How many times has your mind jumped to the worst possible solution when a problem arises? You notice pain in your stomach, and your first instinct is to go to Google, and it convinces you that you have some sort of cancer or major ailment? When your child wakes up with a fever, does your mind instantly go to the fact that they have the most rare form of an infection or virus? Or you look down and see you’ve missed a call from your boss, and your mind automatically goes to the fact that you must be in trouble for something?
If I’m being honest, this is me like 95% of the time. I constantly worry. I constantly stress. And I constantly let my mind trick me into things that my heart knows are not true. I’ve found that my mind finds peace in resting in what my flesh convinces me of. WHOA! HELLO! Can we just talk about how that is such a lie from Satan himself? But I’ve allowed myself to jump to those reactions time and time again, even knowing my God is bigger than all things.
Here is a recent example. Since becoming pregnant with baby #2 (still waiting to find out what this sweet babe is, so stay tuned!), it seems like it’s one thing after the next. I went to my first check up to find I was at risk for preeclampsia with this baby because I had it with my daughter. Oh, and then to get a phone call a couple days later to tell me I had some sort of infection. I had never even heard of this type of infection, so I went on this downhill spiral of searching the web, which convinced me I was either going to miscarry my baby or go into preterm labor. I battled with this infection for weeks before we could finally get it all cleared up just in time for another check up—where they found my blood pressure was elevated. GREAT! “Here we go again,” I thought to myself. The doctor I saw at this appointment was not my regular doctor and really provided no answers to the questions at that moment. And this, AGAIN, lead me on another downward spiral of thinking that I would probably spend months on bed rest with preeclampsia or have to be induced even earlier with the potential of having a preemie baby.
Can y’all see it? Can you see my pattern to run to every other fleshly solution, misjudgment, or non-truth I could think of? Oh my gosh, how I must have grieved the heart of God by running to the things of this world rather than leaning into his Word and relying on my faith in Him to cover me. See, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:6-7, “The mind of sinful man is DEATH, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and PEACE; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (NIV). I don’t know about anyone else, but if given the choice between DEATH or life and PEACE, I’d totally choose the PEACE part.
I tell you all of that so I can share the really cool journey God has been taking me on since I was able to recognize this really unhealthy pattern.
Cool thing #1. About a month before all of this pregnancy drama started to unfold, some dear friends of mine really encouraged me to start reading more books. I’ve never really enjoyed it but have always seen the importance behind it. Anyways, they recommended the book “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. I had heard the name before, didn’t know much about her story, but I thought, “Sure, I’ll give it a shot.” Long story short, I zipped through the book and literally loved every single page of it. Corrie ten Boom is really a hero of the faith and has left a long legacy of how her faith has changed the world. Here’s a little background on her for context: Corrie and her family were responsible for housing and working with many, many Jews during the Holocaust in Holland. One day, they were caught, and Corrie was sent on a journey of being at various different concentration camps before “accidentally” being released before all the women her age were executed at that concentration camp. Her book beautifully depicts the kind of faith any of us would want to have. Some of the most grueling moments of her life weren’t spent wallowing in what a desperate position she was in, but instead, her eyes and thoughts were always on Heaven above. She loved the Lord with all of her heart and spent her life making His name famous. Her story really inspired and touched me. I thought to myself time and time again, “If she can figure out how to turn to God in her darkest moments, well then, surely I should be able to do the same instead of allowing my mind to go to dark places.”
And from there, my mind has begun to return to Heavenly things. I’m nowhere near perfect. I guarantee I will mess up again and go back to my old ways of allowing the battle for my mind to be won by dark thoughts. But if you were to ask me, “Callie, what’s the answer? What can I do instead of turning to those dark places?” I’d tell you this one word that the Lord so clearly showed me…“overflow.”
Cool thing #2. The word “overflow.” I know so clearly it came from the Lord, and let me tell you, it hit my heart like a ton of bricks. And for a while, I just marinated in that word, trying to figure out what God was trying to teach me. This is what the Lord ministered to my heart: If I fill myself full to overflowing with Him and His Word, then, when trouble arises, what spills out of me is His goodness, His promises, and His comfort. You see, you spill out of you what you fill yourself with. So if I spend my time filling my mind full of what the Internet tells me in a time of trouble, then anxiety and stress spill out of me. But if I fill myself full of God and His goodness, when trouble arises, what spews out of me is faith, peace, and truth.
So now, instead of filling my head with the nonsense the world wants to sell me, I try to fill myself with God. Filling myself to have overflow means to me that I have to read my Bible to know of His unrelenting love for me. It also means praying and spending time in His presence soaking up what He wants to speak to me. And spending time in worship remembering all the things He has brought me through and how He’s never forsaken me. He is so plentiful and so satisfying. And when I’m filled with Him, I have no need to search for answers elsewhere.
I challenge you all reading this to be children of God who live out of the overflow of what He has filled you with. Let’s be people who are so rooted in His Word that we can’t be shaken when the bad news comes. Let us be a people who have hearts so full of encouragement for others when they need refuge from their dark places. Let’s be people who don’t let the battle for our minds rage but, instead, stand on the steadfast and truthful Word of God. Life and peace come in the place of overflow!