We recently moved to FL and I am on a learning curve when it comes to finding my bearings. To say I am directionally challenged would be an understatement. But even the saavy in geography would have problems here. I literally have a folder in my “notes” on my phone that says FL STREETS. (Tom Stuart Causeway turns into State Hwy. 666 turns into 66 St. turns into Tyrone Blvd.) What’s a girl to do?
What is your address? Where do you live? Your address describes your destination, your abode, or your mindset. Where are you living in your mind? The weeks heading up to our move were extremely stressful. Tim and I got into more arguments than all the years put together the past thirty years. (I won’t mention the disaster of our first thirteen years.) Stress makes you edgy, forgetful and tired. We teach our clients that when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired you should HALT when it comes to talking about anything stressful or controversial. There were days I was screaming, “Halt, Halt, Halt!”
The first four days in FL we had a dead battery in our truck. Tim also had a bug bite on his stomach that was looking horrible so we ended up at Minute Clinic getting antibiotics. The following night we were walking to dinner and I slipped down on a wet and sandy spot on the boardwalk and hurt my arm. So a trip to Urgent Care proved my arm to not be broken but it sure does hurt. If it’s not better soon I will be going to an orthopedic.
So I had a choice. Where would I reside in my mind the following days? Would I go back to gloom and doom avenue? Would I see this as a “sign” that I’m in the wrong place? Or would I grin and bear it and realize that “life” is no different at the beach than Newnan, GA. Life happens. It may look like Paradise down here but it doesn’t mean you live, reside, abide in Paradise in your mind unless you choose it.
Where do you reside most of the time? One of the things that kept me from going down the negative road of “It’s a sign,” is that my faith was so incredibly strong in our decision to move here. Not because I am a great person of faith, but because I opened my eyes and saw how God was working over and over opening doors and giving me assurance. So as I think about my story I realize that spending time with God and seeing his handiwork in your life will strengthen your faith. And then when the hard times come you will be able to navigate through them without crashing. So spend time with God. Ask him to open your eyes to how he is working in your life.
We have been learning AND teaching people their identity in Christ for years. They are a child of God, they are secure, they are loved, they are safe, they are important, they are worthy, they are significant… I try to “reside” in my mind in that truth so that I won’t be shaken so easily. It’s been life changing. The Bible actually tells us in Romans 12:2 that renewing your mind will transform your life. For years I lived in “will it ever get any better,” “why don’t things ever work out for us,” “Life is just too hard,” (and even) “I think we are cursed,” and “I don’t want to live.” That may surprise some of you who see me as a positive person but I was not always so positive. I hurt. And I hurt badly. But I realize now that default mindset made me hurt more. When you breed negativity you attract negativity. As I began setting my mind on truth and speaking truth out of my mouth, my faith was strengthened and things were better. Of course, things were never perfect but our mindset is everything.
So where do you live? Will you let “life” get to you or will you stand firm in the truth? The truth that you are God’s beloved. The truth that nothing takes him by surprise. The truth that you are in dwelt by the God of the Universe whose strength is made perfect in your weakness. The truth that he grows us up through all of our circumstances. The truth that we all have good days and bad days. Remember who you are and where you reside. Your address is: 1010 Abundant Life Lane if you are In Christ. (Abundant can mean supernatural peace in hard circumstances or it can mean a season of blessing.) Don’t go back to your old address. Someone else lives there.