“Empathy isn’t just remembering to say that must be really hard—it’s figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can be seen at all. Empathy isn’t just listening, It’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination.”
I wrote recently (not on this blog, but privately) about how I’ve spent the last few weeks “decorating” my mind- hanging Scripture on the walls, cleaning out lies, brushing away the dust from memories and experiences that need to be processed, turning on lights.
It’s necessary, this interior decorating process I’m undergoing. I need my thoughts to know that it’s okay if they trail away from the things of heaven, that it’s okay if my mind wants to turn over and ponder the things of this world–the circumstances of my life and the contents of my heart–but that those thoughts will have to submit to what is already there. What is True.
If I don’t fill my brain with Truth, if I let myself take in this world through human eyes rather than the eyes of the Lord, I will believe lies. I will fall victim to defeat and hopelessness. That’s just the way it is. We have to be vigilant about what thoughts we allow. We have to remain tender-hearted so that we can quickly be alerted when our hearts are receiving messages from our brain that aren’t scriptural or life-giving.
But when I fill my mind with Truth, I am protected. Because no matter what I think, no matter what I feel, no matter what I experience, my God is bigger and truer than that. And He says not to fear, that He has a good plan for our lives.
And when my mind starts to wonder if so-and-so loves me, when my mind starts to question my worth or value as it tends to do, I remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
He would love nothing more than to undermine the good work God is doing in my life. He’d love for me to take inventory of the hurts in my heart and use them as evidence against the God (and people!) who loves me.
And it’s easy to unintentionally give him permission to do just that. The battle really is in our minds. And if we fail to “take captive every thought”, he will come and infect our brains (and eventually our hearts) like a cancer, until we’re so caught up in hopelessness and pain that it’s all we can see- it has become our new reality. We start living from an earthly perspective, forgetting that we are children of the King of kings and that it is our birthright to be victorious and to have life abundant.
God isn’t the author of hopelessness!
Isn’t that incredible news!? No matter what your life looks like, no matter how painful this season currently is, if you have even a hint of hopelessness residing within you, that is a lie from the pit of hell!
And oh, how much easier it is to get through our painful seasons when we have hope!
And so I am decorating my mind with Truth, with the things of heaven. And I am trusting that in doing that, chains will be broken. Freedom will be won.
In Beth Moore’s book, Breaking Free, she says that the reason God doesn’t come with a magic wand to clear away all our sorrows is because we have to undergo a purifying and renewing of the mind. We have to learn to stand firm in Truth and battle against the powers of darkness or else we will continue to live in that cycle of falling victim to despair and hopelessness.
We are called to walk in His power and authority and truth, and we will never learn to do that if He doesn’t force us to, in fact, walk.
And she says that it’s not enough to dispel lies- that unless we replace the lies with Truth, they will just keep coming back.
And the interior decorator in my brain was pleased to hear that she was on point in her decorating vision. Buy more frames, little interior decorator- we’ve got more scriptures to hang.
And now, before signing off, here are some unrelated Links Worth Sharing:
“This coup the enemy has staged against my heart is not unique to me. Because he’s a thief, he’s probably stealing something from you right now. Check your pockets.”