Do you ever feel washed up and exhausted from the daily waves of emotions?
When “life” happens and you once again succumb to the rip tide of circumstance and let your emotions follow whatever way it takes you?
Or when the slow flood of trials, hurts, and heartbreak builds up and you feel like your slowly drowning under the weight of this burden?
Yeah, me too.
I’ve been putting this post off for weeks now. Because I’ll think “oh next week, I’ll have a better handle on my emotions” and somehow think I’ll feel less hypocritical for trying to speak on the subject. But really this isn’t about me having finally “arrived” and suddenly able to doll out some expert advice. Instead this is simply a reminder to my stubborn heart to be proactive in anchoring myself in Christ. Not just for me, but for the relationships I hold dear. Because-
When we allow ourselves to be tossed around by the extreme highs and lows of emotions, it can leave the ones we love most damaged in the wake of the storm.
Because it’s a choice. There’s always a choice in how you respond.
Ouch. That’s hurts to hear. It’s a wake up call to sometimes look at my husband and realize he’s walking on egg shells- gauging how I’m feeling today, trying to avoid upsetting me. That’s so not fair. I’m mortified to even admit to you guys that it can get that bad.
And so to remind myself, here are three completely basic, totally simple, ways to proactively anchor your heart in Christ.
1. Immerse your heart and mind in all that is good, right, pure, lovely.
Most importantly, do this with Scripture. Daily get in the Word. Let it wash over your mind and press upon your heart. I can’t stress how important this is.
The word of God is rest for your soul, peace for your mind, joy to your heart. Lay down your burdens and read the Words of life. Scripture is such a gift, but it requires daily effort.
Once you start disciplining yourself to be in the Word daily, maybe join a Bible Study and dig a little deeper. Or try memorizing Scripture. That can be daunting, I know. Here’s my journey with it and a few tips.
Also, can we talk about the power of music? I truly believe that it has a way of speaking the language of the soul. Expressing things that cannot be expressed in any other way. Blast this album (or whatever your latest favorite worship mix is) loud in the kitchen while you clean up those dishes and you’re bone tired and worn out. Breathe deep and let the music and the words wash over the weariness and quiet those emotions.
2. Give thanks
Start counting even the simplest things and recognize them for what they are- gifts from God. Write them, speak them out loud, tweet them, whatever it takes. My list is full of so many seemingly inconsequential things-
- first sip of coffee in the early morning dark.
- that stranger who held the door for me while i struggled with the stroller on the steps
- forehead kisses
Random, right? But when we pause in these little moments and count such things as gifts, we anchor our hearts to a God who shows himself faithful, constant, and steady.
The joy that wells up in the counting crowds out any desire to succumb to self absorbed emotions.
When we lost my Grandpa 2 years ago, the grief was hard and raw. But watching my Grandma mourn the loss of soul mate was devastatingly heartbreaking . Last week on family vacation we were talking about thankfulness in a bible study and she told us with tears that threatened to spill,
“When God finally compelled me to be thankful for bringing your grandpa home, he delivered me from my deepest sorrow”.
Talk about a testimony of learning to give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thess. 5:18) I have much to learn.
“The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places… life grows.” – Ann Voskamp
3. Seek accountability
When the waters of your emotions are in a moment of rest, talk to the Lord first, and then to your spouse, a friend, a pastor, or a biblical counselor. Ask for prayer and support and for them to confront you when you need it.
It’s easy to deny and justify your struggle if you’re bearing it alone. But confessing it keeps you accountable, so that in those days that emotions rise up, you can identify it. Then with help, you can make the hard choice to-
fix your heart on the one who calms the storm and calls you to walk upon the water.
Continue on this faith walk with your focus on Christ, rather than on the waves that rise up around you.
“When I thought, ‘my foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19
I like to put little Scripture cards in my kitchen window, and I thought I’d share this 3X5″ card I quickly put together this past week so that you can enjoy it too!