We know that Alzheimer’s Disease can teach us several things: patience, the importance of each day and how we should make memories while we can. But another, rather negative lesson also surfaces.
A stronghold is any type of behavior or attitude that has a strong hold on us. Sometimes, it is the result of a lifetime of bad choices. Sometimes it is from a learned behavior and other times, it is based on a lie someone told us. Then we believed that lie and based our lives on it. Sad.
I have observed how strongholds endure, not only in my mother, but in myself as well. As we age, our strongholds may revisit us with a vengeance.
My mother’s propensity to worry has magnified with her Alzheimer’s. She admits it. “I’m a worrier,” she says. “I stew about everything.”
She worries that someone is stealing her money, her house or her car. All of us in the family know this is not true, but Mom’s fear is even stronger now that it is coupled with nightmares and the side effects of some medicines. Although she lives in a beautiful facility where she is perfectly safe, she is still a fearful person.
I don’t want that to happen to me.
So whenever I notice some of the strongholds of my past rearing their ugly heads, I fight against them with scripture and prayer. My favorite passages become fightin’ words that fill me with peace when the cares of this life attack me.
When fear tries to invade my peace, I hit it with Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord and He heard me. He delivered me from all my fears.”
When the lie of rejection torments me, I remind it of Hebrews 13:5 as God promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When failure screams at me, I holler right back from the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, “God has a good plan for my life. So there!”
Although strongholds may endure throughout a lifetime, we don’t have to let them torment us forever. The more we fight now, the more victories we’ll have later.
I want victory now so that I can live well and leave well.