Thursday, January 03, 2008

perfect peace

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose
imagination is stayed on Thee.
Isaiah 26:3 RSV

makes a bit of difference in the translation, eh? i had never heard this one before today. whose imagination is stayed on thee. when you think about it "mind" is a pretty non-descriptive word for those of us with good imaginations. :)

i am reading through the healing presence by leanne payne for school. it's a slow process for me because it is transforming me. luckily the professor knows me well and is patiently waiting for my paper. he knows that more important things are happening because of this reading.

i awoke this morning with my mind racing. instead of my first thoughts of the day being filled with serenity and hope they are filled with the fear every mother of an infant or sick child knows "is he still breathing?" i loathe this. i have worked hard for my serenity and don't want to trade it for anything. yet those thoughts are so deeply tied into my psyche and the fear of the loss of him that they come unbidden and it is all i can do not to run to his bedside and check to see if his blood sugars are stable.

my imagination gets the better of me. it goes down paths and dark alleys dragging me with it into all sorts of horrid places. friends have abandoned me, family no longer loves me, circumstances and happenings of the past week play with my fears and the world begins to look dark, foreboding and hopeless. none of it is real. it is my imagination left to run unchecked and amped up by massive amounts of "what if...", "did they really mean...", "she really doesn't...", "you're not..." - all of those whispering words spoken into the darkest places of my mind - and i have a very good imagination that can go south at any time.

that's why this verse touched me so deeply this morning. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee. - i am allowing my perfect peace to be stolen each moment i let my imagination run unchecked.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

you know, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.


Candy said...

I loved this version of this scripture. I've never read it before either. And your description of where your imagination takes you as opposed to where the verse suggests it stays is nothing short of pure epiphany. I have a cd by a guy named Grahm Cooke on which he talks about how to take every thought captive. He says that for every anxious, negative thought we have God places a positive, lovely, healing thought right beside it. All we have to do is reach over and grab it. He suggests making it a game - that God loves it when we play. I'd love to send you a copy of this cd. I think God could use it to bring you peace. If you're interested, email me your address.

Patchouli said...

Can you see the gifts that you are receiving thru this? You have had a type of serenity before--how much deeper/fuller/immovable is it becoming now? And your children are receiving it from you as well--Miss Storyteller, your book is filling up with pages!

bobbie said...

both of your comments are precious gifts to me - thank you.

pages upon pages - beautiful picture patchouli - thank you!

Candy said...

The cd is in the mail! Sit back with a cup of tea or some such thing, relax and listen. Just be for a while.

Sue said...

Those same imaginings have left me paralyzed. Please let us know how you fare with this new way of thinking.

Anonymous said...

I came to your site through Hope's song not scored for breathing blogroll. I only got as far as reading this most recent post and I have to tell you that I was undone (in a good way, actually). The "what if's".... yup, that's me, too. I have been battling those kind of crippling and world-shrinking worries as long as I can remember. And, of course, nothing can pull the rug out from us like a sick child, eh?

Following your recommendation, I checked out the first few pages of the Leanne Payne book which proceeded to open the floodgates that your post had unlocked. Guess I didn't realize that I'd been holding so much in for so long. Thanks, I needed that! I will definitely be ordering that book.

This summer, I read a book that helped me to put this anxiety stuff into somekind of perspective; I wonder if you'd like it. It's called Emotionally Free by Grant Mullen who is a Christian psychiatrist. I thought he did a great job of explaining these "disorders" particularly in the context of being a Christian and dispelling some of the guilt trips that can happen.

Thank you for having the courage to share your journey. One of the things in which I take some comfort is that the work that He started in us will continue.

PS. I particularly love your closing line!

bobbie said...

hey mich - thanks for the kind words! it's so important to know we're not alone, eh?

thanks too for the book recommend, it will go on my wish list!

do you blog? i'd love to read your thoughts too!

Anonymous said...

Yes, we certainly do appreciate the company of fellow journey-ers when we find it. I don't have a blog but I sure do admire and feel gratitude to those who do. I'm more a faithful blog supporter type I think. :)