from Rachel: When Your Thought Closet is Blue

In Psalm 42:5, what question did [the psalmist] record?

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?
“Why so disturbed within me?”

Why do you think the psalmist asked this question? Check one: He was… “searching for the reason for his despair.”

What colors make up your thought closet? “purple”

What color are your personality, your memories, secrets, feelings, treasure and thoughts?!

“With me everything is infused with purple. It chases away the clashing red of anger and green of envy. It does allow some yellow of fear, some blue (down or ‘H’), and it can vary from upbeat tones to somber mauves with greys and blacks.”

What emotions do you need to acknowledge?

I acknowledge I feel “anxiety and fear (sometimes about the next item, below)”
I acknowledge I feel “despair (about changing my messy ways)”
I acknowledge I feel “melancholy (but I smile more to fake it ’til I make it)”

What questions do you need to ask your soul?

“Why do I often feel anxious and a little melancholy as I leave the house to begin my responsibilities for the day? (Perhaps because I’m leaving the security of my safe, overcrowded nest of stuff)”

What does 1 Samuel 1:13 reveal about the way Hannah was talking to herself in the temple?

“She was fervent.”

How did Hannah explain what Eli mistook for drunkenness in verse 15?

“She was pouring out her soul to the Lord… praying out of her great anguish and grief.”

Dear God,

I acknowledge “that I feel safer with stuff, and anxious without.”
Questions I have include: “Why do I? How can I change this thinking?”

Psalm 42 tells me what to do. “Hope in ‘God’.”
I admit I tend to place my hope in “enough stuff.”

In Psalm 42:5,11, I will claim two promises:

¹ “I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
² “I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

The psalmist told his soul to hope in God and I will tell my soul to do the same.

Sincerely, “Rachel”

Write where the psalmist asked God to lead him when he was overwhelmed. (Psalm 61:2)

“‘to the rock that is higher than I’”

To what rock do you need to go when you feel overwhelmed? (See Matthew 16:15-18 for the answer.)

“the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Read Matthew 16:16. What did Peter confess about Christ?

“He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Dearest Rachel –

This is probably the one entry in this book that is both the most and least surprising. Least surprising in that your ‘thought closet,’ as the writer of the study tends to use as an extended metaphor, is purple – by this time in your life, you had essentially established this as ‘your’ color, to the virtual exception of all else (although you would sometimes complain about the grief you would get for wearing red and green at this particular time of year, because, “it’s Christmas!”) – but more surprisingly, insofar as you go into detail as to why the other colors don’t tend to predominate, and what each of them represent.

With that being said, the fact that you characterize yellow as the color of fear (and, to be sure, it has that association in certain contexts) would tend to suggest that it is the farthest thing from you, as purple is opposite it on the color wheel. And yet, you acknowledge that you have a certain measure of it in your life. Perhaps the purple of your mind was meant as a means of overcompensating for the fears you did feel within yourself – unfortunately, I’m no longer in any position to ask you for clarification in this matter. I do appreciate your deliberate avoidance of both anger and envy, while at the same time allowing yourself the occasional bouts of sadness and… let’s just characterize it along the lines of a comedian who “works blue“, as a reasonably family-friendly way of putting it. You can understand why a husband would take pleasure in that being a part of you, of course.

Once again, though, there’s a lot here about your being overwhelmed by the stuff you couldn’t let go of, lest you lose it forever, and the fact that you couldn’t move forward without at some point taking some steps to deal with it. It may well be that you couldn’t have asked for Jan’s help in getting this place cleaned, especially to the point where it is today (well, of course not, since there’s hardly a stitch left here for you to wear; but that’s beside the point), but you seemed to know you needed to do something; you just didn’t know what, or how. It’s something of a shame that the answer to your question about ‘how can I change this thinking?’ turned out to be so drastic.

Granted, I have to always catch myself at this point and be clear that there is no place for cause-and-effect conjecturing. To say that you were at an impasse regarding this struggle in your life is not to suggest that what happened to you was in any way because of it. That way lies madness. It does mean, however, that you’ve now been freed of that hold on your things, and the Gordian knot I was left with has been cut. I hope that, given the infinitely better place you are, you’re okay with that.

Take care, honey, until we talk again.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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