I dreamed crazy dreams in my sleep. Dreams of hurt and pain. I woke with dread and heartache. It felt real and raw. My hands shook. My heart raced. I let the dreams from my night’s sleep take me to sheer panic. Once the fog lifted, I knew the feelings were from a dream not reality, but the idea of the hurt and pain that seemed so real kept nagging at my spirit. I allowed those ideas to turn into what-if questions. What if it happens? What if I cannot handle it? What if I am going crazy?

Stressful situations, real and thought based, bring notions of despair, pain, anger and hopelessness.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4: 6-7).

When we take control of our thoughts, there is peace, the peace of God. It guards your hearts and minds. Our minds become focused on God and do not rely on our feelings.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” (Philippians 4:8).

Training our minds to think about such things gives us greater opportunities to glorify God. Think through your problems with a whatever plan rather than reacting with what-ifs.

If there is a feeling of failure: think about whatever is true. We may not have succeeded this time, but with a little tweaking, we can create an opportunity for success next time.

If there is a feeling of loneliness, think about whatever is right. Seek out a friend. Be the friend you want them to be.

If there is shame, think about whatever is pure. You are forgiven as a believer in Christ, no more shame! Train your thoughts to not focus on the past but on what is to come.