“Help, I’ve been taken hostage!”
“By what?” you may ask.
By my negative thoughts, fears, anxieties and the like. By my mind, yes, my very own mind.
Well, it’s time for me to be honest about this, to confront it and put it to rest.
Here’s what I’m talking about. I’m learning something about myself and my mind. You see, I love my mind. It is what guides my creativity, which is ultimately a gift from God. However, there are times when I don’t love it so much, like when I allow it to take me down to the depths of despair, worry, anxiety and fear.
I have come to understand that it is like two sides of the same coin or like a pendulum swinging in different directions. By that I mean: the same traits that enable me to be creative or see things differently by thinking WAY outside the box are the same traits that enable my mind to go WAY to the “nth” degree of negative possibility even when the least little worry enters my mind.
Recently, I went through an extremely challenging time of my life in which I became consumed with worry and anxiety. Worry about the bills, worry about the future, anxiety over the decision I had made to leave my full-time job to pursue a career in music and writing. Internally, my mind was confused and desparate, but outwardly I couldn’t really express to anyone exactly what was going on inside. So I literally shut down. I wasn’t communicating, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I wasn’t doing anything.
My mind was like that spinning circle on my very slow computer–you know the one that spins endlessly because you have too many windows open and have clicked on the screen 100 times, so the computer is still sorting through the mess before it takes the next step.
Nothing was getting done. And the more outside influences that were tapping on the screen of my mind, and the more I tried to analyze the situation with my own junk cluttering the screen, the slower and more confused my mind became, leaving me in a pile of frustration and despair. I couldn’t see my way out. I couldn’t remember that God is the one who supplies all my needs, so there is no need to worry. (Philippians 4:19; Luke 12:26-28; Matthew 6:33-34).
Let’s be honest–have you ever been there?
Some think that as people of faith, we don’t go through such “head” aches, that we don’t experience such things. But that’s not true for everyone. Now, I am not saying that we can’t overcome such things in our lives, but sometimes that is more than just a notion. It can be a journey, a very hard road.
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave me stuck there on that road, and neither will He leave you when you have days that you become a victim of your own mind. Now you may not experience this “victimhood” in quite the same way that I do, but no doubt you have had your mind try to outweigh your faith in God and what He can do. Through it all, though, you will come to know that God’s mercy is there for you no matter what your situation is, no matter how challenging or impossible it may seem.
Your mind can never be as big as or more powerful than the mind of God, so may you know with assurance that God’s mercy is there, was there, and will always be there for you. He is forever faithful and always provides for you, day after day, as you will hear in the song that I would like to leave you with today.
The song is “Great is Your Mercy,” Donnie McClurkin; Album: Live in London, 2000, Verity Records (now RCA Inspiration), Sony Music Entertainment. The words are simple yet powerful, and their repetition throughout the song gives consistency and emphasis to the message that God’s mercy and His grace are truly great to experience.
It starts with one voice, Donnie’s, singing slowly and soulfully, “Great is your mercy towards me, your lovingkindness towards me … ” and as the song progresses, several extraordinary voices take turns at repeating the soothing lyrics.
Psalm 86:13 says “For great is thy mercy toward me; and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest pit.”
Ahh yes, a much needed comfort, a reminder of how much God loves me. I also discovered Psalm 145:8-9 (AMP), which says, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and lovingkindness, the Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are all over His works (the entirety of things created)” and Psalm 25:6 (KJV), “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.”
Yes, great is His mercy indeed.
Today, I pray that if your mind threatens to attack you and tries to separate you from hearing God’s voice and knowing His love, that you fight back along with me in saying “I will no longer be a victim of my mind. I will no longer let my mind convince me that God doesn’t love me, care about me, or hear me.”
Take authority, seek God’s face and He will surely show Himself to be your strong tower, your defense and the compassionate lover of you–body, soul and mind!
Great is Your Mercy, Donnie McClurkin, Live in London, 2000, Verity Records, (now RCA Inspiration), Sony Music Entertainment
When has your mind taken you hostage? How did you fight for your freedom?
This is an awesome post / testimony. Sharon Johnson’s words are so powerful, they jump off the screen! Many of us, if we are honest, will admit that we’ve allowed negative thoughts to camp out in our head, bringing chaos and holding our peace hostage. As Ms. Johnson writes so eloquently, there IS a way out. Our faith, as well as God’s grace and mercy, can release us from this bondage. Thank you for this reminder.
Amen! Bless you, and praise be to God for His grace and mercy.
This is particularly timely for me. Though I didn’t read your post a few days late, it was posted art just the right time. I am not by nature a worrier. But I am going through a very uncertain and worrisome season.
I could recognizer out for what it was, but I couldn’t seem to” snap out of it.” All I could do was confess it, and ask God to deliver me from the bondage of worry, until He delivers me from the situation. Worry is just one more tool in the enemy’s toolbox.
Thanks for another great reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Amen! Know that He will always, ALWAYSsee you through. May you be abundantly blessed.
I wrote this article around this same time last year. Now I am going through a similar situation this year–almost for the same reasons and circumstances. So I needed to come back and re-visit this post. I am still in the midst of the worries, doubts and fears right now, so I know I have more praying to do about it–I am not yet totally FREE–but this article was a great reminder to myself! Praise God!