I’ve had a couple of meetings with women whose lives are falling apart over the past few weeks. It is a great privilege, and yet a hard responsibility to be entrusted with these hard stories. Honestly, I went into these meetings completely unsure of what to say. I had no idea of the details, and just asked God to give me the words when I got there.
I wanted to share part of the conversation because God has been forming these thoughts in my heart for a while and He gave me the words to say, as He always does.
When a crisis hits, when you have to enter a battle for your family, when there is a specific fight for you, you need to have laser focus. There is not much energy to spare when you’re in the middle. I believe that we need to focus on these areas - spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical.
I’ve seen it over and over again. When someone enters a crisis, they stop going to church, they go to the wrong sources for advice, they claim that they don’t have time for all the work that a growing spiritual life requires. When in fact, it should be just the opposite. When I walk into my church building now, something happens in my soul. I’m not exaggerating. I have a peace and a calmness that fills my soul because that place is so dear to me. Its where I reached out to God and God’s people and found healing and help for the battle. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. The battle is spiritual. And when you lose focus on the spiritual, you set yourself up to lose. Keep going to church, even when its hard. Keep praying, even when it seems God isn’t listening. Keep reaching out to God’s people, even if you think they won’t understand. Keep focusing on your spiritual life, no matter how tired you are.
Your emotional life is a little trickier. We’re all so different. What I need emotionally and what you need could be two different things. But here’s where we’re all the same. When a crisis comes, we all have strong emotions. And if we don’t deal with them, they will tear us apart. Whether that means reaching out to a friend, a loved one, or a professional counsellor, we all need to acknowledge that emotions are a real thing and we need to work through them. And we often need help with that.
Fighting a battle and being super focused is exhausting. Sometimes we need a break. And that’s ok. Whether its listening to music, reading a book, or listening to a podcast, sometimes our minds just need a break. We just need to turn off sometimes. But here’s the trick, we still need to fill our minds with things that help us. I listen to hours of podcasts a week, while I’m driving, while I’m walking, while I’m doing laundry…because I have trouble controlling my thoughts. They run away from me and before I know it, I can range anywhere from being mad at someone to wanting to run away from my whole life. Managing my mental state is so important to me and I often need to cultivate my thoughts in the form of a playlist so that they don’t control me.
The last area we are going to talk about is physical. There is not much that makes me feel better about life than going for a walk by the water. When I spend too much time in my basement bedroom, away from the sun and the fresh air, I start to become more depressed. Sometimes I need to move my body, sometimes its as simple as getting a little sun or a healthy meal. When crisis hits, we can be tempted to cut off taking care of ourselves physically because it doesn’t seem to matter as much, but when our physical bodies don’t feel well or start shutting down, it becomes much harder to fight the mental and spiritual battles we’ve been called to.
Are you in a crisis right now? May I encourage you to look at each of these areas in your life and see what you could do to help yourself win the battle today? If you’re not in a time of crisis, thinking about these things is still so beneficial. We should always be growing in each of these areas.
What area do you struggle with the most? Have you found something that works well for you, like podcasts for me? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!