Love is more than a feeling. We know that. We know that there are plenty of times when it is more of a choice.
Trouble is, we don’t always know what that looks like, relationship-wise.
And so, when I saw my friend Lisa Jacobson talking about this exact topic on Instagram, I asked if she’d mind sharing some of her thoughts in this space. Because whether we’re navigating a relationship with our Valentine, our Galentine, or even our kids, it’s good to know what to do when we feel the “Great Spiral” coming on.
The Great Spiral (and how to avoid it!)
The morning began so well.
My alarm went off. I got right up and jumped in the shower. Popped breakfast in the oven.
On my way to a strong start in a new year. You see, I’m determined to be ready for church on time—which has not always been my strong suit.
But then just when everything was going so well, my husband walked in, observed my outfit, and with some surprise, said something like, “You’re wearing that?”
I was wearing a green, cable knit sweater and jeans. (Admittedly, not my typical attire as I tend to dress up a bit for church.)
So I shrugged my shoulders and told him it was supposed to snow. And with that, he smiled and left the room.
For him, this was merely an observation. A question of curiosity.
For me, it was criticism. Condemnation even.
And I felt the Great Spiral coming on.
Maybe it wasn’t a good morning.
Maybe I’d made a poor choice.
Maybe I can’t even dress myself right…
Time for a little talk with myself. “Lisa, you know he didn’t mean anything by it. Remember, HE LOVES YOU.”
And I DO know that but when I take something wrong…it’s so difficult to get back right again. All those old voices and past hurts flood my head until I can’t think straight.
So there I stood.
With only a few minutes to decide whether to let this moment defeat me
To take my thoughts captive and choose love instead.
I had a choice to make.
And I wrestled awhile.
Then walked out of the room, slipped my hand into his, and we made it to church on time—casually, in my sweater and jeans.
Taking Your Thoughts Captive
I don’t know if you ever struggle with the Great Spiral like I do. But it’s amazing how someone can say or do something that will quite unexpectedly send my mind into a deep dive.
Not only hard on my heart, but rather hard on my relationships too.
And I used to feel helpless when that happened.
One wrong move and there she goes….
Until I came onto this verse:
“…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
That’s when it dawned on me that I don’t have to be ruled by my runaway thoughts: I can take them “captive.” It’s on me to be in charge of my mind—rather than the other way around.
And same with you.
So the next time someone you love says something that threatens to send you into a spiral?
Remember what is true.
And then don’t let the offense – whether real or imagined – take you for a ride.
Take those thoughts captive.
Want more practical relationship wisdom from Lisa Jacobson? You’ll find her over at Club31women.com, or follow her on Instagram @club31women.
And P.S. — if you’re like I am, and you know that you can’t stop all those runaway thoughts on your own, why not turn Lisa’s “aha” verse into a prayer:
Help me destroy every proud obstacle that keeps me from knowing you. Work in me to capture my rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NLT)