Friday, January 30, 2009

Counting Some Recent Blessings: Books! One In Particular

The original post would have been so long that I decided to break it up into smaller segments. You can find Part One here.

The books I ordered came in the mail on Wednesday! Hooray! Anyway, I started reading Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George right away because I’d like to catch up to the group before our next meeting a week from Sunday night. Can I tell you that I teared up after reading the first few chapters? I knew from sitting in on the group that it would be a good book, but I didn’t have a clue how much it was going to be a good book for me, personally. In fact, I had been kind of ‘ho-hum’ about reading it at first, but I wanted to join the study that meets at that time on Sunday evenings, and that’s what they were studying. But, friends, when I read those first few chapters, I said to myself, “ I had no idea this was what it was going to be about.” I told Drew that if for no other reason, this church and this group of women and this book may be why we’re here. Because in the first chapter, the author shares how this book grew out of what God taught her and what she learned about how to overcome her tendency toward depression. And as I read her story, I saw myself. I have been saying for a long time that I’m not really depressed, I just need to perk up and get on with things, but as I’ve been reading her discussion of how the Lord used His word to teach her to retrain sinful thinking patterns, I saw that my struggle with melancholy is linked to sinful thinking patterns and lies that I have bought into, too. And I also realized that a big thing that would help me to retrain my thinking in those areas was to be memorizing and thinking on God’s word. I had been working on some memory passages back before we moved that our AWANA leadership had been challenged to memorize and I really meant to continue that challenge even though we had left, but in all the hustle and bustle of moving I had forgotten about it. And as I read and thought about it, I remembered what a blessing it is when I’m actively working to memorize a passage of scripture, and how God does bring His word to my remembrance at all kinds of times as I’m focusing on it and thinking about what those verses mean. This is a key in replacing wrong thinking with the truth. And I had neglected this very important tool. I needed that reminder and gentle suggestion, because, as I mentioned a while back, I have been in a slump that was leading to the all too familiar brain fog and exhaustion that comes with it. So, I’m thanking God for using Elizabeth George to use God’s word to remind me to take every thought captive for Christ.

Stay tuned for further installments, but I need to take a break and go tend to the wonderful blessing that is my family for a while before I post the rest of this series....


Thelma said...

I am going to have to check out that book. I too lean towards depression at times. But that being said I am also going to make sure nothing physical is going on because I am 41 and I suspect I may be in premenopause are the early stages of menopause....due to my lack of energy, mood swings and at times depression so severe I have to struggle to function. Thank the LORD, He gave me my husband and kids to WANT to care for. But just the other day I had an aha moment when my children asked me "Mommy why dont we play anymore"? so sad and woke Mommy up!

I am starting to attend a Bible study for ladies. We are doing " A Woman's Heart" by Beth Moore

I too think I may blog some on this topic as God works on my heart and what He wants to do in it.

Rebekah said...

Hi, Thelma,

I hear you. She doesn't seem to be dealing with the kind of depression that may have a physical root, but more with what I would tend to call melancholy where you get caught up in wrong thinking and the spiral of those "what if" and "if only" thoughts and not thinking what is true about God, others or yourself. I'm convinced much of what we call depression is rooted right there and we need to make every thought captive to Christ. So, yes, sometimes there are physical things we need to look into and take care of for sure, we also need to guard our thoughts carefully and learn to think on what is true and real.

I know there are times when people need to seek out professional help, too. But the principles she is sharing are really helping me and are solid, biblically based principles for retraining our thinking, and it's exactly what I needed to hear.