By: Bruce and Carole Haines
20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Sometimes our emotions or mental moods can overwhelm us. The last few months have seen an endless stream of stressful situations. It’s just been one thing after another, after another, ad-nauseum. I’ve been helping as my precious husband has been repairing things in our home, and things on all three cars. Our bank account was going down as more and more items had to be fixed. Watching the money go down as the stress went up has been very triggering, due to things we have both been through in our past. How do I apply this truth of being crucified with Christ to my life in such difficult and stressful times?
As we were discussing this yesterday, I was sharing how anxious I have been feeling, unable to calm myself down. hyperventilating even. I feel so embarrassed about how easily triggered I am. Yet things have been going wrong since August and it is now November, and I am just depleted. I was having a lot of guilt and shame over how weak I still seem to be in this area of struggle.
Bruce spoke some very wise words to me as we shared together:
“We can have guilt or shame because we struggle with depression or anxiety; and now, we have two layers of negativity to wrestle through. Both the emotions we are experiencing, and then, how we feel about how we feel. It makes it all worse when we pile guilt or shame on top of what we are already dealing with. We feel pressure, from both ourselves and others, that we shouldn’t feel this way. But to be realistic, our emotions are as unreliable as the Weather. I mean, we don’t wake up on a rainy morning and expect that we can stop the rain, do we? I force myself to look at my own mood swings and say, “This too shall pass! The same as a literal storm. This helps me to stop the second layer of guilt and shame from happening. Then there is more room for me to trust God amidst this storm.”
We all go through emotional storms. They can be so unsettling. Sometimes they are triggered by past hurts, sometimes current circumstances. I am going through an emotional storm right now and I realized in listening to my husband, and in reading Galatians 2:20, that I was allowing the storm to overtake me because it has been such a relentless one. I truly have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in and through me now. Knowing this makes me realize that I am never alone in this struggle. Jesus is right here in this storm with me and in His time, He will make the wind and the waves of this storm stop. Meanwhile, I will strive to “fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
May you find Jesus to be your focal point. I pray you will fix your eyes on Jesus as He perfects your faith through all of life’s emotional storms. Be Blessed, Dear Believer.