“I’m never going to be married.”
“I can never be a good spouse.”
“We can never work through this pain together.”
“I can never forgive myself.”
“I will never change.”
“My situation will never change.”
“I’m never going to be who they need me to be.”
“I’m not going to be able to make it through this.”
Doomed. Stuck. Lost. Hopeless. Depressed. Ever been there? I have, and it stinks. In those moments I can feel so lost, so defeated, like the very air I breathe has been kicked right out of me. These are the days I want more than anything to hide under my covers, to wallow in pain, self-pity and anger. So often, it’s in our most challenging times, our deepest moments of despair, we find we can either break down or break through.
Believe me, I’ve done both! The difference, I’ve found, comes down to how I tackle it. If I turn inward, I stay stuck far longer. I may come up with solutions in my head and my heart, but they are usually knee-jerk reactions with an air of desperation to them. Ironically, I’ve noticed my so-called “solutions” born in the heat of the moment rarely produce positive, healthy results over time. It may give me an immediate fix, but it tends to backfire and send me right back to where I started, feeling even worse for the experience. Even if my decisions are purely logical, if I leave God out of the process, they just don’t seem to go as well.
When I lean into God instead, it still amazes me what happens. I get messy with God. I let him see all my emotion, my pain and hurt. I never put on masks with Him. I am always painfully real. As I do so, He begins to show me what’s broken within me that I need to grow in, or reminds me of my worth and value. He speaks to me through His word with scriptures, and I make time to listen for His voice and sense His presence, which always brings me a sense of safety and of peace. The solutions rarely come as quickly when I work through them with God. He tends to not run ahead nearly as fast as I’d like to. Yet time and time again, I have found His solutions work, even if they make no sense in the moment. I grow. I change. I genuinely heal. I have confidence in my decisions because I know I’m walking in step with Him.
I’ve also learned God is much better at diffusing my emotion than I am. Alcohol and partying just mask it. Activity just buries it for a while. Friends help, definitely, but only God can take the maelstrom in my heart and begin to replace it with peace and even joy again. The more I turn to Him, the quicker I become at letting go of the negative lies and embracing truth – that I am worthy, that He can change me and my situation, that I deserve to have joy and peace in my life because Jesus died to give me those things. He reminds me of what I can do, and what I need to let go of. My world can be falling down around me, but He’s still there to hold me and guide me through it all, keeping my heart and my mind safe through the process.
When you next feel attacked emotionally, take some time to turn to God in that moment. Read some scriptures, spend some time praying. Do those things that help you feel connected with God. Take time to be still and listen for His voice. You will be amazed at the results!
For Further Thought: “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress,” (Psalm 71:1-3). What are some ways you can turn to God when you are feeling emotionally attacked? Have a plan in place, and spend some time praying with God about it this week.