Share-Your-Story Friday. Helen from TX

There is a quote – “It is dangerous to spend too much time alone in the neighborhood of your own mind.” Yes, I can attest to that. My default thinking easily leads me to a ditch of overwhelm, worry and self-condemnation.

Two years ago, I discovered (after reading One Thousand Gifts), that intentionally looking for, writing down and sharing daily with a friend five things I’m grateful for helped me feel more positive. I had been happy with that improvement, but then six months ago, my friend Shari gave me Janet’s book HIS WORD IN MY HEART, and pointed me to an interview of Janet talking about the idea of replacing our negative thoughts with God’s life-giving ones. This took me to a whole new level.

I immediately followed Janet’s recommendations of daily writing God’s Word on my heart. One example of how this makes a difference is when I feel a lot of stress after an interaction with our teenager. Instead of immediately going to the despairing thoughts I have been used to, I grab a verse like “Holy and awesome is His name” (Ps. 111:9), and keep repeating it over and over, letting the truth sink in like light into darkness. I’m noticeably more strengthened and uplifted at this point by having Ps 1, 91, 111, 121, and Proverbs 3 in my mind, where I can take hold of them at any time.

I’ve been experiencing another great impact that I did not anticipate, and am profoundly grateful for. Thirteen years ago, I visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. In learning about the evil that took place there, I began questioning why God would choose to go through with Creation knowing this kind of horror would happen. Through the years I’ve read many books that address the problem of evil and have spoken to many Christian leaders in an attempt to resolve the angst in my relationship with God over this issue. Little did I know that once I started this process, my trust in His wisdom would be strengthened.

Two things help me continue my resolve to memorize daily. I’ve joined a Scripture memory group. We get together monthly, recite Scripture to each other, and everyone is so encouraged. Also, I leave a voicemail each day for a friend who has requested to use my memory work for her daily hearing of God’s Word—a win-win deal!

24 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Helen from TX

  • Chris Gray

    Helen, loved reading your testimony! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I was just talking about you with Mary Beth, you are such a blessing to those who know you! Love in Christ, Chris

    • Thank you so much, Chris. It was so fun to discover recently that
      we share in common a deep treasuring of Mary Beth and her prayer ministry – speaking of blessing!!

  • Shari B

    What a delight to read your story, Helen! Thank you for sharing it! I can really relate to how the Lord uses His Word to refocus your thoughts and to transform them. You are an encouragement to me!

  • Carmen Cole

    I appreciate your thoughts and honesty on your struggles with God. It’s best for me to accept that God is in control and that there will just be some things that will never be answered for me in this world.
    Scripture does help and strengthen my faith so that I don’t question.
    Thank you for your story

    • Sure appreciate what you said here, Carmen. Yes, its that “acceptance” thing that had been tripping me up!
      Your mentioning scripture strengthening your faith makes me think about how “chewing on” and deeply taking in these specific verses: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” Pr. 3:5, “Do not be wise in your own eyes” Pr. 3:7, “Great are the works of the Lord” Ps. 111:2, and “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth” Pr. 3:19, have been extra helpful!

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Helen, What an encouragment to see how God is using the memorization of Scripture in your life. I too have found that redirecting my thoughts to God’s word can calm my fears and point me to the only true source of joy. God is so good and loving to give us His word and enable us through His Holy Spirit to store it in our hearts.

    • Yes, Lise, and it’s the storing of it in our hearts that makes all the difference, isn’t it! We really can choose between meditating on our worries or meditating on God’s Word. Hmmm….quite a big
      difference between the two!

  • Helen, I am rejoicing at the profound change in your trust toward God’s wisdom. I know we have spoken of this many times. I thank God for leading you to this new awareness and I thank you for sharing it. I think it wiill touch many people and give them direction in something that will help them.
    PS You are a fantastic author, I encourage you to keep writing.
    In Him, Anne

    • Thank you so much, Anne. You have made it safe for me to bring up this issue so many times throughout these years. Your understanding and acceptance have reflected what I believe God’s kindness is like.
      Much love to you!

  • Richie Malone

    Helen, great tips for transforming our minds with scripture! I think we all tend to get in the ditch when left to ourselves and God’s word does pull us out of that low place. I like your idea of leaving a friend a voice mail with the scripture you are learning for that day. She is expecting it, so you know you have to be memorizing one! Great ideas. Thanks!

    • You are so right, Richie! It’s been such a helpful motivator to keep me on track. I love that we each view it equally as a gift.
      She happens to be an audiologist who says she is just much more geared toward hearing the Word vs. reading it. Works for me!:)

  • Cindy Forester

    Helen, It brings me great joy to hear and see the impact that scripture memory is having in your life and perspective! What a wonderful testimony of the power of Gods Word. I’ve heard, along with many other people, that our minds are where our most intense battles are fought. I have certainly found this to be true in my life. Although I am not currently memorizing scripture, your testimony continues to inspire me to that end. Thank you! And, I am so grateful to call you friend and sister in Christ! Love you, Helen!!!

    • Cindy, thank you for sharing my joy about the impact of Bible memory so far. You have been a great encourager since I began the process, not to mention all the years of close support and encouragement before now. I am beyond grateful to get to call you friend and sister in Christ as well.
      Love you, too!

  • Susan Turner

    Helen, thank you for sharing your story. I love your humility and authenticity. Your love for the Lord is evident and personal and you are a blessing to your scripture memory group. Thank you for demonstrating how to stand on the truth of the Word of God amidst the chaos in our world.

    • Thank you so much, Susan, for your thoughtfulness in giving me this encouragement. Your last sentence describes exactly what I want to shoot for. I see Ps. 1:3 “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water…” as a good visual illustration of it!

  • Cherie

    Thank you for sharing Helen. I have been fascinated for years as to what it is about our human nature that makes our UN-captured thoughts go down dark roads of worry-regret- and plain old negativity. My son turned 15 recently. Just last night (!) I ran to my memory work for strength. When I did, God revealed to me a solution for the issue, and it was wisdom that DID NOT come from me. Thank you God for Shari who pointed you to the one and only solution there is. And you took hold and ran with it! So many would’ve just thought, “oh I can’t do that, I can’t memorize, I’ll keep looking for another solution to my worries.…” Not you. You’ve found the secret of having God’s Word and heart etched in yours. I’m gonna guess (HA!) that God will be putting a person in front of you that needs this desperately. Have an extra copy of Janet’s book to give on that occasion! 🙂

    • Thank you, Cherie, for all that you shared here. It is all so uplifting! I love hearing that you are out there at a similar place on this parenting journey. If there are any specific verses or sections from your memory work that you run to the most for strength in parenting, I hope you will consider sharing them!
      And yes, I would absolutely love to have the privilege of helping someone else as Shari helped me!!

      • Cherie

        Hi Helen,
        When I “run to” my memory work, it isn’t to a scripture that necessarily pertains to the issue I’m dealing with as a parent? I just go to either what I’m actually working on that day (whatever chapter or book) or I run to one of the Psalms I’ve memorized. Of the 10 Psalms I’ve completed, I’ve noticed I “run to” —Psalm 5, 27, 103,&121 the most. 🙂

        • I really appreciate seeing your list of specific psalms, Cherie. I just read them all…some great choices for what
          to add to my list to memorize! Thanks again.

  • Hi, I’m Linda, Helen’s friend. I am the one who is the lucky recipient of her voice messages every day with her new Scripture on it. I get to share in the comfort and peace of the Scriptures and look forward to them every day. Thanks so much Helen!

  • Helen, I want to hear more about your memorization.
    Maybe over lunch after Followers you can share.
    Meditation and hiding God’s Word in my heart has
    been a blessing as the Holy Spirit brings it forth
    at an appropriate time. I was blessed by what you
    shared and look forward to hearing more from you.

    I love you!

  • Betty, your example of knowing scripture so thoroughly, as I have been privileged to observe for the last eleven years in Followers, played a part in my motivation to even start this process!!! Thank you for your invitation to share more…I look forward to that.