Monday, October 4

I CAN change the way I feel.

Contributed by Grace

Read II Corinthians 10

When we got married, I thought that life would be easy. I was marrying my best friend. We madly in love with each other. We knew everything about each other (sarcasm added!).

Fast forward a few weeks and a new unwelcome feeling entered our home. I was hurt. Often. Mostly I felt unimportant to my husband. Every time he chose to go hang out with the guys, work late, or just wanted us to do something other than be with just me, I felt hurt. Unloved. Like I wasn't interesting enough for him. I was perfectly happy to spend all of my days curled up in his arms (okay, so maybe I still am!) and the thought that sometimes that was "boring" for him hurt my feelings.

I still wanted to be the best wife ever. After all, I had been ingrained with the philosophy of "You don't have to act the way you feel". A very sound and important way of thinking! However, there seems to be only so long you can go on acting one way when you feel very differently. When your heart feels like crying, there is only so long you can go on smiling. And the ugliness began to pour out. There were all the classics. The deep sigh. The pursed lips. The sullen face. While my lips might have said, "Sure Babe, go ahead. Have fun," my whole body was shouting "Go if you dare!".

"I can't change the way I feel," was my mantra. He hurt me. I felt hurt. I did my "best" not to act hurt, but there is only so much a body can do. These were not fun days. The poor husband was trying his best to balance loving his wife (who at times was/is a little difficult to understand) and living a life that is responsible. The wife in the meantime was taking every questionable action and turning it into, "He doesn't care about me. I'm hurt."

Then one day I heard a thought that literally transformed me. Many of you will laugh at the simplicity of this, but to this day it is the greatest tool that the Lord uses to shape my attitude as a wife. You CAN change the way you feel!

What?!? I don't believe it! Hadn't I spent countless hours willing myself to feel differently? It didn't work! When I was sad it didn't matter how much I said, "Be happy. Be happy. Be happy." I was still sad. But here was the secret: While it may be impossible very difficult to change the way you feel, our thoughts determine the way we feel. Don't believe it? I didn't either. So I had to test it out.

The Lord graciously provided the perfect opportunity that very night! David called that afternoon telling me what time he would be home for dinner, 6pm, adding that first he was going to stop by a friend's house to install his new truck radio. I was determined to think correctly. "I have a wonderful husband. He actually called to tell me when he would be home! Wow do I love him!" I set about preparing a wonderful dinner to welcome him home, feeling great.

6:00. Dinner was hot. Table was set. I was ready! No husband.

 6:30. The thoughts started bickering. "He's late. He doesn't care enough to pay attention to the time. Something must have come up that was outside of his control."

7:30. Dinner was cold. The thoughts were arguing by this time. "Why would he even bother to say he's coming home at a certain time if he's just going to ruin my plans? I'm so thankful for my man."

8:30. Dinner was in the refrigerator. The thoughts were in an all out brawl! "This is just like him! Everything else is more important than I am! My husband is a good man. My husband shows me that he loves me in many different ways."

9:00. He calls. "Hi Babe. I’m sorry. I can't believe this radio installation is taking so long. I really miss you and can't wait to get home.”

By the grace of God I was able to say with my whole heart, "That's okay! I'll heat dinner up whenever you get back. I hope that the radio works out for you and I can't wait to see you!"

Thankful and positive thoughts kept me company that night. And as 11:00 rolled around and my husband finally pulled in the driveway, I was ecstatic to see him, kiss him and serve him his reheated dinner. My heart was filled with love for this man who was five hours late. Believe me, it felt so much better than the hurt, loneliness and self-pity that I usually felt. Circumstances hadn't changed at all. But everything was different!

"We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

The Bible tells us that this is one of our greatest weapons with which we can demolish strongholds! Taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ.

I'm telling you now, this really and truly is the key that frees my heart from being consumed with my rights, my feelings and my disappointments. And let me stress, this is only by the grace of God. Why am I writing about this now? Because I could use the reminder! I can use this reminder every day. And this applies to so many areas of life for me. Whenever I feel unappreciated, annoyed, or hurt, I can almost always trace it back to my thought life and what I choose to dwell on. I fail. Embarrassingly often! But when I fail, I know what to do!

Grace is a devoted wife to her hard working man (she treats him like a king!) and mom to 4 girls under the age of 5. She keeps a personal blog and has generously agreed to share her writing and be a guest on Drops.

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