Weeks ago, what seemed like something out of a movie became reality. Global pandemic. People asked to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary. Losing loved ones. Job loss and loss of business, everything seemed to stop all at once. CRAZY. Truth be told, many of us have had a range of emotions since this started. It feels like a battle between fear and faith. Even as a believer, my faith has been tested. I’ve had restless nights, moments of fear and I even asked God why this was happening (check the BLOG).
The reality for many of us is that our emotions/feelings can shift from moment to moment. You could be just fine and see one report that sends you in a downward spiral. It could be the weight of the loss of income, the burden of being home with none of the usual outlets. It could be fear of the state of your small business that isn’t open and the uncertainty of what the future holds. The thing is, anxiety and stress come from looking at the problems.
If you haven’t heard the song “2 Places” by the amazing Tori Kelly, take a pause and check it out. She captured the essence of it all in song, “one hand holds on to hope, the other’s filled with doubt.” Question is, who told us we can’t experience fear? Why is it that Christians act like they should be immune to fear, doubt, etc. Even the disciples that walked alongside Jesus himself were afraid, and doubtful to say the least. So why do we give ourselves such a hard time? I’ve heard so many believers “Faith Shaming” others who have a moment of fear, doubt, panic, etc.. STOP IT.
Reality for some of us is that we are giving a facade of strength because the people around us are afraid, nervous, on edge, etc. and you are being everything for everyone else. Problem is that you don’t have an outlet to express what YOU are feeling. Everyone is at home, so some don’t even have an escape to breathe, pray, cry or whatever it is that you need to do.
You are a human being and it’s natural to feel whatever you feel, the challenge is not staying in that place. I intentionally shaved my head to give a visual of what some of us feel. One side is fine, the other not so much. Scared? Ok. Maybe it’s time to turn the tv and social media off. Remember, what you feed grows. Financial concerns? Depression? Doubt? All real and some of what we feel especially in this season. And maybe it’s easier said than done, but acknowledge where you are and shift. Whatever you do, DO NOT STAY IN THAT PLACE.
Part of my strategy during this time has been to change my focus. It’s easy to look at what’s wrong, no business, losing people close to you, financial concerns, fear of getting the virus. Ughhhhh. But when you fix your focus on God it changes everything. One of my favorite scriptures and the basis for an amazing book I’m reading, “Get Out of Your Head: Stopping The Spiral of Toxic Thoughts,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” In times like these, we need to do just that and take every thought captive. Literally we think somewhere around 3000 thoughts per hour. That’s a lot and when we consider that the majority of them are negative that makes it worse. But if we “Take every thought captive” we can change the trajectory of our lives. As Jennie Allen says in the book, when you realize that you have a choice with every thought that you think, it’s a game-changer.
I am learning to give myself 5 minutes to feel anything negative. Whatever it is, anger, frustration, doubt, etc. after that timer goes off, I CHOOSE to think and feel differently. It’s not always easy, but when you realize it’s a CHOICE it’s hard to choose to feel negative.
Another incredibly powerful thing for me has been reading Words of affirmation. I speak daily affirmations to encourage myself and to help start the day in the right way. I speak over my life, my business, my finances, my family. ALL OF IT. I also ensure that I spend adequate time in relationship and communion with God.
At the end of it all, times are tough. We are experiencing something that many of us never imagined would happen. Watching the news will leave you feeling really low. I encourage you to feel what you feel, but don’t stay there. If you need to please reach out and get professional help. If nothing else, please email me and know that I will pray for you (and I don’t just say it, I actually do it).
I TRUST GOD.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding (or the understanding provided by social media or what the news said or the latest conspiracy theory, or the rising numbers) in ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and he WILL direct your path (because even when I don’t see Him he’s working and even when I don’t feel Him he’s working).