Learning To Take My Thoughts Captive

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.

“Dear Jesus,

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!

Amen.”

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.

New sign I bought to help me focus on right things.

What has your thoughts captive?

In what way is the Lord stretching you?

10 thoughts on “Learning To Take My Thoughts Captive

  1. ebolticoff says:

    So thankful for your writing and how you choose to bring glory and honor to your Savior through every season!
    I loved this quote from Teach Me to Feel:Worshipping Through the Psalms in Every Season of Life about feeling worthless—
    God uses weakness to display his glory. He is not looking for people who think positive and tell themselves they’re great, but for those who are meek and know their need of him.
    Capturing my wrong thoughts is most definitely a battle I fight daily too. I’ll be praying for you in your daily fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • katieprewitt says:

      So thankful for your writing Abby you are a wonderful person and friend and a joy to watch you grow in Christ I’m glad to know you and to be a part of the same Chruch family as you. Keep on writing and never forget that you are a light for Christ to get to others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nanci Collier says:

    Abby! Sweet Abby! I guess we all need to look inside sometimes & examine our hearts. What holds me captive? Feeling I have no worth to anyone, feeling such loneliness after losing someone you’ve spent 50 years with, feeling I can’t find where I belong. But than I tell myself I need to have faith & put my trust in god. Tuesday’s daily bread hit home with psalm 73: 21-28 God is the true strength of our hearts. Love you sweet girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy Martin says:

    My mind obsesses over a difficult person in my life. For a time, it was night & day – my first thoughts in the morning, last thoughts at night, all day long & when I would wake up in the middle of the night. Taking the thoughts captive has been & continues to be a journey. I felt the disappointment of an unanswered prayer had shattered my faith, but as I sought answers from God, I realized it was my TRUST in Him & not my faith that had wavered. The book “If God is Good” which is loaded with scripture, an intense Bible study with a ladies group, and many of the Psalms have helped get my trust and my crazy mind back on track. It is tough to accept that the unanswered prayer is part of God’s plan and that Satan, not “that” person is the enemy. The thoughts & resentment still resurface but I find as I look at a list of 32 attributes of God, any one of them is enough to overcome what goes on in my head. Please know that your transparency is an inspiration and the written words you share inspire me and many others to take a deeper look inside to get to the source of our problems & address them from the inside out. Thank you for your openness & allowing others to “hear” the words you cannot speak! They are loud & clear AND beneficial. Don’t stop!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suzie Ohsfeldt says:

    Isn’t it just like our enemy to make us feel like we don’t have a purpose: that we are useless!?! I get so mad at myself when I fall for his lies!!
    You’re right Abbey, you do have value in God’s kingdom and a purpose where He has you planted right now. You have been given an amazing voice through your writing, and I’m so thankful that you are constantly working to make it better. Your paintings bring joy and inspiration to so many of us as well. These things challenge me to work at perfecting the gifts God has given me. You have the gift of encouragement, my dear, and it seems you are honing that gift too. I’m so thankful!!
    Thank you for sharing the hymn. I’ve actually never heard it before. What a wonderful reminder that He will teach me over, and over, and over in every area of my life. I struggle. I get confused. I forget. I defeat myself in my mind before I even get started. But, He will teach me what I need to learn,…or re-learn. 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
    I am grateful to you for your work in this ministry!! Love you❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stutully says:

    This is SO awesome Abigail !

    Bless you for allowing our Faithful Lord to turn your “scars” into “stars!”

    Love and prayers continue ♥️♥️♥️🙏🙏🙏

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brittany Davison says:

    Abigail! This is soooo good! Much needed! Your writing keeps getting better and better! You are such an encouragement to me and your story and life help me want to grow into a stronger Christian every day! We know that it’s just like the enemy to distract us and lead us down the path of wrong thinking… But our God is Stronger than that enemy! I’m thankful that the Lord shows us in His time what His purpose is for our life and where He desires for us to be used!
    Thank you for being such a blessing and encouragement! Love you! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynn Saint says:

    Dear, dear Abigail,

    I have read through your post a couple of times, already. Let me tell you, there is a lot to absorb here. So, I will share one little thing.

    Years ago, as we were about to lose our third birth child, Alyssa, my mind raced with “what ifs.” A pastor had come to stay with me at the hospital until my husband could get off work. To address my dilemma, Theo challenged me with 2 Corinthians 10:5.. . “Casting down vain imaginations…” Hearing the exhortation held my runaway thought horses. Those thoughts had grabbed my focus away from sinking into Him, which was all I could do, at the time.

    You have so much more, but I wanted to thank you for one thing you gave me. ♥️🙏♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kingvision1717 says:

    May GOD our FATHER provide every need during your daily realities…
    May the Good Shepherd lift up your countenance in the lowest of valleys…
    May the Holy Spirit encourage, comfort, and counsel you beyond any anxieties…

    I love your writing, your creativity, your honesty, your faith in HIM, your hope from HIM, and your love for HIM and others…

    -Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

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