This step take MEGA training for most of us and I will be the first to admit, 13 years of knowing these scriptures and I still struggle more than I care to accept.
I have come to recognize and believe that my mind is hands down, my worst enemy. It really always has been. I am in no way blaming my childhood for any of my current shortcomings, however, growing up in the very stressful and anxiety inducing home as a child, I am certain plays a huge role in my battles of the mind.
I am an adult now and know I can choose to live and think differently. I do not blame my history for my present issues; as God has given me the resources to wipe the slate clean and choose a different way of thinking and living.
The problem is.... I often become exhausted from the struggle and cave to that stinkin thinkin, rather than falling at the feet of Christ and at least asking Him to shut my mouth!!! LOL
This has been quite the battle for me in recovering from our recent marital struggles. Garrick's addiction came in waves. The positive thing about this, was we had seasons of normality and peace; the negative thing about this is, I came to always expect those seasons to end. Too many times I place my hope and faith in my husband, trusting we were on the REAL road to recovery this time, opening my heart back up, letting go of past hurts, only to find out the addiction was still alive and well, he had just gotten even better at hiding it.
The last episode we had really crushed me. More so than any of the other instances. When Garrick and I were going through counseling, our wonderful counselor warned us this would happen. He told us marriage is like a rubber band, you can stretch it and often it will snap back, however, if you stretch it one too many times, it may snap and recovering will be extremely difficult. Not impossible, but very difficult.
This last episode, the rubber band snapped. I could feel it, literally. It felt different. I was mentally, absolutely, 100% done. I was at the point that I could not take ONE. MORE. TIME. I was numb. My mind didn't leap to ending the marriage and I was not even sure how I was to handle the situation; all I knew is I was mentally and emotionally bankrupt and getting back was going to take nothing short but the work of God.
Therefore, as you can well imagine, putting Philippians 4:8 into practice has been somewhat of a challenge for me. God has been doing magnificent works in both Garrick's life and our marriage. I can see it. I can feel it. I am beginning to trust it. Yet, that devil won't let me forget the past and there are certain things that will trigger those thoughts and memories that make it even more difficult.
That is why these steps I am blogging about are so imperative. Trust me when I tell you, that I am working through these steps as I post them! This is a recorded journey of our road to restoration and recovery! God is good.... all the time. I refuse to waste the pain we have experienced!! God longs to show the world His power that is made PERFECT in our weakness. Garrick and I will willingly and humbly allow Him to use our story to achieve His greater purpose.
As Garrick and I pondered these scriptures, it was very refreshing to tell one another the characteristics we find lovely, honorable, noble and praise worthy in one another. I can clearly remember the day, when I really had nothing negative to say about my husband. Aside from some of the petty every day things husbands and wives nit pick about, I saw him as an exceptional man, husband and father.
The addiction stole that from me, but I am very slowly getting it back!
I was able to list the following things for Garrick that I love about him....
I,know there are many more, but these rolled off my tongue easily. Garrick shared things he loved about me as well....
I willingly admit I have to learn to take the negative thoughts of the past captive immediately and allow God to put them to death. My taking them "captive" that means they are locked up, unable to rule and reign in my mind. I have failed at being able to do this, thus far. I do give myself grace, as it takes time for a heart to heal. I am able to take my bad thoughts captive more now than a month ago, so I praise God for progress!!!!
Garrick shared he struggles with similar issues. During the past few years, in heated moments of anger I was very guilty of saying and sharing hurtful things with him that are very difficult for him to forget. One f those issues was something that I had not been honest about with him throughout our marriage. Without getting into uncomfortable details, it was something significant that I had allowed to become insignificant over the years. It was very hurtful to Garrick and worse yet, came out in a moment of heated anger.
We both have many thoughts that have to be taken captive..... regularly.... and failure to do so will cripple our ability to heal.
The bottom line is this.... neither a husband or wife is perfect and unlike the Almighty God, we do not have the ability to wipe things from our memory.
Even bad memories serve their purpose. They are a constant reminder of where we do NOT want to be, ever again. They are the signs pointing us down the narrow path, attempting to divert us from the wide and destructive one.
Today.... I shall challenge myself and my spouse to see even the bad memories with an outline of "lovely" as God calls me to count it all joy.... when I fall into various trials.... knowing the trials will be the instruments He uses to carry His work in me.... to completion.
Peace and Blessings
Missy and Garrick
Marriage Moments with Missy and Garrick Week 15.... Journey to Forgiveness Step 4.... Whatever is Lovely...