Many years ago, I was listening to a pastor talk to a youth group about our thoughts and how powerful they are. The Bible is full of warnings about guarding out hearts and minds and how they can lead us down a path of destruction or a path of peace if we choose to focus our mind on Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, SOUL, MIND and Strength.” This pastor went on to explain how our thoughts become our imaginations which become our strongholds.(obsessions and addictions can easily be replaced for the word stronghold).
Now, if you’re following God’s path for your life and you’re in His Word daily, the likelihood is that your thoughts will be focussed on Him and that will lead you to Meditating on Him day and night….which is a good thing because it will protect you from becoming obsessed or addicted to the wrong things. Think of teenage boys who like to look at pictures of girls…and then naked pictures….and then the internet……very quickly, their thoughts can become strongholds. The same can be said for grown men. And even for girls who become obsessed with dating and being loved by a boy or a man….it’s not a good place to be.
***okay, this is the part where the guys may want to stop reading…it’s sort of a woman thing from here on out….sorry, but you’ve been warned.***
The first year I was married, I found myself in an unexpected situation. Unexpected because I figured taking the birth control pill kind of did what I had been told it did: prevent pregnancy. Within 4 months, though, I developed some pretty whacked out periods and problems and I just stopped taking it. We were in the process of trying to figure out our options when I realized I had missed a period. For me, this is pretty huge because since the age of 12 I have been as regular as a full moon every month. I knew the day and almost the hour every month~sure makes planning things easy!
Anyhow, I missed and I waited a few days and realized that I was very likely pregnant. I started to read a woman’s health encyclopedia and made the decision to buy a test. In the mean time, I was working at a Christian book store and made a poor judgement in lifting something that was WAY too heavy. The moment I did it, I felt a searing pain. I hoped that it would pass but within 24 hours I was in pretty rough shape. I began to bleed..heavily. I found myself in the fetal position in bed and then dragging myself to a hot bath. For me, heavy and painful periods was very normal but at this point I suspected that I had done some damage internally. It may shock many of you to know that I did not seek out any medical help. I dealt with it and that was the end of it. My husband was sympathetic and yet, we really didn’t know for sure if I was pregnant. In hindsight now, after 4 pregnancies and other miscarriages I am 100% certain that I did experience a miscarriage but it is one of those issues that I have never talked about.
Incidentally, the bleeding subsided after a day. In fact it nearly stopped except for spotting. Rare for me as I tend to go for 7 days regularly. I was bloated, I was nauseous and I my hormones were extremely elevated. I took a test, which had a very faint positive. That was good enough for me. I made a decision in my mind that day that I was pregnant and moved forward with that THOUGHT.
Months passed, my situation did not change. I had erratic periods~ some short, some light, some months nothing. By spring of the following year, I knew in my mind that I was not pregnant but I had become obsessed with getting pregnant. So much so, that I had visited 2 different doctors convincing them that I needed an ultrasound and a pregnancy test. My mom even came to one ultrasound with me…but there was nothing. The hope was fading and reality was setting in. Except for one odd thing~ I had developed a “baby bump”. I’m not going to pull out the photos, but I do have some. I even purchases maternity pants.
They call it an hysterical pregnancy.
Now, this whole thing sounds crazy. Even as I type it, I’m thinking ~ sheesh, this woman needs serious counseling!
But you have to understand, hormones are powerful. Our bodies respond emotionally to our thoughts. It’s the same concept that gives us the thrill of falling in love or the anticipation of a first kiss. Our minds are tied to our emotions. Our emotions are tied to our hormones. Our hormones control our bodily functions. Our thoughts, become our imaginations which become our strongholds.
I gained 35 pounds my first year of marriage. Some of that was warranted…I was way too skinny on my wedding day. But a lot of that was hormone related. Looking back, I feel sad for that young girl who got caught up in a thought that could have easily been remedied with a trip to the doctor. But , if you’ve ever had a miscarriage, you know that all you want is to be back where you were before the miscarriage happened…..with a positive pregnancy test, 8 weeks, 10 weeks or 20 weeks pregnant….you just want it SO bad.
I weaned myself off my obsession. I ‘m thankful for a patient loving husband who stayed by my side and never once judged me. I am also thankful that I eventually got back into a regular body rhythm, but it took a long time. And once we did decide we were ready emotionally and physically to get pregnant…it did not come easy. It took a year from when my doctor said I was ready till when I finally got that “thumbs up” from the nurse in the waiting room….in February of 1994…..we were pregnant. I have never been so happy in my life. And relieved. Relieved because I wasn’t going crazy and relieved because I now had a GOOD reason for the baby bump! 🙂 I laugh at it now..but really, how many people are out there obsessed because of a thought of wanting something so bad, they’ll create it in their minds even when it doesn’t exist? Be careful what you wish for….you just might get it, but it won’t be necessarily what you need. Our thoughts are powerful and they have the ability to affect our attitudes internally and outwardly. Guard your minds and your hearts.
20My child, pay attention to my words,
Listen closely to my sayings.
21Don’t let them escape from your sight,
Guard them deep in your mind.
22For those who find them find life,
They bring healing to the whole person.
23Above everything guard your mind*,
Because from it flows your life.
24Turn your mouth away from crooked speech,
And keep lying speech far from your lips.
25Keep your eyes looking straight down the path,
And gaze only at what lies ahead.
26Clear the path your feet must follow,
and all your ways will be firm and safe.
27Don’t turn to the right or the left,
Keep your feet away from evil. — Proverbs 4:20-27