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No wonder I was feeling down.

When I went back over the pattern of my thoughts in recent days, it was no surprise that I was feeling down. I had allowed my imagination to take me down some roads that were definitely not the path God wanted me traveling.

I was sitting at my desk looking out at the sunshine and wondering why I was feeling down. I went back to my thoughts and this is what I discovered.

1 - My dad hadn't been feeling well. He had a cough in his chest. Without being aware of my thoughts, I had gone "there". You know where "there" is. Something like, 'I wonder if he's going to get pneumonia. If he does, I wonder if he is strong enough to survive it. I wonder if something more serious is going on and we just don't know it. I need to make a doctor's appointment for her. I am so busy, and I have so much going on. The last time I made a simple appointment for him we wound up replacing his knee.' On and on and on, my thoughts ran rampant, without my knowledge, but definitely with my permission.

2 - My daughter was feeling a little down because she wasn't invited to a few parties. Again, without being aware of my thoughts, I had gone "there". Something like, 'What if she starts to feel depressed. I don't know what I'll do. I don't want her to struggle with that like my mom did, or have anxiety like I do sometimes. Teens get depressed sometimes without telling their parents. I know I'm aware of things with Jordan, but what if I miss something? Am I teaching her enough about depending on God.' On and on and on, my thoughts ran again.

3 - Here comes chilly nights and empty hands. For years I've wanted a boyfriend during the Fall and Winter months. Isn't that funny? For some reason I associate those seasons with cuddling by a firepit, walking through Christmas lights with someone, and more. It doesn't really bother me and yet I had to realize I had been thinking about that a lot. Something like, 'Well, here we go again. I don't want to date just anybody. I really don't. I'm glad that I am moving ahead with speaking engagements, and training coaches. It would just be nice to have someone to hold my hand occasionally.' On and on it goes.

4 - My neck is so tense. I seriously hold every bit of tension in my shoulders and neck. Without realizing it, my thoughts went to, 'I wonder if something is really wrong. I don't feel like there is anything to be worried about and yet my traps are so sore and my neck is killing me. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.'

When I considered my thoughts, I understood how I had landed in this place, emotionally. Nothing good ever comes from negative thoughts. Especially those that we let run rampant for days. Nothing. So I turned to 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I began to arrest my thoughts and replace them with the hope that comes from the word of God and things changed. I felt my spirits lift and my head raise. My dad just had a cold and he is fine. My daughter is very confident in herself and in her walk with God and she will be okay. I may want a man to hold my hand but I certainly don't want the mess that comes with the wrong man. And my neck is tense because I was worried about the other three things.

Arrest your thoughts. Don't just allow your imagination to consider things that will never happen. And if your situation is real, you can still counter it with the hope found in His presence during times of trouble. You are never alone. You are never hopeless. You have everything you need in your Savior.

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