Kayse of Finding Hope and I are continuing to read through Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued and checking in every Thursday on our progress and what we are learning. This week we discuss Chapter 2.
“I’m Not a Freak-out Woman” is how Lysa titles Chapter 2 of Unglued. Who is not a freak out woman from time to time? I certainly don’t like to believe that I am prone to freak outs, but given the right circumstance or better yet, the not-so-right circumstances, I will have a melt-down and spew ugly everywhere, without even pausing to save face. Lysa shares a story about her computer crashing and her subsequent melt-down. She let the circumstance get the best of her emotions. However, God ended up using this bad circumstance for her good in another related bad circumstance later on. The fact that her computer had crashed ended up being a blessing in disguise, which ended up changing her perspective on the matter.
I’ve found that your perspective changes everything. Lysa even says that it “is a key to not coming unglued.”
Perspective doesn’t just help me see the current circumstance I’m facing from a new vantage point – it also helps me process future things I face in a calmer, more grounded way. It helps me develop a new way of thinking. And this isn’t just some theory I’ve observed in my life. It’s actually the way God wired us.
Did you know that if you continue to think the same thought over and over again a memory trace is formed? The more you repeat the thought, the deeper you form and embed a pattern of thought. Furthering that, when an emotion is tied to the thought, “the memory trace grows exponentially stronger”!
For example, when I would let my children’s behavior get the best of me, and I thought, “I am a bad mom,” I was forming a memory trace tied to the emotions of guilt, anger, etc. By doing that, I was perpetuating a vicious cycle and actually making myself believe that I was actually a bad mom. See how I enslaved myself? The mind is meant to work that way. Hmmm. All of the sudden verses like
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Ro 12:2
“Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Co 10:5
take on a completely different meaning. There is a specific reason God intends for us to retrain our thoughts. I know that when I was continually thinking to myself, “I am a bad mom,” I had to learn to retrain my mind to think new things. While it may have felt true to me that I was “bad,” I gave myself new thoughts by using Scripture memory and the Word of God to think about things I knew to be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). When I know that I can change my thought pattern
“I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.”
I love how Lysa goes to Scripture to talk about a man who did face something out of his control without getting out of control – Joshua facing the walls of Jericho. Oh to be Joshua, can you imagine? How many of us have faced those same giant walls only to feel a little (or really a lot, if we are real) of doubt, fear, insecurity, and distrust? Often the greatest obstacle we face is believing that we are not alone.
When we realize that we are on God’s side, well, we have a force and power behind us that cannot be shaken, that is if only we will believe. One of the biggest tools I take out of my mommy tool belt when I feel like becoming unglued with my kids is prayer and asking God to help me handle the situation with His might and His strength. Suddenly, I am not all alone facing a giant obstacle, but I realize I have an opportunity to advance the kingdom of God as I choose not to become unglued and give grace to my children in the moment or when different and seemingly out of control circumstances arise.
Sometimes bad circumstances are used for my good later on and other times they are opportunities to trust God. It really is a matter of believing that each moment can be used by God to transform me into a greater likeness of Him. When I submit to that idea, progress happens.
Amen for progress! Amen to transformed minds, to knowing that God is on my side. Hallelujah God! Because none of these things I can do on my own. No way! I need the transforming power of God who makes all things possible (Matt 19:26).
Perspective. Renewing our minds. Trusting in His good.
It’s like she’s talking to me.
I loved the stories of Lysa’s crashing computer, only because I know all too well what it’s like to have disaster after disaster crash down on you. No fun. And all too often, I AM a freak-out woman.
But she reminds us that “perspective is a key to not coming unglued”, and “renewing our minds with new thoughts is crucial”. I love that idea of breaking out of old patterns. I am a person of habit, and my pattern is mostly freak-out related, especially is someone or something messes with my schedule. I like to know exactly what’s going on at all times, and maintain some semblance of control over the whole thing.
I’m totally easy going, can’t you tell?
I love this paragraph though… so convicting…
It’s easier to loosen my grip when I can see the good. When I can’t immediately see the good, loosening my grip becomes a matter of trust. Either way, as long as I believe – really believe – God is there and that He is out to do me good, I can stop freaking out trying to fix everything on my own. I can rest in the fact that God is in control. Which means I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.
Don’t you love that? I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.
I like to fix, plan, schedule, and control. My grip is tight and I am confident. Except not. A tight grip only ends up wearing me out and hurting my hands. And it’s pointless. I’m not the one in control anyways.
Trust. The challenge to determine whose side I’m on. Am I fighting this battle alone, or am I on God’s side? You know, GOD, the creator of the earth, who can probably handle my teensy little problem down here with the utmost grace and power. Yes, I think I’ll choose that side, thankyouverymuch.
Gotta love Him. Gotta let Him change some of the ugly in me, starting with that pesky trust thing.
Chapter 2 Questions:
1. What are the areas that are hardest for you to trust the Lord with?
2. Have you experienced a time when you DID loosen your grip on a situation and saw God’s power coming through?
3. What did you think about the end of the chapter, when Lysa’s daughter commends her for her lack of freaking out? How did that encourage you?
Read Chapter 2
When you feel like coming unglued, consider a new perspective and remain on God’s side.
Meditate on and possibly memorize Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”