Heading Down What If’s and Why’s Lane


2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

It’s an artful dance I find myself constantly doing.  Today was no exception when my mind started wandering down what if and why lane.  It’s a dangerous road, full of potholes, pits, traps, and snares.  You can tiptoe carefully along but eventually you will trip, twist your ankle, or fall into one of the deep dark pits.

My what if’s and why lane consisted of wishes that are really quite silly.

What if I lived closer to xyz group of women whom I admire.  Just maybe I’d be part of their neat little group of encouragers/writers.

What if I never make it anywhere with my writing and I am just spinning my wheels.

And the conversation in my head went on.

Until I put my foot down and backtracked off of that dusty road and padded back into the soft, safe green grass.

When I allow myself to go down What if’s and Why lane, I am taken over by negative thoughts.  I remember just a few years ago hearing people toss key phrases around, like Christians often do, “Take your thoughts captive.”  What I really wanted to know when I’d hear this is how?

How do you take your thoughts captive and what on earth does that really mean?

It sounds nice and spiritual to say, doesn’t it?  Take your thoughts captive. However, don’t you think it would help to explain what that means, if you are going to say it?  Yeah, that’s what I thought too.  So here it goes.

When I catch myself heading down What If’s and Why lane, I try to catch myself before I even step foot on the path.  I am not always successful in doing so.  I have realized the Holy Spirit is helping me here because I have asked for help to be made aware when I start to go there.  I’ve spent enough of my life bumping along and getting stuck down that dirty road.  I don’t want to continue it.

So when my mind takes off on it’s own as it sometimes does, I work on bringing myself back by firmly deciding that I am NOT going to think on the negative thoughts anymore.  I pray about it and I ask for help.

Then I think about something completely unrelated to the topic and I make myself think about that something else.  Sometimes I do it out loud.  Often times I will start singing a hymn or another type of song just so my brain is required to do something other than slither down a road I am not supposed to go down.

Of course there are times that we do need to focus our energies on somethings.  I’m not talking about pretending everything is okay and sweeping the bad under the rug. What I am suggesting is that you have the power to allow your thoughts to drag you down and take you to some dark places.  I know.  I’ve been there.  Quite frequently in fact and I hate that trip.  It’s no vacation and it offers no benefits.

If you need to work out something in your past, please seek counseling. Ask a trusted friend, pastor, or mentor if they know someone who will counsel you.  Pastors are often available to counsel and they are free (at least that is my experience).  If your pastor can’t do it or you don’t feel comfortable with that (totally understandable) he will know someone to refer you to.

In the New Year, I challenge you to take charge of your thoughts. If you do so prayerfully, I guarantee you will see results.  If you need to seek counseling, do it.  Don’t let your past continue to haunt you and drag you down.  You can move past your past.

You might also like my series, 31 Days of Depression.

Image copyright melindatodd.com


  1. Love this post…I have most of my thoughts in my car (hence my blog post today)..I tend to listen to k-love or any other Christian radio station…and if they really run ramped then I usually listen to an up building teaching CD..thank you for your post…I found you blog via Thursday blog hop.



    • I listen to Klove too. All the time! It helps a lot! Thanks for stopping by Sherry 🙂 I can’t get your link to your blog to work. I’ll see if I can’t google it.

  2. Hi Mel:

    You are so right. So often we all play reruns of “what ifs and why” in our mines. In other words it can be called pessimism. But in God’s words, it is called spirtual warfare when especially it involves doing God’s work. Satan doesn’t want us to succeed. But we are given a choice to remain steadfast doing what we know God has called us to do. It helps to remember God’s word and promises. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He kept on quoting scriptures. We ought to follow the example of Jesus.

    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
    (2 Timonthy 1:7)

    Paul Cheng recently posted..The Reason for Christmas

  3. Taking every thought captive is so important… this year has been a trying one for us and I admit I struggled in this area.

    I found your blog through Wordfilled Wednesday and am your newest follower 🙂

    Joy & Blessings to you in the coming year,
    Alida recently posted..Two of the three

  4. Hi Melinda,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. I love this post! I so needed to hear it today. I look forward to following your blog.
    Happy New Year!
    Tasha Fontenot recently posted..Barbies for BOYS!

  5. Yes the bible tells us what we should think about. Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (Philippians 4:This should be the benchmark for our thoughts. If the bible says we can do it, then it means we can. God bless and thanks for visiting my blog. Great post.
    Bisi recently posted..An excellent oil!!

  6. Hey girl. Found your blog on Sheila Walsh’s page. Love this post. God must have us on the same wavelength as my post for today runs on the same thoughts! So good to meet a new bloggy friend!

  7. Love this one. I read it a few days ago and left the page up so I could come back and read it again,

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