This blog was written by Sandy Bacon.
Monsoon season is here and the Arizona weather finally matches your mood. Though you think you’ve been able to hide it for the most part, there has been a gloom building in your heart for longer that you’ d care to admit. You wake feeling heavy despair and you can’t really point to the cause, so you push through the day with phony cheerfulness as you post pictures of your latest escapades on Instagram. Still, the darkness is beginning to overwhelm you and you’re not certain how much longer you can contain the storm building in your heart.
You push aside your feelings with anything that helps you feel brighter for a moment, a quick shopping spree, a decadent meal, some guilty pleasure on your computer screen…maybe the doctor can give you a pill that will make this feeling go away. But negative feelings are much like the building of the monsoon storms; they grow until they can’t be ignored. Like a cloud that can’t support more water, eventually the rain falls, very suddenly and very heavily. When heat of life comes against them, they explode with electricity that can bring devastation upon anyone in the vicinity along with resounding echoes of thunder. So how can you protect yourself, and those around you, from the impending storm?
- Pay attention to storm warnings. Pretending that the storm is not coming won’t make it go away. Use your feelings to inform you. They are indicators of other conditions in your life that need your focus. You own your feelings; don’t let them take ownership of you. Often your feelings will indicate that you’re relying on something unreliable to bring you happiness. They may point out where your life is out of balance. They may even reveal physical issues that need your attention and, just like your physical health, ignoring symptoms of emotional health can cause more serious problems later on. Not sure how to read the patterns of your emotions? Turn to someone else who can help. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
- Don’t ride out a storm alone. Allow others to offer experience and wisdom that can take you to higher ground. When you are suffering, you turn inward and it is difficult to find the right path. Expressing your feelings to a trusted friend or counselor can bring light to the darkness and offer perspective that shows a way out of the storm. Remember Proverbs 11:14: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
- Have an emergency plan. Sometimes the storm comes without warning. With an emergency plan, you can face the storm without fear. You need to know where to find safety. Psalm 46:1-3 proclaims “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountain be moved into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Often God feels far away in the struggle; a pastor or biblical counselor can walk beside you to reflect God’s love and guide you back to solid ground. At Biblical Counseling of Arizona, we are not just here to help you weather the storm, but to give you tools to keep the storm from breaking out. You are not alone.