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I Changed My Mind

Do you ever feel like your mind is in its terrible twos? If you don't take it by the hand and guide it somewhere, it would likely run headlong into the street?

In my first few months of sobriety, there would be days when my mind and body told me I needed a drink (the equivalent of running into the street). I had to redirect them somewhere else physically. Craig (bless his heart) and I would have to go to the movies and eat popcorn and candy to help me get through those moments of temptation.

Do Not Conform

In Romans 12:2 (above), the author of Romans refers to something he calls 'the pattern of this world.' This world told me that drinking is how we celebrate, how we relax, how we have fun, and how we share an intimate moment. This was all fine for me every once in a while - until it wasn't. At some point, I could no longer celebrate, relax, have fun, or share an intimate moment without a drink. My mind fell into that pattern so much that it no longer felt like a thought.

I had to wake up and shake out of my stupor. I didn't want to be one of those mass-production look-alikes that this world churns out anymore. The products of this world don't hold up under pressure.


Be Transformed

But when I decided I was done with alcohol for good, suddenly I had to re-think everything. How do I [celebrate, relax, have fun, share an intimate moment] without the booze?

It was exhausting. I found that it helped when I redirected my thoughts in moments of weakness. I would declare scriptures and affirmations that reminded me to keep going. Things like:

I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.
I have the mind of Christ.
These light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Be sober-minded and self-controlled.
God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (or self-control).

I began to feel myself changing, slowly becoming the woman I wanted to be. The renewing of my mind was transforming me.

God Himself, the original designer, was my potter, and I was the clay. Each time I chose His way, it was like I permitted Him to make His impression on me. He began shaping me into the uniquely beautiful creation that He had designed me to be. And He's not done yet.


If Your Mind Was a Forest

Imagine for a moment that my mind was like a forest, and I was on a hike. I had walked through the woods that led me to poisoned waters (my precious alcohol) so many times that I wore a smooth path. The plants had been trampled away and it was a quick and easy trip.

Then I decided to take the path of sobriety. It was so neglected that trees had grown in the middle of the path. It was slow going as I had to cut my way through the underbrush. But at the end was a river of pure spring water (God's life in me). At first, there were times I had to fight the urge to slide down the easy path to alcohol. But the more I chose the new path, the smoother it became.

Now eight years sober, the path to alcohol is grown over, but I never want to forget what a slippery slope it can be. This is why I keep renewing my mind. I keep feeding my spirit with scriptures, music, books, conversations, and accountability - all the tools that got me sober. They are just healthy habits.

God's Will

My friend, if you find yourself struggling to change a bad habit or addiction, here is a helpful tip: if you can change how you think, you can change how you act (Proverbs 23:7). So, if you keep choosing the right thoughts, that will help you to select right ways. Then your life will prove that His will for you is good, pleasurable, and perfect. Ask me how I know. :)

How about finding one scripture that reminds you which path to take in the face of temptation? Meditate on it (mull it over in your mind), and memorize it. Then when the temptation comes along, use your scripture to change your thoughts and run the other way!


P.S. Years ago, I made some encouragement and scripture cards for myself. I've made copies available to help you renew your mind, too. You can pick some up in my store.


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