Brown. I battle with thinking right thoughts about myself, God, and others. I have been consumed by these thoughts for years. I’ve been beating up myself with some of these thoughts year after tiring year.
• They have it easier.
• I’m not enough.
• Why does everything have to be so hard?
• Why me? Why now?
• Is God enough?
• What’s going to happen next?
• Is God even listening to my prayers?
• I’m not a good writer.
• I’m not a good artist.
• I’m a fake.
• I’m not that inspiring.
Now, looking at me, you may think I have a right to think some of these thoughts. But these thoughts, though, have made me prideful, jealous, and doubt God at times. These thoughts make me feel unworthy, unconfident, sick, and doubtful.
In December, my writing teacher and mentor, Nika Maples, reached out and asked me if I had ever considered hiring a Christian-based life coach to help me with my thoughts? I was hesitant about it at first but realized by the second session I had made the right decision. She has been helping me retrain my brain to think right thoughts. It has been a lot of work and there’s still more to do. I’m so thankful for Nika’s spiritual investment in my life.
On January 1st, I saw on Instagram that someone had shared in their story a fun way to choose a word for the year. All I had to do was take a random screenshot of one of the words that was scrolling through. So I took a screenshot and got the word, “Capture.”
Capture is a verb meaning, “take into one’s possession or control by force.”
The verse that came to my mind when I saw that word was 2 Corinthians 10:5: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” This verse doesn’t say, “only able-bodied people bring every thought captive….” No, ma’am or sir, it does not! I am not exempt from this command. The Lord desires me—a person with a disability—to become more like Him. I cannot do it on my own, though I may try (because I’m stubborn, I don’t know if you knew that). Yes, I have stumbled and gotten stuck in my head countless times, feeding myself lies—this month, even. It’s going to be a daily battle with Satan and a daily surrender to the Lord.
I’m so thankful that the Lord keeps molding and working in my life to make me what He desires me to be.
In January, I wrote this prayer.
I am not fully persuaded to You, but I desire to be. I want to believe I know You will give me the desires of my heart and answer my prayers and longings of my heart. I know Your timing is perfect and Your ways are higher. But Lord, teach me how to wait solely on You and trust in Your perfect timing in my life, as a single person. I give You my time, relationships, future husband, future house, finances, writing—I give it all, Lord! I surrender all. Remind me to look at this every day. Capture my heart and mind this year in a way I’ve never seen. You know me to my core and how sinful I am. Transform me into what You want and desire me to be. Give me a new perspective and show me what traits I need to work on most. I love you Lord!
Even though it has been only a couple of months, as I read this prayer today I can see how He is transforming and renewing my mind. I’m learning to see myself as a precious and valuable Child of God because He says I am.
• I am enough
• I am a valuable part of the Kingdom of God.
• I belong and have a purpose in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at this time.
• I am a good artist who creates affordable paintings and products for others.
• I am a good writer and am continuing to hone my talent for the Lord.
• I am being used by God in ways I may never know about.
• I am not going through this circumstance alone.
These are some of the many thoughts I’m learning to encourage myself with day by day. I have also found several Bible verses and songs to comfort me on the hardest days. Verses like Isaiah 43:1-3, Psalm 48:14, and Psalm 73:25-28, to name a few.
This past Wednesday night at my church, we sang this hymn called, “Teach Me Thy Way.” This time when we sang it, I noticed the second verse which says,
“When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!”
As I was humming along, not really paying attention to any of the other verses, the Lord halted my thinking and brought times of hours of loneliness to my mind. In those moments of loneliness He reminded me He’s an ever-present Father when I’ve had it with dystonia and I’m just weary of everything. He is in those moments bringing songs to my mind that I’ve listened to that day. He is so Faithful in those lonely moments when I think “is this really what the rest of my life is going to look like?”
I honestly was so blessed that night during the song service that I really couldn’t focus on anything else during the service but the second verse. That night I was so thankful the Lord used a familiar hymn to encourage my soul.
I know there are many voices that take hold of our minds. Social media. Netflix or any streaming outlet. Podcasts. Music. Family. Friends. Church. The list could go on. Right now for me, it’s obsessing about how many likes and comments I get on my blog and social media accounts. But the Lord has been probing and prodding me to really look at my why I write period. All I can say is it’s convicting and I am working through it. It’s not easy and I can’t get the victory in my own strength. The Lord is going to have to teach me and stretch me.
What has your thoughts captive?
In what way is the Lord stretching you?