New years eve 2013, Ian took me to Edinburgh for the firework display (we love fireworks!). I was really cold, so Ian picked out a wooly hat, but my “that won’t fit me” didn’t stop him trying to get it on my head, fail! I asked the shop assistant if they had any big hats, she responded by asking me what sort of big, “like for a big head”. I may as well have shouted to all in earshot “QUICK, everyone check out my head!” haha.
Mind movie moment happened right there and then: 11 year old version of me, excited to get my own horse riding gear. The hat, I knew the exact one I wanted, one of those pretty velvet cap ones with a bow at the back, in navy blue.
The expert fitter brought out a few junior hats, they didn’t fit, no panic, he brought out a few ladies versions, they didn’t fit either. Full embarrassment came when much to everyone’s amusement, even the men’s version wouldn’t fit me!
I ended up with a more roomy man’s skull cap, my Aunty got me a stretchy, navy blue cap to go over it, this softened the blow of not being able to fit in the pretty one! That was the day it was established that I have a big head, but big brains need bigger casing right? Haha. The good news, 29 year old me got a girly wooly hat in Edinburgh that fitted – great success!
This mind movie makes me laugh now – it’s harmless. Whilst Ian and me were separated though, I started having mind movies with a more destructive nature to them, my perception often worse than reality. I thought they’d stop when we reconciled, instead they increased in frequency and destructiveness. When it wasn’t a mind movie, it was just my own thoughts naturally settling on the abundance of bad stuff that had been or was going on.
Ian too was struggling with what was going on in his head, God met us both right where we were at, we had to learn how to take our thoughts captive.
‘we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’
God wanted to give our thinking an upgrade, this is how He did it with us, He showed us:
We needed to remind ourselves that He was with us, for us, and that He was way, way bigger than anything we were facing.
We needed to make the decision to change our thinking and get thankful
We couldn’t just decide not to think about the bad stuff, we needed to swap those thoughts with God thoughts, what He says in His word.
We needed to truly believe and speak out what He says in His word.
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
We didn’t get to choose what thoughts popped into our minds, but we got to choose what happened with them when they didn’t line up with true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. For me, I had to have the good stuff I was going to choose to think about ready before any destructive thoughts came along. I needed the thought change to be swift or uh oh – I was in it.
As we spent more time finding out what God says, and who He is, then thinking on those things – a small change, we started to see bigger changes in us and our marriage. Most obviously in me: the frequency of mind movies and bad thinking bobbing in on me reduced significantly to extremely rarely, my attitude towards Ian and the task of rebuilding our marriage improved, and as what I thought about improved, so did the way I spoke to and about my husband. The atmosphere of our hurting marriage started changing for the better.
Neither of us are perfect in our thinking, but wawaweewa there’s been major progress, I’m never going to stop being thankful for this. The good news is that God always has upgrades for our thinking – the next one in His word!
‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!’