I'd like to share some more of my notes and thoughts on the Women of Faith Conference with you today.
During Session 3, Patsy Clairmont spoke about emotions again, as well as fear.
She shared a little of her story about overcoming agoraphobia. The first command she felt that God was giving her to begin her healing was simply "Make your bed." Well, to make her bed, she had to get out of it. Once she got out of it and made it, the next thing she felt told to do was to wash the dishes. At the time, she didn't feel like she was getting better, but God knew that she needed to learn to be faithful in those little things before He could use her to do much.
"In Jesus Christ, we are never stuck," she said. "We always have a next step."
Patsy spoke about creating mental boundaries to heal our minds and emotions. She learned to Refuse, Replace, and Repeat.
- Refuse. We can refuse thoughts that are not truth, thoughts are not beneficial, that are lies from the enemy to hold us captive. Speaking of captive, we need to take every thought captive and then decide whether or not to refuse it.
- Replace. Just refusing a thought is not enough, we must replace it with the truth from God's word. She mentioned Philippians 4:8, we need to replace with "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
- Repeat. It isn't a one time thing. Taking our destructive thoughts and emotions captive and replacing them with empowering truth is a continual battle.
She also learned that she needed to "Minimize her wordcount." She discovered that not everyone needed to know what she thought of everything. She read Proverbs 29:11: "A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." I recently saw that verse in a friend's facebook status. How appropriate for the way we communicate online!
Patsy also brought up that some people didn't need to minimize their wordcounts, but instead, "find their voice."
Some of us don't vent all our feelings, we bury them. Some of us need to ask God for courage to speak the words that He wants us to say.
I've written before about thinking right thoughts, whatever is true,
and learning that lesson again
, and I've probably mentioned it more times than in just those two posts. I need to come back to it over and over again.
Even as I reflect on what Patsy said, I'm realizing that while I need to work on all three areas, I especially need to work on Replacing.
Perhaps if I was better about replacing the bad thoughts with good ones, I'd be re-learning the "right thinking=right feeling and right doing" lesson less often.
I've decided to read through a chapter of Proverbs every day, but I really need to work on scripture memory. I've never been good at it, but it's important enough that I keep trying.
I found this video of Patsy's story on YouTube, and I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.
During the Q and A time, someone asked Patsy, "In your recovery, did you ever feel like the moment had come when you were completely healed?" Patsy didn't hesitate, "No," She said she's never felt like she was completely healed. "I don't think that will happen until heaven, when we will be perfectly whole and healed."
Often in my struggle with depression and anxiety, I've often wondered, "Am I there yet? When am I ever going to be better? Will I ever be healed?" I found Patsy's answer oddly encouraging. I won't ever be totally healed in this life. All my life will be a journey, a journey to complete wellness that will occur when I stand before God. I don't have to compare myself to others or wish I made progress faster. One day, I will be healed. Until then, progress is what I can strive for.
Have you used the Refuse, Replace, and Repeat process? What were the results? How well do you do at memorizing scripture? Do you think there's a link between memorizing scripture and thinking healthy thoughts?
Labels: agoraphobia, anxiety, Bible study, emotions, Encouragement, fear, health, Patsy Clairmont, scripture