Last weekend, when I was at the salon getting my hair done, I was reading a book about neuroscience and brain plasticity and I came across a paragraph that resonated immensely with me:
“Neuroplasticity has the power to produce more flexible but also more rigid behaviours…it renders our brains not only more resourceful but more vulnerable to outside influences”.
The human body, and as I have learnt recently, the brain, is an incredible mechanism. It made me think about all the environments I have lived and worked in, and how our environments can affect our minds destructively. Conversely, as our minds are changeable, with God’s word, we have the power to reverse this.
Looking back on this notion, I have broken down key elements that have turned my world around and hope it will for others too.
Reading the paragraph about neuroplasticity, took me back to my years as a young adult when my thought patterns weren’t allowing me to live to my fullest potential. Now, being on the other side of complete freedom and looking back, it is incredibly evident how powerful the word of God is. I noticed this, because recently I came across a situation where someone, at the end of their life, had been robbed of living a fulfilled life due to fear and anxiety and I was deeply saddened by it. I am so hyper aware of the importance of what we feed our minds and what we say, as this will ultimately determine our destiny – in more ways than one.
Our thoughts become our words. The mind and the tongue are both powerful instruments and it is vital that we learn how to master them, because what we think, we speak, and the words we speak will become our world. (Proverbs 18:21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Our words become our actions. Fear is paralysing, and growing up in environments consumed by it, I was crippled by it. However, once I identified this, acknowledge the root of it, and stood up to it using God’s word daily (2 Timothy 1:7) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” my world began to change.
If I hadn’t dealt with fear, I wouldn’t have progressed forward. At one stage, ‘people’ used to be my greatest fear, so I implemented daily strategies, that then became natural habits of meeting and talking to people. These strategies helped me understand people from all walks of life and love them naturally without judgment, and at the heart of it all, I realised everyone was seeking the same thing - relationship. Loving and understanding people and building relationships is a major key to life. If I hadn’t faced my fears and built those people skills, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the things I set out to do, and most importantly, encourage and connect with others along the way.
If we don’t deal with fear, we become ineffective and not able to live as the person we were created to be. Nelson Mandela quotes “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Our actions become our habits. As a goal orientated person, one of my key habits was and is writing a list of goals for life – or else I am dysfunctional. However, what I have learnt is to (Proverbs 3:5-10) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”. We can make plans, and the majority of the time, how we get there is different to how we imagined. When we run with these visions in our own strength we burn out and make compromises along the way.
Again, holding onto the word of God is crucial. For instance, my industry is an incredibly corrupt world morally, and we see the fickleness of people and how it bites back. My key scripture was and still is: (Romans 12:2) “be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It’s here we live by example being the fragrance of Christ. Not by preaching at people, but as Pastor Steve and Kristy talk about, “being practical in our actions”. This is where is it fundamental to master our thoughts and words, because our actions become our habits and these will determine who we are as a person, manager, employee, partner, husband, wife, mother or father and it will determine effectiveness and our destiny in the short and long term future.
Our habits become our character. Sometimes we have to even let go of these goals, hopes and desires which can be a painful and challenging experience, especially when our character is being compromised. But GOD, God knows. He knows our heart, and he will meet us in the darkest times, and will not let us go through more than we can handle – and when he meets us there it is the most beautiful thing. Sometimes, it might take a day, a week, a month or even years for him to answer. But when he does, and all has been committed to him, when we look back, it all makes sense and this is where this scripture has always stayed with me (Matthew 6:33) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”. And when it is added to us in his way, it is beyond what could have been imagined as our destiny is worth being right.
Finally, carve out time for God. Be still. Be still and wait. Whilst we need to move forward in action and in faith to create a reaction, we also need to be still and know that God is ‘God’. (Psalm 46:10) “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Renata Ogayar is married to Tim Cochran and mother to Isabel Paloma. Renata holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Masters of International Relations, was a classically trained dancer (and still dabbles in the art form) and is currently a Film & TV Producer having worked for renowned companies including SBS, and has produced multiple Australian Dramas, Feature Films and Documentaries. A self-confessed bibliophile, she has an unquenchable curiosity and is always reading a book either a Classic, or topics about Global Politics, Gender Equality, Social Enterprises, Languages, The Human Condition, and most recently, Neuroplasticity and Thought Science underpinned by the word of God. When she isn’t doing all of the above, she is hiking up the lighthouse in Byron with a Isabel, socializing, attending events or off in LA LA Land – literally.