Our family is in the middle of a move. As I stare at the packed boxes, reality sets in that these boxes will need to be unpacked. This is not our first move and I must admit that some boxes have been moved from house to house and have never been unpacked. They end up in an attic or a basement. This time I am determined to unpack every box and find a place for everything. As I consider all that should be unpacked, I think about my years as a single mom.
As a single mom, it can become the norm for you to set aside negative emotions. You can feel there is no time to unpack these emotions and give the attention negative emotions demand. If it is difficult to give negative emotions appropriate attention, then is it worth it to make the time? As easy as it can be to give excuses and justify reasons to keep the negative emotions packed up and hidden away, this only delays the inevitable. At some point, these emotions need attention and tenderness.
God cares about your emotions.
While He cares and He created you to be emotional; it is never His plan for you to be held hostage by emotions. It is also not His plan for you to be run by your emotions. Single motherhood is filled with emotions: positive, sad, good, unpleasant, and the ones that you still have not figured out. Then there are those private emotions that are difficult to feel because of all the other feelings they cause. But God is ready and able to walk you through the murky waters of emotions.
“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him…” ~2 Timothy 1:12
God can and God will! You can entrust every emotion that you feel and each one that overwhelms you to Him. The abandonment, the rejection, the loneliness, the anger, the disappointment, the guilt, the sadness, and many more can be entrusted to your loving Heavenly Father. He will give you the courage and the discernment to begin to unpack the emotions you have dreaded to process.
You are called to walk in confidence of who you are in Christ, a warrior. Through Christ you can do all things (Phil 4:13) even the hard thing of facing the most difficult things. You are not alone and that voice telling you that you are alone is a lie and has no power over you. You may be asking yourself, “How do I unpack my emotions?”
Name the Emotions
First, name the emotions. This removes the overwhelming dread. A great tool to use is a Feeling Wheel (click here to view). This helps you expand your emotional vocabulary.
Identify Your Emotions
Secondly, identifying your emotions and knowing what event/person the emotion is attached to helps you know how to place the emotion. Using the following exercise can help dial back the power of emotions and give you a different perspective. This is also a great journaling exercise too. “I feel (fill in emotion) about (person or event) because (explanation of response to feeling)”
Invite Someone Trustworthy Into the Process
Last but not least, invite someone trustworthy into this process with you. Pray and seek the Lord as you walk out this process. This will take time and the Creator of time will bring healing in the most beautiful way. Move forward and take your next step to being whole and emotionally healthy, knowing that you can confidently entrust yourself to the almighty God who gives purpose to the most painful emotions.
Joy would have never dreamed that her life would be filled with such incredible sadness that comes with loss. She never would have imagined that she would experience the personal effects of emotional and mental abuse, the silent killer of the soul. She is in awe of how God is the keeper of her soul and He has kept what she committed to Him. He would not allow her soul to be destroyed! Joy Anisa is married to Jeff, a bi-vocational pastor and they live in Conyers, GA. Their oldest daughter, Meighan, is serving for a year with the London City Mission in London, England. Their son, Caid, is a sophomore at Eagles Landing Christian Academy and plays football. A graduate of She Speaks with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joy’s story will inspire, encourage, and bring laughter through the tears.