I could blame this on my being an introvert or how I was raised, but I don’t think that is the problem. When emergencies happen, I shut down emotionally. I act, figure out a plan, get things organized, get medical help, clean up the mess, or do the mountain of paperwork. No tears, sobs, or emotion leaks out for sometimes months. And those emergencies can be, for me, travel of any kind, upset to the routine, parties consisting of more than my immediate family, or basically, leaving home. I’m coming back from a shutdown, an emotional crisis.
In recent months our family has dealt with a two week trip with a large party thrown in, airplane trips, and a first-time cruise. The flu happened for all of us twice, pneumonia, a two-week hospital stay for my son-in-law, and two more emergency room trips. And that brought us to January and February. The warm weather on the west coast caused the trees and grass to bloom early increasing allergic reactions in the household. And then came the blessed rain with the puddles and mudslides (not near us).
I had been in shut-down mode since November last year. I know how I want to pray, live, and love, but mostly I want to crawl inside and hide. Do I have to express how I feel? But the emotions are building and not bringing them out into the open is dragging me down.
I must do as my great grandmother did many years ago. My “box of memories” must come out so I can go through each item one by one. I’ll sit and look at the items thinking, “How do I feel about this?
I dig deeper to see why I felt the anger. Was I hurt? Could I have been in danger?
My sorrows here on earth are real, and God sees my tears. He hears my cries and comforts me. Lord, help me feel the pain and let it go.
Even though I feel hurt, it may not be intentional on another’s part, but it could be. Lord, help me to forgive the person who hurt me. Help me to examine both our actions to see if something needs to change or a boundary should be set. Protect me, Lord, and show me the wise path.
I know I need to rely on You, Lord. You have my trust. Help me to trust You more! Open my mouth and let my words rise to Your ears.
Lord, I know when I don’t feel well I just want to curl up and into myself. Help me not to cut myself off from others who wish to offer to serve me. Heal me, body and soul, and provide me with time to just be.
Coming back from a shutdown
As Christians, we find it hard to admit to any failures. But confessing our sins, whether it is isolating ourselves or any other transgression, is what brings us into the right relationship with God. It improves our prayers. And we can pray for others freely.
I’m working on my emotions now. I’m gathering my “box of memories” and pulling them out one by one. I’ve made it over four months without bowing to God and waiting for the emotions to come.
My excuses range from:
- I’m just selfish.
- There’s no time to deal with emotions right now; I’ll do it later.
- I’m fine.
- Maybe I don’t deserve any better.
But those are not reasons to validate my feelings. I am that important to God. He wants to listen to me and protect me in His arms.
Isaiah 55:3 Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life, for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise Of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David.
How about you? Have you brought out a “box of memories” to share with your Lord and Savior?