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You Become the Thoughts You Entertain

When I’m struggling with depression, it’s usually because I’ve made a decision to embrace the sadness. Acknowledging that was quite a revelation for me because I used to think that the depression just came, as if it was a 400 pound person that had more strength and power than I did. When I realized that I had the power because I could choose to reject the thoughts, I found my strength.

Don’t get me wrong; depression has run in my family for years and I realize that there’s a genetic component and a chemical imbalance at play. There are many things that I have to assume responsibility for such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, avoiding people, places, and things that I know are not healthy for me, and even taking daily medication.

I realized that when I was feeling good, however, I chose to bask in the joy that I was feeling. This is what made me realize that I could make decisions about which emotions I camped out in and which thoughts I entertained. There were times when I allowed depression to become a guest that I set a place for at my table and I fed. I never slammed the door in its face and refused to admit it. While I might not have welcomed it, I didn’t deter its arrival or shorten its length of stay.

It’s important to realize that we can make choices about our moods; in fact, we must. The Bible says that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. We have to expect morning to arrive with the same excitement a child has about Christmas. They go to sleep knowing that the morning won’t get here any sooner if they stay up all night waiting for it.

Are you entertaining your sadness and in doing so holding back the daylight? Rest in the Peacemaker, the One Who turns mourning into dancing. Decide to focus on His goodness and promises and see what He does. Take your eyes off the situation and look to your Waymaker. Relief comes when we look to our very present Help in times of trouble and not dwell the trouble.

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