If you are a human being, than you most likely have dealt with rejection at some point in your life. Some of my most vivid memories of rejection stem from break ups in my past, but they also come from family and friends. Rejection is this funny thing where you can do everything you can to avoid it, but eventually you find that the only place you are completely safe is with God.
As I wrote about in my recent blog post, it is hard to stop thinking about the way that someone has hurt you, and it is even harder to want good for their life. For a long time, redirecting my focus from memories of rejection to godly thoughts seemed impossible, and I began to believe that God was never going to set my mind free. I began to tell myself that I was on my own, and that God was never going to help me because He was mad at me for struggling with those thoughts in the first place. I would struggle day and night to think about things that were glorifying to God, but in just one moment of relaxation, those poisonous thoughts would pop up and distract me more than they had the previous time!
Over time, I noticed that inwardly I started to become a hard person. I found myself saying things that were cold and harsh, surprising the people closest to me. It took months for me to realize how much bitterness and unforgiveness had taken hold of my life, and even longer to learn that those sins entered in through my thoughts. As soon I recognized the connection between what I was thinking and how I was living, God encountered me.
It was one of those normal days where I ran errands after class. I hopped in my car and started the twenty minute drive to Wal-mart in silence (my preference when driving). Almost immediately, my thoughts began to wander to the people and hurts that had been in my life recently, and in that moment, I knew that I had had enough. I started yell praying in my car (if you have not done this before, you should try it), and telling God how frustrated I was with Him and with myself for not being able to control my thoughts. It was not until I stopped screaming that I finally heard a still small voice saying, “The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)” And in that moment, it all clicked.
The truth is that GOD is the stronghold of my mind… not someone else. If I could cling to the truth that God was not only willing to help me control my thoughts, but that in reality He is the stronghold (the one with all power) of my thought life, then my inner world would change!
I pulled into Wal-mart rejoicing over the revelation God gave me and repeating the verse to myself over and over again. And, in accordance with the funny ways that God works, as soon as I walked into Wal-mart, I saw the very person that I had been thinking about for the past few days... the very object of my bitterness and unforgiveness was standing right in front of me. In that amazing moment of God’s creative timing and my new understanding, I looked straight at that person and said to myself, “You are no longer going to haunt my mind. GOD is the stronghold of my mind and He can and will determine all the ways that I think!” I turned my eyes away from the person, breathed in true freedom, and moved on.
So what I want to share with you is this - thoughts are super hard to control, believe me, I know. But if you will meditate on and claim the truth that God is your stronghold, not the enemy, not any sin struggle, but GOD, you will experience radical change in your inner world.
- Bailey Meyne