I’m sitting at a stop sign, warm Chick-fil-a chicken strips sitting in my front seat as I listen to my favorite song. And then—WHACK!— another car hits me head-on.
As much as I hate to admit it, my first thought is, NO! My chicken’s gonna get cold.
The other driver gets out of her car and asks if I’m OK. “I’m OK,” I tell her.
I’m OK, I then tell myself. I’m OK, I'm OK. Sure, my front bumper is cracked, my grill is gone, and my hood is smashed up to my windshield, but I’m FINE. It’s cool, I tell myself. So my back hurts and my neck feels weird. It’s still a-OK. But I can feel the frustration build up inside me.
I get home, assess the damage, and taste my cold Chick-fil-a. I call my insurance, and nobody answers. Then a chicken tender falls to the ground. And that’s when all my stress and anxiety spills over: “That’s it! I’m giving up!” I yell to no one in particular.
I’d laugh if the tears weren’t already welling up.
Allowing Yourself to Feel
Have you ever felt this way when bad things happen? Like you’re unwilling to let yourself acknowledge they’re affecting you?
It happens to me a lot when things come up out of the blue. I just hate the idea of something outside my control affecting my feelings.
But the truth is: sometimes bad things happen, and it’s OK to acknowledge they affect us.
God doesn’t say we have to pretend everything’s OK. If anything, the Bible tells us to be honest with God about our feelings (1 Peter 5:7). He wants to hear about our worries! Once we bring them to him, he can give us peace and acceptance. But if we deny our negative feelings or shove them deep down, we never get a chance to ask for God’s help.
What are you shoving down today? Right now, take some time to feel your feelings. Sit somewhere comfortable, quiet your heart, slow your breath, and read through these verses as you bring your worries to God:
God’s peace is (literally) out of this world.
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. — John 14:27 (GNTD)
You may feel struck down, but God is on your side.
Leave your troubles with the Lord,
and he will defend you;
he never lets honest people be defeated. — Psalm 55:22 (GNTD)
You can trust in God to help you.
Let us be bold, then, and say,
“The Lord is my helper,
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?” — Hebrews 13:6 (GNTD)
Give God your burdens, and he will give you rest.
Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light. — Matthew 11:28-30 (GNTD)
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