Darkness fell upon me as the lights went out.  “Great, not again.”  I pounded the couch with my fist.  There wasn’t any bad weather to knock out the power, maybe there was an accident that involved the power lines.  Whatever it is I wasn’t about to sit around in the dark and do nothing, so I got up.

I reached for what I thought was the counter but instead knocked over a glass vase I had earlier set out with fall flowers.  I braced for the crash of shattering glass but only heard a thump.  “Whew, that was close,” I announced to the blackness knowing that the carpet was now wet with scattered blooms.

I made my way to the front door, opened it, and walked outside.  Goose bumps erupted all over my skin as the cold mist surrounded me.  In the distance, coyotes called out to each other causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand up.  It was eerily quiet like maybe the headless horseman would gallop by on his horse with one of our pumpkins from the garden on top of his shoulders.  I shook my head. “Knock it off Gwen, you’re freaking yourself out,” I chastised myself.

This was almost as bad as when I was in college and experienced my first horror movie.  I was naïve and thought Poltergeist would be something I would enjoy.  HA!  Surrounded by a mass amount of college students I was stuck in the middle of the row in a lecture hall to endure the frightening chilling film.  I can honestly say that I was never the same after that.  The worse for me was at nighttime when I was in bed, I would have visions of a clown reaching from under my bed and pulling me into the paranormal world.  It still gives me the heebie-jeebies when I think about it.

This may sound funny, but it was very real to me.  It was so bad that at bedtime when I turned off the lights in my room, I would run and jump landing in the middle of my bed so nothing could reach out from under and grab me. Thankfully my dad made me a bed frame that had no space under it and I could rest without worry at night.

That was a bad choice I made.  If only I knew that these images would be permanently engrained on my brain whether I wanted them or not.  It’s amazing how easy stuff you don’t want will stick and other thoughts that you want to remain seem to find a hole in your head and escape.

It’s astonishing how complex of an organ the brain is, controlling thoughts, memories, emotions, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates our body.

“The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe.  It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections.  The brain boggles the mind. – James D. Watson

I used to think that the brain was like Jell-O jiggling around in my head somehow retaining information.  But now I envision many connections of synapse, or flashes of light signaling links of information, new lines created for new information received and communication sent to different parts of the body.

There are times when circumstances out of my control are stressful to the brain and it will shut down all nonessential systems and activate parts of the mind needed to help survive the trauma at hand.  This has happened a few times in my life.

Our brains are wired for connection, but trauma rewires them for protection.  That’s why healthy relationships are difficult for wounded people. – Ryan North

The brain is arguably the most powerful organ in the human body which is why it should be protected to the best of my ability.  I protect my head with a helmet when I go skydiving, but protecting my mind is so much more crucial.  Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I’m invincible to what I see and hear, daily I must protect my mind from unhealthy images and sounds.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

To this day, there are times when I sit on the edge of my bed and images of a clown sneaks into my brain and instinctively, I pull my feet up on the bed.  I now sleep in a regular bed, but I also store the dining room table extension leaves under it.  Thankfully I can chuckle at myself for having these silly feelings and know that God is with me to shoo away the bad thoughts.

So, take up the helmet of salvation as Ephesians 6:10 says and buckle it on tightly because Satan will try to attack your thoughts especially when you are at your weakest.  Through the helmet of salvation God will give you the ability to take captive these unwanted thoughts and gain control over what you think about yourself and life.

What you feed your mind determines your appetite. – Tom Ziglar

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplashed





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