I don’t need to review all things 2020/21, but the current days seem to be heightened again with new COVID spikes, vaccine and mask debates, Afghanistan, the start back to school…  I can go on and on. We are all emotionally burdened by what we see and hear. Some of us are better than others at analyzing something and then quickly moving on, while others absorb things so deeply it leaves them overwhelmed with emotionally debilitating thoughts.

I have realized that I can easily become emotionally overwhelmed by processing an event for too long. There are times when I need to stop and ask myself, “Am I observing what is going on around me, or am I absorbing it?”

Why does it matter?

Absorbing things we can’t change can lead us into a cycle of anxiety and depression. We can waste precious moments of our lives in worry. If we OBSERVE what is going on around us in a healthy way, we can take healthy next steps on the issue and our well-being. 

If we follow Jesus, we want to have hearts that break for what breaks His – no doubt!  However, when we become paralyzed by what we are hearing or seeing in the world and can no longer process life around us in a healthy way, we need to ask ourselves, “Do I need to put a boundary around this thought?”

One way I analyze my own thought processes is when I sense myself becoming overwhelmed by something I see on the news or social media, I ask myself, “Is there something here that God wants me to lean into?” I pray about it and ask God if there is an action step I need to take.   If I feel the answer is yes, I ask for guidance and wisdom in prayer and advice from others around me, usually my husband.  I permit myself to carry on processing until I feel it’s okay, or necessary, to let it go.

If the answer is No, and it’s clear there is no action step to take, I write down the situation, pray over it, and literally put a line through it… just like you would write down a to-do item on a piece of paper and cross it off. By doing this, you can release the thought holding you captive. It is a physical action step to stop the life-controlling thought process. 

There is so much going on now.  We can’t emotionally handle everything all at once.  Lean into what God puts on your heart.  Back away from things of this world that aren’t for you to carry.  Pray for things when they come to mind and release it.  We need to be emotionally on guard, so we are available to handle what comes at us. 

I love this verse, and I think it’s one to hold on to right now…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7