The last couple weeks have been emotionally challenging for me. And maybe physically. And spiritually. Definitely relationally. Heck, it's just been rough.
My kids were sharing my computer for schoolwork so I had minimal access to it for writing. I had some ideas for the blog but couldn't quite form a solid thought out of the clutter in my head. On days when the computer was available, my emotions were dragging the bottom of the barrel. What gives? I tried to self-assess a little. Let me see... no routine. No accountability. No socialization. No goals. No structure. Yep, that could be part of it.
But why am I also struggling with insecurity? Doubts? Lack of motivation? Self-shaming? I thought I had worked through some of those issues. Why are they back? Maybe I need more endorphins. I'm not exercising as consistently as usual, and that's always been important for me. A schedule would also help. Maybe some micro-steps toward a goal. Planned times to pray and connect via phone or video. Yes, all those things could be what I need.
But still not quite enough.
Let me tell you a story. The other day, Chad was looking for his phone. He thought he left it on a chair in our study where he had been sitting earlier in the afternoon. It buzzed while he was searching, so he started pulling off the cushion and turning the chair over in search of it. After several minutes of frustration, I alarmed his phone from mine. And there it was - right in his back pocket. He had it all along but he wasn't fully aware of its presence. The next morning, I sat in the same chair in our study, sharing my turmoil with the girls who hold me accountable. A few minutes later, as I opened my bible, God asked me about my helmet. What helmet? You know, the helmet of salvation - part of our spiritual armor. I thought I had it on, God. But he said, Maybe it's in your back pocket. Hmmm. Maybe it is.
We think of salvation as being a one-time event. As in, I consciously acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of my life and I receive salvation. Done. Helmet on. But that's not the end of its benefit. The purpose of the helmet is to protect my mind from spiritual attack by the enemy. And guarding my mind is an ongoing battle - not a one time event. So I have to keep that helmet on. Knowing I am a child of God yesterday does not mean I will live like that today. Last week's thinking on things that are true and excellent does not carry into this week. Just because I captured the negative thoughts and lies in my mind in times past does not mean I am doing that now.
Somewhere along the way, I had begun carrying my helmet around in my back pocket but not putting it on my head. My mind was exposed. The enemy was attacking my thinking and, as one thought led to another, my emotions and actions were also affected. After all, my mind is the control center for my soul just as my brain is the control center for my body. And my soul was being profoundly affected by the thoughts in my head.
So I have been working this week on keeping my helmet on. Reminding myself of who I am in Christ. Taking captive every thought. Not rehearsing the negative ones, but actively replacing them with the truths of God. And sharing them out loud with someone who can help me dismantle them.
My identity in Christ is found in my helmet of salvation.
I am tenderly loved by God (Jeremiah 31:3).
I am Christ's ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am chosen by God to bear fruit (John 15:16).
I am one of God's living stones, being built up into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
I am God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18).
I have access to God's wisdom (James 1:5).
Whatever God calls me to, I can do it through Christ, who gives me the strength I need (Philippians 4:13).