Are Your Emotions Controlling You?
"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
As I sat in the passenger seat on the drive to Oklahoma City, my heart and mind raced with anxiety. I consumed myself with thoughts of what-if’s and why me’s. My plane to California was leaving the next day, once again taking me away from the Southern family, friends, and landscape I loved so much. My future (career, marriage, life on the West Coast) seemed hazier than the San Francisco fog I knew was sure to meet me back in the Bay.
Rather than controlling my thoughts and emotions, I was letting them completely run me. Here's what went wrong:
Problem 1: I overlooked my current blessings and only tried to picture my future, but I forgot to place God there with me.
Problem 2: In the days leading up, I didn’t spend adequate time with God and in His Word. My heart was a breeding ground for negativity and anxiety.
Problem 3: I believed the lie that giving in to self-pity “for just a bit longer” would make me feel better.
To stop the emotional roller coaster when we’re feeling out of whack, we have to get back to God. Wherever you hear from God most, get there and stay a while. For me, it’s outside in His creation. Try spending the first half of that time recognizing your need for God, asking forgiveness for my inward focus, and thanking Him for the provisions in your life (when in doubt, go back to the basics... food, running water, the right to vote, etc) and the rest of the time just listening.
When our emotions leave us feeling hopeless, sad or overwhelmed, it could be a clear sign that we aren’t connecting to the source of our joy. By making the time and creating the space to get near God and seek His wisdom, He can fill us with the peace and perspective to break up those life-sucking feelings of hopelessness.