Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Coping Mechanisms

What do you desire most in life?  Parents who would have stayed together instead of getting a divorce?  A mom who was there for you and taught you practical things about life?  A dad who showed interest in you and made time to attend school events and the hobbies you were interested in?  A best friend?  A spouse?  Sexual intimacy?  Purity?  Money?  ...

There is so much we all long for and wish we could have had growing up.  There are so many questions we have as to why this or that happened or why our lives didn't turn out better.

What is our hope in the midst of doubt, questions, and feelings of being overwhelmed?

Some turn to destructive choices like viewing pornography or doing drugs, others cope with self-injury or drinking alcohol, some fall asleep at night to engaging in masturbation or crying, and others try to medicate their numbness or disappointment with food, their favorite sitcom, video games, or going shopping.

It is quite interesting how none of these coping mechanisms really take away our pain or doubts...they merely pacify them for the moment or hour until another situation goes on and we are reminded of all that isn't right in our lives (or our past) and we turn to these forms of "comfort" once again.

What's disappointing about a false sense of security and comfort is that it may be beneficial for the moment - in the midst of us feeling bad - and yet our problems and questions are ever near when the high dies down or the pleasure passes and the same destructive ways of coping beckon us again in the next wave of pain, hurt, anger, or disappointment.

When I feel overwhelmed in life or burdened over situations and circumstances I can't change, I like to write out prayers to God really sharing what is on my heart, or listen to worship music, take a walk, or go on a drive or window shopping with my mom.  Sometimes I will call a relative or friend to say hi and try to divert my thoughts away from being overwhelmed to having a conversation with someone I care about...or I like to read Christian articles or blog posts by believers who challenge or encourage me in my walk with God.

Only God can satisfy.  His word is our comfort in the midst of sorrow, devastation, mixed up feelings, loneliness, sadness, pain, anger, anxiety, fear, worry, and yes, even temptation.

If it is difficult for you to read the Bible every day and be consistent in doing so, try listening to an audio Bible instead.  You can leave it playing on your computer or phone as you take care of chores around the house, lay down and rest, or even leave it playing as you sleep.  We can never get enough of God's truth and purposefully making the time to read (or listen to) the Bible through out our days (or nights) is genuine comfort.  Regularly reading God's word will enable us to keep a correct perspective of God's character, His view of sin, how He sees us as His children through the salvation Jesus Christ accomplished on behalf of sinners and our acceptance of it and daily commitment to the Lord thereby...and will correct our view of ourselves and allow us to see life from God's eyes.

What clean, God honoring ways do you enjoy spending time when you feel under stress?

Have you read any noteworthy Christian books or articles lately?

What are you learning about in church over the past few weeks?

What ways have you grown to trust and rest in God recently?

What are you most thankful for in life?

Write to me at:  EmmaJoyBlog@gmail.com and share your heart.


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