Sunday, December 9, 2012

Identity Embrace: Take Heart

Okay women. Have you ever experienced what I like to call “emotion-overload”?

Courtesy of

Oh, I have.

Yesterday was one of those days for me.

I woke up pretty chipper, but as the day wore on and I went through my workday, I just became a mess of angry, bitter, frustrated, and ended up tearful and sad.

Yikes, right? (Thanks, hormones... yeesh.)

I often find that my emotions get the best of me, and I can take on and begin to carry the stresses I see other people going through. Too much/misplaced empathy. You know what I mean?

At any one time in one’s life, you may have a friend who just got promoted calling you to celebrate, and the next minute you find out one of your good friends at work was given a pink slip. There are ill family members who need encouragement and advice, and overworked friends who call you to vent about their anxiety and stress. For women who easily empathize with others, these additional problems can be a lot of weight to carry.  An unhealthy burden to bear.

So, how should we handle our empathy towards others when we ourselves have our own daily battles? I try to remember to do the following things:

ONE: Listen.  Some people just need a kind face to talk to. Often, the best help you can give someone is to lend an ear and quietly listen to what they have to say.

TWO: Pray. Right then and there. Pray for that person during the conversation, and if the situation allows, ask that person if you can pray for them aloud on the spot. I am always very thankful and touched when this has been done for me.

THREE: Give it over to God.  Release the burden. After you have prayed, remember that stewing over your problems or the issues of others will do no good for anyone. The Lord hears our every word and understands our every need better than anyone on Earth. Keep the situation in your daily prayers and wait for an answer, be it a “yes”, “no”, or “not yet” response.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

And THAT’S a promise.

Have you ever been a victim of “emotion-overload”? Was it sparked by an acquaintance or from something you were facing? How did you ask the Lord’s help in that situation?

[Post authored by Julie Gernand]

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