The topic of classes this week has been, “Right Thinking”. This has to be one of my favorite topics we cover in our 10:00 morning classes. Next to saving grace, in my opinion, this would be one of the most important topics for the ladies at VOH to learn.
The majority of the ladies come to VOH with extreme struggles in their thought life. Thoughts like: “God deserted me”; “I can’t ever change”; and “It is just hopeless, I’ve tried everything” are very common. These statements are so often on applications sent to VOH. These statements are also consuming the ladies thought life day in and day out. There is one common theme to this type of thinking-deception. The above thoughts are lies! So much of the work the VOH team and the ladies do is to identify lies that are believed and replace them with the truth found throughout God’s Word.
As we begin working through the way a counselee is thinking, it is so exciting to witness the joy they have when they realize there are solutions to the problems that brought them to VOH. When they apply to the program, they are overwhelmed with changing their behaviors. This task seems impossible. However as we begin the hard work of digging into their thinking to get to what is going on in their heart, they begin to have hope. They have hope because they start to recognize the lies that they have been believing and allowing to effect every choice they make.
The choices they are making are self-serving choices. They choose what will make them have comfort, control, ease, escape or pleasure. Then they are distraught because they are not getting what they want. Instead they end up hopeless, trapped and spinning out of control. Why? Because these self-serving choices they are making are based on lies. Lies like: “Alcohol will bring me pleasure”; “If I numb my pain I’ll feel better”; or “When I have complete control of my body weight I will be satisfied”.
As we investigate the truth of God’s Word, the ladies begin to believe that these self-service choices will NEVER satisfy! They begin to recognize the reason why God placed them on this earth- to live for Him rather than for self. We don’t see instant recognition of these truths. We repeat these truths over and over and eventually see their thinking change. We see a new habit begin- we see them thinking through Phil 4:8-“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”, we see them believing truth. And we see peace replacing turmoil, Phil. 4:9-” Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
~ Heather Starkweather, VOH Social Worker