In the beginning, before the creation of the world, God, because of His great love for me (Rom. 5:8, I Jn. 4:19) chose to save me as His child (John 15:16, Eph. 1:4, II Thess. 2:13). He knew me even before I was formed in my mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13-16, Jer. 1:5) and had a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11)! Part of His plan was for me to go through some difficult and painful situations. What others had meant for evil, God meant it for my good and His glory (Gen. 50:20, Rom. 8:28-30)! In God’s perfect timing (Ecc. 3:1), He brought opportunities across my path and people into my life to help me work through my pain and to learn to love and forgive those who hurt me. One person was a godly woman in my church whom I learned was a counselor. I approached her one Sunday and asked her if I could meet with her to receive some counsel. She graciously accepted my request and we began a sweet friendship which we still enjoy today. During these counseling sessions, we’d email quite often. I recall her telling me in one email that she thought I wrote well. I had never thought of myself as a writer, so this was very encouraging to hear. Another person who was a big help was my husband.
He would often remind me to think before I spoke and to get my thoughts together before I opened my mouth. For me, this would be a very difficult and challenging discipline because I’m thinking all the time and I tend to just speak my mind! But, I was up for the challenge and know that with God, ALL things are possible and in my weaknesses, I’m made strong (Mt. 19:26, II Cor. 12:9-10). A little over four years ago after a surgery, the Lord used a blood clot in my lung to grab a hold of my stubborn, rebellious heart. For most of my life, I had been greatly neglecting the means of God’s grace He had shown to me by sending His Son Jesus to die for my sins, a death that I deserved (I Tim. 1:15-16, II Cor. 5:21)). This frightening situation caused me to think about eternity and my relationship with Christ…I began to fear death and although I had accepted Christ as my Savior, I didn’t have a right relationship with Him because I wasn’t faithfully reading His Word and had no prayer life! It didn’t take long for me to start reading the Bible more faithfully. I had desired and attempted to read through the Bible, but never accomplished this goal. I was thankful when Joni Earickson Tada, whose devotional emails I had been receiving, encouraged her readers to read through the Bible chronologically with her and her husband. As I began to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I found myself becoming eager to share what I had read and what God was teaching me. The biggest outlet available for me to share my heart with others was on Facebook. Over time, some of my FB friends encouraged me to try blogging. Knowing nothing about blogging, I sought counsel from a couple of my pastors, shared some of my ideas with my counselor, sister and husband but never did anything with it and kept sharing on FB.
In the meantime, I had heard about the book “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp which I purchased and enjoyed reading. Although it was a challenge to grasp her style of writing, I kept pressing on and soon grew to love her style! 🙂 It was through her that I learned about the website called (in)courage. Again, I researched a little about this website but didn’t become more interested in it until recently when I signed up to receive their blog emails. I then received an email inviting me to sign up for one of their online FB groups to receive encouragement in whatever subject I chose from their list. Having an interest in writing but also desiring fellowship, I wasn’t sure which group to connect with…I ended up choosing the writing group and am looking forward to learning more about writing. So, I was signed up for encouragement in writing, but still hadn’t started blogging. I had learned through a FB friend who was also a college roommate that she had recently started blogging. This reignited my interest so I asked her how she got started. I did a little research and was convinced to give blogging a try…so, as of February 1, 2014, I officially became a blogger! 🙂 Due to having contemplated blogging for a couple years, I’ve had plenty of time to think about a title for it and a picture I might use. Unfortunately, my initial ideas didn’t come to pass, but I am thankful for the great suggestion my husband gave me because it fit perfectly with where I am struggling in my spiritual journey today.
The morning I began to seriously consider blogging, I was reading in Matthew 20 about two blind men who asked Jesus to heal them by opening their eyes and giving them sight. Because of their faith, they were healed. This story prompted what I thought might be a good title for my blog which was Lord, Open my Eyes. I shared this with my husband who immediately threw at me the title, Captivated Thoughts. I thought about putting both my idea and his together, but my husband thought it was too long. So, his suggestion won and couldn’t be more perfect due to my struggling to cast down my imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and to bring my thoughts into captivity (II Cor. 10:5). I am so grateful to God for giving me the gift of writing and for the people He used to reveal this gift to me and to help me grow in my relationship with Christ. I’m excited to see where He’ll lead me on this new journey. My desire is to know Christ and to make Him known…what a better way to do that than through writing! 🙂 .