In an article of our May Prayer Letter, I talked about the neuroscience of abiding in Christ (John 15:7-8). One aspect of this—with which I got to encourage the students of Destino—is healing memories. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Dr. Caroline Leaf explains that thoughts you dwell on (good or bad) actually form a physical structure in your brain. Toxic thoughts and painful memories can actually mess with the instructions your brain sends to your body (one reason why stress can weaken your immune system or even contribute to injuries). Capturing those thoughts, processing those memories, and allowing God to be sovereign over them can have a profound effect on emotions and even physical health. Isaiah 26:3 says “You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
But what does that look like practically speaking? Dr. Leaf explains that engaging deeply with the Lord has a measurable healing effect. Once you have captured a thought or memory, “the thought becomes ‘labile,’ which means it is unstable and changeable.… You can tear toxic strongholds down by choosing to bring the thought into conscious awareness for analysis and then changing it through repentance and forgiveness—which causes protein synthesis—and replacing it with the correct information, using Philippians 4:8 or a similar Scripture guideline.”
In our quiet time with the Lord, we are filling our minds with truth from God’s Word, then in prayer, we ask the Lord to bring to light any thoughts or memories He wants to deal with. We then look for areas in that memory that we need to confess/repent (1 John 1:9), forgive (Luke 11:4), or thank Him for (Phil 4:6-8).