Last week, I was having what the kids call ‘a moment’. I was in my feelings’. It was a long ‘moment’ because it spanned two days. Let me explain – I commute from New Jersey to Long Island every week. That means one train to New York and another to Long Island and I swear NJTransit found a way to mess up every chance.
I missed my trains so I got late to appointments that I had fixed from the week before and then I was leaving the airport after dropping my husband off for an international flight and I got so lost coming out of Newark. It took me almost an hour because Waze which I swear by decided to disappoint me bigly! It kept telling me to make a left when there was no left.
The next morning, another delightful encounter with NJTransit, imagine getting to Penn Station with only 5 minutes to spare to get to the LIRR track and again, we sit on the track until I miss my train. How do you think I reacted? Take a guess! A lot of head shaking, feet tapping the floor and a hint of woooosaaahs…. LOL!
Funny enough, my devotion that Wednesday morning was by Cora Jakes, and it asked the question ‘Who or What is the villain in your life’s story?’ The summary of it all was to identify where you are currently in the process to your promise. Sometimes our own emotional reactions to life be it the storms or the little complications that life may throw can be our worst villain. In my case last week, it was only a delay and my reaction to it was a storm of emotions!
But, if I am to be honest; it wasn’t just that day that the train made me late, it was not the first time the trains have been late. Why that reaction that day? I simply was not in sync with the Holy Spirit. Story for another day. From prior experience, I know for a fact that our inner struggles can squeeze life out of us if we allow them. Other times, those obstacles in front of us look impossible to move because they look so big.
Anyway, by the time I got off my first train, I relaxed after I realized there was no point running to try to catch the next train. I wasn’t going to make it so I took my time, went to the ATM, then McDonalds and got coffee and some donut sticks. While waiting for my train to Mineola, Long Island, I had a check in my spirit and it was simply a reminder that nothing should have such power over me that I am an emotional wreck to the point that I can’t see straight due to anger.
My experience over those 2 days was by no means a storm but my reaction? Wow!!! What I realized is ‘emotional reactions magnify problems’. Meatloaf, one of my hubby’s favorite musicians said in one of his songs that ‘Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are.’ Let me apply that same principle here, ‘Problems appear bigger when you go at them emotionally’.
Emotional reactions are devoid of sense and direction. You are dealing with things in anger; and possibly envy and shame. It is a roller coaster of emotions due to your mind being completely messed up. Bottom line, you are completely irrational. Prayer is the last thing on your mind when it should have been the first. If you can learn to control your emotions, you will spare yourself the pain of elevated stress levels which will lead to high blood pressure rising, headaches, migraine and the list goes on.
How did I get out of my 2-day ‘funk’? After the Holy Spirit checked me, I put on one of my playlists and jammed all the way to Long Island. By the time I walked off that 2nd train, I had a spring in my steps! My 2 favorite songs that morning was While I’m waiting and Can’t live without your love by Travis Greene.
When things don’t go our way, our natural reaction is borne out of fear. We dissolve into tears, then we get angry and do the ‘why me’ dance. Then pity comes in and we entertain it and we hide from the people who are supposed to comfort and encourage us and that sends us into this spiral which can end in depression.
From experience, depression is very difficult to come out of. It is like climbing out of a dark, deep hole. I am intentional about not permitting it in my life. I would rather permit and trust God like King David advises in Psalm 37:5:
Give God the right to direct your life,
and as you trust him along the way,
you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!
I want to leave you with something this week… when you feel like getting all up in your feelings because ‘things are not going your way’, please remember and say this to yourself – God has better for me and this too will end up in praise!!!!! Say it with confidence, I’ve been there, I know and it works for me. I just need to remind myself through prayer, meditation on His word and of course my worship. Here are the two songs from my playlist I mentioned earlier… I added one more, enjoy!