For some strange reason, the chorus of an old Elvis Presley song keeps coming to mind today. "Return to sender....return to sender...." The song is about a man who keeps sending a letter to his girlfriend, but she keeps sending it back unopened. It is stamped "return to sender" on the envelope.
I was wishing it was that easy to take the thoughts, fears, and worries that I sometimes struggle with and return them! Yes, return them to the sender. Once in awhile some physical symptom will show up and the old familiar thought comes to mind ~ "what if the cancer is back" followed by a tightening of my stomach and a shortness of breath. Or maybe my husband is late coming home and I let worry creep in. At times we are our own worst enemies, as we let worry, fear, and the what-ifs play a big part in our days.
I have been learning to replace those thoughts and today it came to me to return them to the sender. Satan. Satan does not want us to be at peace or to be living a full life for the Lord. I think one of his most powerful tools is f e a r. It has the ability to hold us captive.
I read an article a few months ago that a woman wrote about her journey with cancer. She stated that you can remove cancer from the body, but not from the mind. I can attest that, just like other worries, it does take effort to remove it from the mind. There are a few things I do to shift my thinking patterns when it comes to worrying about the cancer returning, or finances, other health issues, our children, etc.
My first line of defense is prayer. Reading scriptures is very helpful and I have some old favorites that bring great comfort. I often say, "I trust You, Lord" and plan to begin each morning with those words! I try to step back and be a gentle observer, remembering what I know to be true for now. I remind myself that I am okay for today....and I try to take the power out of the fear by saying something like, "Oh, there is that old companion fear of cancer again". "Oh, there is that old companion fear...or worry....or doubt...or criticism..." I often distract myself with inspirational music or visualizing something beautiful. Often I write something I need to hear myself, but that I know will also be helpful to others.
If you are a person who has fear, worry, or some other negative thoughts trying to take up residence in your daily life, there are many ways to close the door on them. I Timothy 1:7 says "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and a sound mind." Return those unwanted thoughts to the sender, and fill your mind with what is good, pure, and lovely. One thought at a time.
Now if I can just get that old Elvis song out of my mind!