Encouragement for the Woman Who is Drowning

I had a completely different blog post topic that I wanted to share this week, but then I was attacked by life events and just couldn’t do it. Does that ever happen to you? You can make all sorts of plans and have wonderful intentions, but then everything gets hijacked by events outside of your control. Our emotions can get the better of us, and things that seemed so important just don’t hold as much weight anymore.

Here’s a really “fun” twist: If you have empathic tendencies, these derailing moments don’t even have to directly impact your daily life. Significant events that impact your family and friends can feel overwhelming. When you are close to several people who are going through difficult times, it can feel like the world is caving in on itself!

This is where I found myself as I tried to finish writing the words I wanted to share here today. While I still want to share my reflections from 2022 and goals for the new year based on what’s been working and what hasn’t… this isn’t the time. I don’t have it in me right now to look past the grief and pain that so many are dealing with, so that post will just have to wait.

What do we do when our emotions are working overtime to take control? I would typically turn to comfort foods and desserts, but I just started The 40-Day Sugar Fast with a few friends this week. I see this ironic scenario as a direct attack on my willpower (rude!), and I find myself emotionally yelling at the devil to Step. Off. 

Other options I often consider while drowning in my emotions include crawling into bed until I can face people again, ignoring all responsibilities while my motivation is nonexistent, buying things I probably don’t actually need, and reading fiction or fantasy books that allow me to escape reality. Do any of these tendencies sound familiar? 

More importantly, are any of these choices helpful or valid as long-term solutions? Sadly, no. 

Let me be very clear about this part: I’m 100% onboard with taking some time for self-care and getting reoriented after having the wind knocked out of you (beaten out, squeezed out… I know there are different levels of this!). If sobbing into your ice cream or crawling into bed for a bit is what your tired soul needs, DO IT. Have your moment of retail therapy or escape into another world through the pages of a book or movie. 

But we can’t live there forever.

There was a devotional book* I read recently that described a process where you observe a moment of silence and imagine your worries floating above you like balloons. Then imagine God coming along, grabbing the strings, and holding onto those worry balloons for you. When I gave it a try, this was such a beautiful moment to visualize. It’s not that the worries are gone - I can still see them. But I’m no longer the one who is exhausted from holding onto them 24/7. 

And here’s the best part: We can rest easier knowing that God is strong enough to hold them as long as we need Him to, and He loves us enough to do just that. 

 

*Odd(ly) Enough: 3-Minute Devotions to Passionately Pursuing Your Purpose by Carolanne Miljavac

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