Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seeking Emotional Rest

Share how you experience emotional rest.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real.

Sounds simple, right? For me, in this area, simple does not equal easy.

If you've read my last few Thursday posts, some of this may sound familiar.  The types of rest overlap in my mind, but emotional rest has proven most elusive.

Life can be so overwhelming.  The other night I was thinking about the folk tale "The Princess and the Pea."  Remember the story?  Upon meeting a young woman who claims to be a princess, "the prince's mother decides to test [her] by placing a pea in the bed she is offered for the night, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds." Can you picture the scene?

The Princess and the Pea
source
As I told my husband, "I feel like the pea!"

pea
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Some of this is because of a chemical imbalance, but there's no getting around the fact that I'm simply overwhelmed.  With help (medical, spiritual, and practical) I am learning to peel away the layers of what weighs me down and drains me emotionally.

I have no answers, but I can tell you what helps me get through the dark days:
  • Remembering that I cannot trust my emotions, but must cling to what I know to be true.  For example, I know--because God has promised never to leave me--that He is with me, even when I can't feel His presence.  I need to lean on His truth, which never changes--not on my fluctuating emotions.

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart,and lean not on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5 NIV)

    We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7 NIV)

  • Realizing that I don't have to know all the answers.  This passage, from the book I'm currently reading, jumped off the page at me:
    There can be a higher purpose, a deeper meaning in life's twists and turns. We don't have to know all the answers when we stand in the truth that the battle is not ours, but God's. Letting go in the midst of a crisis is completely opposite of what we want to do, but doing so is our only true hope for victory.
    ---Nancie Carmichael, in Surviving One Bad Year
When I cry for no apparent reason, when I feel alone even though I'm not, when I feel as though I can't take another step forward ... I turn to what I know is true.  God is with me.  He will not give me more than I can bear, and He will always provide what I need to endure it.  And I don't have to know all the answers, because I know He does.

How do you find emotional rest?

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14 comments :

  1. I love the analogy of the Princess and the Pea. Some days I feel like the pea as well.

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  2. Simple doesn’t equal easy with me here either, Melissa. I often have to remember too that emotions are just feelings that will come and go, and not depend on them. And definitely trust in God to see me through. I'm hearing you, friend...

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  3. I love this post! I love the two things you do during those dark times. We all become frazzled and overwhemed...it's how we respond that sets us apart from everyone else. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we blow it. "I turn to what I know is true. God is with me. He will not give me more than I can bear, and He will always provide what I need to endure it." This is so true. Sometimes it seems like the weight of the world is buckling underneath us but God...he always gives a way out! Glad to be a new follower my friend!!

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  4. What a powerful faith statement! It's those times that you are enduring which show God's glory.

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  5. I love your raw honesty! Thank you for sharing some of the ways you have used to rest! I have been peeling the layers back also and it is emotionally draining.

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  6. Turning to truth in the face of emotions that may cloak truth is so smart. I know I have a hard time doing it sometimes. I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit reminding me when I need it.

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  7. Melissa, I hear how you are holding onto the truth you have learned. I also detect how you are being held by the One who knows your name and your frame.

    Thank you for this post.

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  8. The Princess and the Pea is perfect. I always loved that story and now I will think of it in a new way. I really appreciate your honesty here and you make such an important point - we don't have to understand it all. Just trust. Beautiful.

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  9. Such beautiful words. Fills me with life. I don't have to know everything or hold it all together. Using His Truth to counter the lies. Amen!

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  10. Your honesty makes this post real. It's faith that points you to the truth when you're going through the emotional turmoil. Isn't it wonderful to know that God will never leave you?
    Came here from Faith Barista.

    Blessings,
    Janis

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  11. just remember, we are here for you...
    but first of all, GOD is always there...
    hugs to you

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  12. Ultimately, as you do -- knowing that He has all the answers. But, oh, the twisted path I take there, even though I've traveled the road oh-so-many times! You'd think I would learn. So grateful for grace and for that fact that I can lean on Him! This was a great post.

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  13. I just joined the gym and seems to be the only time I can zone out with out anyone calling me over and over to help or do something with them!

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  14. It is so true that what helps us rest in one area can overlap in another. And very wise to remember to cling to what you know is true even when your emotions get the best of you.

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