Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This week, our October Thankful Thursday hostess, Lynn, wrote about our freedom in Christ and asks the question, "What victories has Christ given you?"

This an interesting question.  Since I have been a Christian since I was 14, there have been many victories in my life.  Too many to choose from, so I picked the first one that came to mind.

Many years ago, I had a problem with bad memories.  As a child of an alcoholic father, I had seen (and heard) many ugly things.  A couple of years before I left home to get married, my father was delivered from alcoholism by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He never could get free on his own but when he turned his life over to God, the desire for alcohol left him immediately and he never touched it again. (God doesn't always deliver instantaneously, sometimes deliverance is gradual.  I'm thankful in this case, though, that it was!)

We had a couple of great years together and then I moved away to get married. After all the changes in my life became the new norm for me, I began to get a little homesick and started thinking about home.  Thinking about home and my loved ones also made me think about the "good old days" and then, the "not-so-good old days."  I don't know why, but somehow I started to dwell on the bad stuff.  It might have had something to do with being around a relative that loved to point out my dad's faults.

I began to focus on feeling it wasn't fair that I had had a dysfunctional childhood when all I ever wanted to be was "normal."  (I see now that nearly all families have some dysfunction to them ... if not now, then later in life! What IS normal anyway?) Of course, the devil is the only one that wanted to come to my pity parties, but he loved to come and bring new thoughts about the old days.

I am so thankful that one day God put this thought in me, "If you don't quit worrying about what happened in the past and holding it against your father, you will ruin the happy times you could be having now that he is trying to live right."

I immediately recognized the truth of this and I was smart enough to ask for help!  I asked God to take away the bad memories everytime one tried to sneak into my mind. And He did!  It took awhile, and sometimes I had to ask for help several times a day, but He did.  I can honestly say that after that time I really never thought about the bad things in our family's past.  In fact, if someone brings something up, I really have to concentrate to have any remembrance of the event.

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5

I'm thankful that He will help when we ask!  He really did help me with my thought life - all I had to do was bring each thought to Him and ask Him to take care of it.

To read other thankful hearts, visit Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.


Jane said...

This is such a great post! Thank God your father was delivered from his alcoholism through the power of the spirit!

I, too, struggle with not-so-pleasant past family memories. Unfortunately, those family members did not turn to God and also turned away from me. Your post is a good reminder to me that I need to forgive, regardless of the outcome here on earth.


Heather said...

This is so amazing!!! It is just mind blowing what God will do for us and what scripture really can do for us too!!

Melli said...

I have had similar experience - and God not only removed the memories... but He also removed the PEOPLE who kept trying to get me to dwell on the memories!

And you are right - we ALL have dysfunctional families! Some of us are just more open about it than others. But I figure if I keep those closet doors open, the skeletons have nowhere to hide!

Joan Davis said...

What a wonderful post with great advice! God can and does help us with our thought life. We just need to ask. I am thankful that your father turned to the Lord and overcame his addiction to alcohol! Praise God! Blessings to you and your family...and your mended relationship with your dad.

Living for Him, Joan

Cindy said...

I love this post, and such great wisdom is found here. Thank you for sharing this. I really needed to read this today.

Hope your having a blessed day.

Joshlin said...

Great post! I got a lot from it. The fact that you could bring each though to God and ask for help....well, that's amazing. He loves us so much! Have a blessed day my friend!

Whidbey Woman said...

Thank you for this testimony, and sharing something so personal.
Happy TT!

Denise said...

Such a fantastic post.

Rita T. said...

Wonderful post. Hope you have a blessed weekend.

Karen said...

I first became a Christian at 14, too! What a wonderful victory you have shared here...our minds are the site of so many hard battles...praise the Lord that He is greater than anything the enemy throws at us!

Theresa said...

Thank you for this post. I too have good and bad memories where my father was concerned. He has been gone 15 years and I am happy to say the good beat out the bad. I miss him everyday. He was broken but aren't we all.

Love Ya