Sometimes I don’t know how to translate what I feel and what I think into English, like it’s a whole other language. My emotions tend to speak louder than my words, but I have things to say, and I know what’s been on my mind, so bear with me.
I’m coming to terms with some things about myself: I’m introverted, shy, sensitive, pretty high-strung, and I have Anxiety. I often think in analogies and imaginative pictures because words aren’t always adequate to translate emotions and are more easily described than defined. I feel deeply my own feelings and others’ secondhand, even if I’m not putting myself in their shoes. I process differently than most people I know, and I’ve tried to suppress that, like it’s wrong or weird or like I have to be just like them and not my own person.
These sensations make me feel inferior and I can get caught up in thinking that nobody understands, like I’m a total outsider; I feel lonely. Irrational fear after irrational fear swirl into a tangled chain of emotions that I’m left to process the way someone else processes instead of the way I process because I can’t accept it, and I think they won’t accept it.
But you know what? This is good.
The fact that I don’t feel at home here, like I don’t fit in, like something is different or weird or wrong with me, that I feel so deeply — that’s all good. I learned in a TED Talk that reframing stress leads to better health and quality of life. People who accepted stress and viewed it as a good thing — their body gearing up for a challenge — were healthier and lived longer.
If viewing the stress response as a an able body ready to fight can lead to better health, quality of life, and a longer life, I think the same can be said for adversity and spirituality. What if I use this same idea and apply it to my emotional reactions, my personality and processing style, and anxiety (insert your struggle here) and let it do exactly what God wants me to do with it? Let it nudge me closer to Him.
I’m tempted to let it shrink me and silence me, but that’s the smooth cruise to separation from God and more unquenchable loneliness.
We can look at the struggles as bad. Or we can look at them as challenges, tests, that are going to make us stronger so that we can thrive with God on our side. We can recognize that whatever it is we struggle with is an opportunity. Then we can put that thing in our hands, give it to God, and move forward, leading to a eternal, more fulfilling spiritual life with Him.
If we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and rejoice always, in all circumstances, and pour ourselves out to God, then we can have perfect peace. It’s a beautiful, comforting thought to picture Jesus, the ultimate empathizer, interceding when we pray. It’s strengthening to pray when we suffer and sing praises when we’re cheerful, and these are all things God commands because He knows we need help and we need hope.
If you’ve been around the blog for a while and wondered why I talk so much about perspective — this is it. This is the reason. And I think I’m realizing that with you.
So, yeah, I’ve got these struggles. And that’s good.
God is working them out.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Thank you for reading! I hope you’re always encouraged to be like Christ and learn more about God’s word when you’re on my blog. All glory goes to God. Feel free to print, pin, and share my posts on all platforms; I only ask that you link it back to this site. For thoughts and questions, comment directly below or click the Contact Me tab (here) to send an email! Have a blessed day. 🙂