Hold it together

24 May

Sometimes I really like being an emotional person. I love having emotions! I think it’s incredible that God gifted us with the ability to feel such wonderful feelings in such a deep and powerful way. I know most men don’t understand this – but it’s actually incredibly spiritual to be moved to tears over compassion or joy for ourselves or others!

It’s a beautiful thing to feel mercy (now that God is teaching it to me) compassion, joy, excitement, anticipation, happiness, love, adrenaline and more.

On the flip of that, we also feel negative emotions and feelings. Disappointment, frustration, sadness, embarrassment, jealousy, anger, and bitterness.
Not every negative emotions is sinful. We see from scripture that God is a jealous God who grows sad and angry in numerous different passages of scripture.

But it’s more common for us to struggle with sin when we’re feeling negative emotions.

And here comes my BIG CONFESSION for the day –

I’m HORRIBLE – ABSOLUTELY WRETCHED – at controlling my behavior once I let my emotions take control.

My best friend said it so well yesterday when we were discussing this – she says “what, like when the window breaks so you start slamming cupboard doors?”

Yes. Exactly.

Praise God I have made progress in this area because I at least recognize this behavior and feel immense shame over poor actions and reactions compared to years ago when I felt like my reactions were entitled and deserved.

But, I can’t make any claims to being free from this sin. I still struggle. Right now, because of some circumstances, daily.

It seems like Satan relishes the second we waver over a negative emotion. If he can further feed it, he will. And when negative emotions grow bigger or are combined with other negative emotions, women especially can hit overload quickly.

In the last two weeks, I’ve had three pretty intense meltdowns. (That doesn’t count all the minor ones.) At one point, I even cussed at my kids. And that really made me mad at myself. And the more mad I got at myself for not acting with control the more I cried and wallowed in the negative emotions.

I’m still learning how to hold it together when things seem like they’re falling apart.

-When the kids won’t listen.
-When I don’t feel love.
-When I feel like my needs aren’t being met.
-When I feel like I have more responsibility than I can keep up with.
-When I’ve cleaned up the same mess 2,568 days in a row.
-When I’m hormonal and tired.
-When I’m hurt.
-When I’m being sinned against.
-When someone is talking about me or attacking me.
-When unexpected expenses come up and the finances aren’t there to take care of it.
-When nothing seems to be going right and I can’t fix it.

What I do know is this – Practical Application is possible, though not easy.

1.) Recognize what is happening. The negative momentum loses steam quickly when you are aware of what is happening instead of being controlled subconsciously by it.

2.) Call out the lies. For example – if someone is talking about you, silence it with truth. Who does God say you are? What is true of you? What is true of them if they are behaving that way?
Or, you feel hurt by your husbands actions – Stop the voice in your head that attacks him. Shut it down with truth. Meditate on all the ways he does make you feel loved, all the things you respect about him, and all the wonderful things he does for you and the kids.

3.) Stop and pray for help. This is usually where I fail. I attempt to fight with my own strength and I’m often defeated. We need to act in the spirit to fight the habits of the flesh. Immediately confess your temptation, and ask for God for help in the moment.

4.) Maintain perspective. When something goes wrong, it’s easy to start seeing a multitude of things going wrong. When we see negative, we keep seeing negative. Get your composure and view the situation on a larger scale, maybe even an eternal one.

5.) Wait to talk until you’re calmed down. When you’re feelings some intense negative emotions, it’s best to get composure before trying to talk about it so you don’t react to what you’re feeling and hurt yourself or someone else unintentionally (or even intentionally.)

This practical application is not easy. It’s not one we can do once and be good for life. For me, this is a daily process. Hopefully one I’ll grow better at and stumble less often as I put good habits in place.

And thankfully, my husband is REALLY good at this, and gives me an incredible example to follow. I’ll have to ask him for some of his own tips and maybe come back and share them too!

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7 Responses to “Hold it together”

  1. Hope Blooms in Darkness May 24, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Yes, I struggle with this immensely! Actually this is the thing that scares me the most about my marriage in a few months, my fiancé is strong and not really emotional and I am definitely emotional! I love the way you started this by being so accepting of how God made you, I so often feel guilty about my emotions (even when I am controlling them) so this has shown me a little bit of freedom I want to go and get for myself! Thank you!

    • Kayla Gulick May 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      I envy you some days. To have your wisdom and heart for truth BEFORE getting married is just priceless!
      I know that won’t mean you’ll be flawless – but you’re light years ahead of where most (even Christian) women are before saying I do.

      I’m so glad you found something in this post to relate to and glean from as you continue to prepare to be a beautiful bride! (I’m getting excited for you!!!)

  2. living4christblog May 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I’m really glad i came across your blog. I found this very helpful.. 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick May 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      Thank you. I’m so glad. I love my blogging family and having the chance to do life together!!

  3. katieislivingforJesus May 25, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    This is such a helpful post, Thank you!! I especially struggle with stopping to pray when I’m struggling, even if it is so simple just to ask God for help and wisdom.

    I’ve nominated you for a blogging award as I really appreciate your blog and your wisdom 🙂 http://katieislivingforjesus.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/super-sweet-blogging-award/

    • Kayla Gulick May 25, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Thank you SO Much!!

      And I’m so glad you found this post helpful. I’m so thankful for blogging so I can grow and can insight from others Christians 🙂

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