Do you ever get emotional whiplash?
I do…It goes something like this…
My heart swells as confidence in God’s plan for my life peaks. My heart is full of love for Him who made me, love for those around me, and excitement for where He is taking me. I trust that His plans are better than I could ever imagine. Peace washes over me.
Two hours later my heart feels tight and small in my chest. My mind wonders if I heard God right, as my hands fight for control over a situation in which I have no control. I am edgy, irritable, and self-absorbed. I doubt that the work I am doing will ever amount to anything. Hopelessness drags my heart down.
Maybe it is just me. Maybe you all have your emotions under better control than I do. But if not, what do you do when you find yourself there – in the midst of emotional whiplash? Do you feed your edgy, irritable, self-absorbed side? I do sometimes.
What can we do when our emotions run around like chickens with their heads cut off? We can run with them feeling every emotion under the sun and wear ourselves out. We can allow the neck pain from our emotional whiplash to only infect the irritation that has started in our hearts and be the crabby person that God never intended us to be. YIKES I am that person WAY too often.
Or we can do something about it. It isn’t easy to let go of the crabbiness, but it is our choice. Don’t get me wrong just saying I choose not to be crabby does not immediately remove the crabby from my heart. No, but not wanting to be crabby is the first step. Only don’t do what I often do. Get more crabby because my crabbiness doesn’t subside immediately. Instead you have to choose to lead your heart with your mind.
This exercise is frustrating at times. My heart is terribly hard and rebellious. But it is necessary because God tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” We cannot even begin to understand our hearts because they are so sick. So how do we lead them with our minds?
- Choose what to focus on. Focus on God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power. He can do all things, we just need to trust Him to do what is best for us.
- Name things for which you are thankful. Life, breath, family, friends, Jesus.
- Pray about how you are feeling. God knows anyway and He is the only one who can help you change your emotions.
What do you do when you experience emotional whiplash?
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