Apr 21, 2010

That Pat Benetar Don't Know Jack.

Every once in a while I break face. Meaning, I put down all the silly ramblings I have about my life and my kids and my battle over Blue Bell ice cream and "break it down" (as the kids would say.)

Today is one of those days. Humor me, won't you?

For the past several weeks I have been dealing with something that has up to this point in my life been kind of uncommon. (I use the words kind of instead of the word completely because I have dealt with this issue in the past but never for this long and never this strongly.)

Bad dreams.

Not the kind of bad dream where there is a snake after you but then you look up and really its David Hasselhoff eating a snow cone while riding a go-cart. Though I must admit...that would be one bad dream.

But the kind where there's a snake but its wrapped around your child and it won't let go. And it tells you that its there because of the foolish mistakes you've made. Yep, that was mine from just a few nights ago.

Then there are the ones where my family is suffering. My husband is suffering. My children are sick. Or my loved ones desert me. There are the ones where people I love are dying and there is nothing I can do to save them. They are horrible and graphic and I wake up all through the night in a sweat and a panic and a heavy heavy heart.

And I wonder what in the world I ate at 11pm to cause such a ruckus.

But I know that the dreams I have at night are not at all related to the Spicy Garlic Pickle Chips I ate right before bed followed by the chocolate milk chaser. But they are related to something.

Sadly, I am not one of the 15 million people who have read Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind. I know, I know. It's been on my to-do list for far too long now. But even without reading it, I know a battle when I see one. And I do believe, my lovelies, I got a good one goin' on right now.

Pat Benetar says Love Is A Battlefield. Maybe Pat has had a lot more experience in that area than I have; I'm guessing so. But I say the mind is. The mind is a battlefield. And right now, my mind, my spirit and my thoughts...........are losing.

I remember reading a specific translation of 2 Corinthians 10:5 several years ago, and wish for the life of me I could remember where I read it, but I will never forget it's words: We take every thought captive, making it to sit down, and shut-up!

I've never forgotten that exact wording. Because it told me to do what I knew I could do, tell something to sit down and shut-up. Heck, I do that every day. Maybe it's just high time I told it to my thoughts.

As I began to seek the Lord out ( for those of you who may be unfamiliar with seeking the Lord out, my seeking goes a lot like this, "Hey Lord?? What the heck is going on? I need some answers. Go!") on the issue of my dreams I came to realize something.

What we do not fight during the light, will eventually come back to haunt us in the dark.

Write that down. I make very few valid statements on this blog. But that might just be one of them. My lack of controlling my thoughts during the day was wreaking havoc on my dreams at night. I dreamt of death and destruction, divorce and disaster during the night - because I allowed my thoughts to run amok during the day. By not controlling the way I thought or reacted or spoke to my husband during the day - I paid the price for it at night. By allowing my mouth to speak words of death over my children's behavior or our unpaid bills or my disgust with a friend - I allowed those scenes to replay in my mind at night.

The Word of God is like a big, long table full of the richest and best foods. It is not a buffet at one of those all-you-can-eat places that offer things on their sign like "Steak - Pancakes - Spaghetti - Turkey Legs!" You don't pick one and leave three others. You are either all in or all out. You are either for it - or against it. It can't be done halfway. To think that my mind can run full out during the day, never stopping to reason, or contain itself, never trying to battle thoughts of negativity or death - and yet not feel those things re-surface during the night - well, it just doesn't make sense. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 3:27)

What a night of tossing and turning I set up for myself when I refuse to fight the battle during the day.

I am not sure that dreams are your issue. Quite possibly, they are not. But no matter the issue you are facing today, ask yourself this: Am I doing everything I can to stop the barrage of missiles, gunfire and war that is going on inside my head? Am I standing strong against the enemy as he tries to play war with my mind? And am I truly looking him dead in the eye, and telling him to sit down and shut-up?

If not, then how do you expect to rest?

2 Corinthians 10:5 (The Message) The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

It's dog-eat-dog out there and the enemy doesn't fight fair. Tell him to shut-up. And sleep well, my lovelies.


Jessica said...

Thank you for this.
I really appreciate your insights...
I don't usually get bad dreams, but I too easily allow negative and intimidating thoughts dominate my waking hours, and can feel myself getting bogged down with them sometimes, but it's so hard to fight that. These verses are such great reminders - and weapons! - against giving the enemy a foothold!
God bless!

Sarah Victoria said...

Thanks so much for this! I needed to hear it. I've been struggling with horrible dreams lately. I'm moving to Australia to go to Hillsong college and it has been a battle since the day I got accepted. So once again thank you for the reminder that God is bigger than fear and anxiety :)

A Musing Mother said...

That is exactly what I needed to hear.

Anonymous said...

I want to tell you that my dad died on March 26 of this year and from that day on I have worried, worried, worried to the point it was taking a toll on what makes me...me. I have been dealing with my dad's live in girlfriend, her son, his wife, their 2 children, and the 16 year old's infant son all living in my dad's house, probate, trying to do what my dad wanted with the disapproval of my sister, and dad's ENORMOUS bills that of course have been left to my sister and I. I have been getting cards from friends telling me that I do have the strength and i have been reading about chronic worrying on the internet and how to deal with it, but it finally hit me with your words...I finally hear you, God. Through Melissa and my friends, even though it took several tries, I finally hear you! I will give it to you and let it be the way it is going to be and I will stop playing out negative scenerios in my mind... Thank you, Melissa, for your post. I just want you to know I believe your post was in some way meant for me. Is that too strange for me to think that way? Love ya, Kristina

Melissa Lee said...


If I could see you I would kiss you. Whether you liked it or not.


Anonymous said...

one of the very best you've written

Sissy said...

You are awesome,girl! Absolutely loved this post!!!

Sonja said...

Ooooooo..... I probably needed this since my last dream was that my baby girl was born with a chia pet head and a playdoh body. Think I'm having some anxiety during the day I'm not dealing with......

Anonymous said...

Five years ago my 38 year old husband passed away after a two month battle with cancer. I was left with two children, 9 and 12 years old. I battles horrendous nightmares following his death. Finally a friend who had also been widowed told me that if I didn't deal with my grief issues during the day, my mind would find ways to deal with them at night. So true. I also had some friends pray specifically for me regarding my dreams. It took a lot of time and tears, but my nightmares are few and far between.


Janis said...

Awesome commentary. I have been thinking about this "taking every thought captive" thing for the past month. God is working on me here too and I thank you for being part of the "discussion" (and faithfully sharing what God is putting on your heart thereby glorifying Him and encouraging other believers!)

Amy Wald said...

You go girl!!!I needed that.I have been losing alot of sleep this week.Love it!Thank you!