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Phantom Pain

One night a few weeks back, I couldn’t sleep. I spent the entire night wrestling with thoughts of doubt, frustration, anxiety, fear, and anger.  These thoughts made me cry. They had me feeling like I wanted to die. In a matter of minutes, I began having a panic attack. Once my breathing became normal and the tears began to dry, my faith began to activate…

Now I know it sounds crazy and weird but I had to talk to my soul. I asked myself “Why are you troubled?” I unpacked some of those thoughts and began encouraging myself:

My knowledge of God must supersede my knowledge of self. I can wax poetic all day about all of my issues, flaws, and the things I feel… but I can’t do the same about the God who orchestrated it all?! I must replace my understandings to THE understanding of who Christ is. I know all of Antoinette’s problems. In fact, I am a subject-matter expert on everything “wrong” with Antoinette’s life; from her struggles to the weak spots she even has. I must remind this wretched soul what God has done. Remind myself that-that person no longer rules my life. She’s no longer in the driver’s seat. 

These thoughts are just phantom pains from that person I used to be. These thoughts are trying to tell me there’s a weakness there that I know God has already strengthened. I mustn’t allow them to cause me to shrink back. 

This pain I feel is nothing new. This pain is fleeting even as I type.

As I type, I’m reminded of His word that stands forever unlike my temporary feelings.

His word that builds me up, unlike the thoughts that paralyze me.

His word that can destroy the very imaginations that casts me down.

His word IS LIFE.

It’s full of promises and guarantees that I forfeit every time I decide to honor my thoughts more than I honor His thoughts of me. For His thoughts are to prosper and strengthen me. Every lack I have is already fulfilled in this word. For when I am weak, he is made strong. I’m not here to go through life feeling alone or scared.  A slave to my emotions, flaws, and circumstances. I’m here to be more than a conqueror. One who’s mere words can bring life to dead things.

I know you wish you never had to feel pain but as long as we live we are subject to pain; even pain from a source that no longer exists. These moments of phantom pain are necessary to remind us of who we used to be and propel us to trust God even more.

I pray that as you read this you are encouraged and reminded that the pain, the thoughts, the anxiety, etc that you feel are just phantom pains. It’s an old creature trying to be honored like it’s still alive and calling the shots! We have to cast those thoughts down and not shrink back. We have to believe in him more than we believe in ourselves. Ingest his word. Trust his word. Eat it every day even in the midst of the pain. Write down the things that trouble you and combat each thought with His word.

Love you all, be encouraged this Monday! Have a great week.