Originally published Monday, 12 September 2022.
(Photo Credit: Canva Pro)
Just the other morning, as I opened my eyes for the day, I rolled over and felt this amazing sense of peace. It truly was indescribable. The morning was still. It was quiet. I was still in bed (my feet had not yet hit the floor). But then suddenly, one by one, thoughts began to flood in with each demand of the day – until I silenced them!
Yep. I shut them down. And you can, too!
Whether you’re rolling over to begin thinking about work, your marriage, job (or financial situation), children, lack of opportunity, fears, doubts, comparison, or ambitions – silence them, quickly. In other words, wake up slowly without the pressure to start entertaining the thoughts of dilemmas, demands of the day, or dreams. Instead, “silence” them until you’re fully ready to take them all on.
Satan would love for you to get into your own head at the start of the day thinking about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, instead of simply waking up to thank God for seeing another morning. You don’t have to rush into the day. So take your time and silence those thoughts.
Now, you may be saying, “But Courtnaye, I’m going through a really hard time right now. This season of my life is hard.” And I get it. Trust me, I do. I’ve been there.
I would still say, roll over first thing in the morning, consider your thoughts, and then talk to God before you get out of bed (or during your devotional time). Talk to Him about where you are and what you’re dealing with. Talk to Him about the hurt or the pain. He is right there ready to listen to you.
The key here is to get into the practice of silencing the bombardment (i.e., continuous flow of information, questions, criticisms, etc.), overwhelm, negativity, along with sad, evil, or debilitating thoughts the moment you wake up or the moment they hit your head. With that being said, I want to offer two ways to do this: Surrender and Shifting. Let’s start with “Surrender.”
Surrender – It’s all about releasing, letting go, and getting rid of something wholeheartedly. It’s a conscious choice. It’s not always an easy choice, but it’s good in the long run. Jesus surrendered His will for the Father’s will when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Again, surrender is not always easy, but it’s the best choice in the end. So, surrender your thoughts to God. Whatever they are, give them over to Him because He ultimately knows what’s best and your next right steps. Ecclesiastes 3:6 reminds us that there is, “…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.”
Shifting – To “shift” means to move, slight change in position, direction, or tendency. When negative, fearful, hurting, overpowering, or sinful thoughts begin to weigh on you, shift. Meaning, change the thought. Don’t give any more attention to it. Cast it down. Go in the other direction. Shake it off. Change gears (metaphorically speaking) and repent if you are committing a sin or thinking about it. In other words, shift and renew your mind with Scripture, pray, confess, cry out to God, and think on things that are not as weighty if you're in a hard season or feeling down or overwhelmed. I love what Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Before I close, I want to share a few extra Bible verses with you that I pray will encourage you as you begin putting into practice this method of silencing your thoughts through surrendering and shifting.
Fix Your Thoughts on God – Isaiah 26:4, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always.”
Don’t Be Anxious about Anything (work, opportunities, family, personal issues, etc.) – Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Financial Strain/Lack/Uncertainty – Philippians 4:19, “And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” And Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Suicidal thoughts/Mental Health – John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” And Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Hang in there, there are better days ahead. God is near.
Until next time…
Remember that Jesus Christ is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So, let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
Question: What stood out to you the most in this post, and what do you think you can begin putting into practice right now? Also, do you need prayer? If you need prayer, you can email me directly and I will pray for you at email@example.com.
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Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com and YouVersion, speaker of a host of women’s conferences that include She Speaks, Hope*Writers Tuesday Teaching, FlourishWriters, and Entrusted Women's Conference (just to name a few), and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).
Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in Christ, character, and calling. She is an author and sought-out speaker. Her speaking appearances include She Speaks, Hope*Writers Tuesday Teaching, Christian Parenting Conference, and Entrusted Women’s Conference. In addition, her blog and podcast, Inside Out with Courtnaye reaches thousands of women across the globe! She is also the founder of the faith-based marketing and mentorship agency, Inside Out Media Group, LLC, where she’s worked with platforms such as PBS, CBN, TCT Networks, and Yahoo. Connect with her at www.courtnayerichard.com or on Instagram @insideoutwithcourtnaye.
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