People often ask me about the name “Elevate Ideas” for my website. While it originated over three years ago as a name I thought was intended for one thing, God has morphed it into something else entirely (as He often tends to do). Regardless of the intent, the name has always been intentional — the purpose to encourage one to think above the current circumstance. To elevate your ideas and your thinking. And since that initial concept over three years ago, it has now become intensely personal (as God often tends to make it). He makes you walk it out.
Greg and I have tried to have another child for the past year and a half. And after a couple miscarriages, I am pregnant again. Even though I’m only 11 weeks along, things have been progressing perfectly. When I first found out, my doctor had me come in for blood work. Then he called me personally to tell me everything looked great. We’ve had a few ultrasounds already, each confirming a strong heartbeat and right-on-schedule growth. We are praising God for this blessing, and for His strong hand of protection on this child. However, I’m not just pregnant — I’m 36 and pregnant, which means I’m “Advanced Maternal Age” (as if!). Not only that, I’m pregnant, Advanced Maternal Age, and fresh off of a couple miscarriages. So there are some extra precautions we are taking, as well as some extra testing along the way. We’re only proceeding with those that both Greg and I are comfortable with, and that which doesn’t trigger fear for no reason for me.
The pregnancy has been great so far (if you consider feeling crappy and exhausted great, which my doctor does). And while I have noticed that pregnant at 36 is a whole lot different than pregnant at 30, I have zero complaints. Everything has turned out normal so far, with no reason for us to be concerned or fearful. That said, the most difficult part of this pregnancy so far has not been the physical aspect, but the mental. Fear has tempted to overtake me at virtually every turn. And that is where this website has become intensely personal for me. I am literally having to Elevate Ideas every single day.
When I’m driving down the street, thoughts will come into my mind about losing the baby. When I go for the ultrasounds, I’m afraid they won’t find a heartbeat. When the phone rings, I’m afraid it’s the doctor telling me they found something in a blood test. When I stare at the ultrasound picture, I’m convinced there’s something missing I should be seeing. And every time these thoughts plague me, I have to literally conjure up mentally all the scripture I can and just rehearse it over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen to sleep at night, praying to God his own words in Psalm 139:13-15: “For you created this child’s inward parts, Lord. You are knitting it together in my womb. I praise you, because this child is fearfully and wonderfully made — regardless of how you make it, it’s made by you — fearfully and wonderfully. This child’s frame is not hidden from you. You are weaving it together intricately in the secret place.”
When I get the most fearful and the most scared, all I can do is pray, and then choose to elevate my thinking. And I have to take specific action to avoid that which can trigger my fear. I have to purposefully avoid certain chapters in my pregnancy books. I can’t over-research certain pregnancy-related topics online. Or what I should be seeing or not seeing in a 9-week ultrasound. Or the risk of certain abnormalities. I just cannot go there. Because those things rapidly bring my thinking down to a fear level. And according to God’s word, I need to be thinking higher.
There are a number of scriptures that direct us to take special watch over our thoughts and thought patterns:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV)
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (Phil 4:8-9, MSG)
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2, NLT)
“Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.” (Eph 4:23-24, CEV)
Our strongest battle with fear will always be first in our minds. That which we imagine, which rarely exists in reality. And the only way to combat it is by elevating our thinking. And the only way to do that is to mediate on those things that are true. And the only true things are God’s Word. In the battles of this life, our only offensive weapon is the sword of the spirit (Eph 6:10-18). That’s it. That’s all we have. The rest of our armor is defensive. So the only way to battle the war of our minds is to elevate our ideas by thinking on God’s word.
It’s not just some mind game that we play to trick ourselves, or some formula that will “magically” make the bad disappear. Of course there has to be faith behind it, and a true belief of is Who God Is and that He Can Do What He Says He Can Do. Elevating your thinking to the true things of His word takes belief in what you’re thinking about.
This mental battle I’m fighting isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last. And it really isn’t a battle over my fear in this pregnancy, but it is a test of my belief system. If I really believe what I say I believe, then I need to fight like I do. Like Paul, “I couldn’t be more sure of my ground — the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end” (2 Tim 1:12). And so far, He’s trusted me to be a mother — first to my 5 year-old, and next to this precious unborn one. And since I’ve trusted in Him, I can trust that He’s going to take care of what He’s given me. First my 5 year-old, and next this precious unborn one. Of course I can trust Him with this one.
And all that trust starts with thinking on the best and not the worst. Letting God transform me by the renewing of my mind. Letting the Spirit change my way of thinking. Thinking in my heart, so am I.