Awhile back I was driving home from running errands on a day that was pretty much like any other. It was not particularly memorable, except for something that dawned on me once I got a few miles from home.
I’d gotten a headache; I was tense and realized it was because I’d been clenching my teeth together for who knows how long. Then I looked down and I found myself squeezing the steering wheel so tight my knuckles were beginning to ache.
Forcing myself to relax and snap out of it, I took a long, deep breath.
I’d been deep inside my thoughts, silent for a good while, without the radio even playing. I checked the rear view mirror and my girl was quietly playing with her toys and peering out the window.
She looked so peaceful and content. Yet I felt just the opposite.
My chest was tight and heavy. The cumulative stress of several different things was piling up on me until I felt actual physical pain.
Nothing big and terrible had occurred, nor had I been involved in any high-stress situations, thankfully. It was more like I felt pulled in ten directions at once. Like gripping tight to a tilt-a-whirl, where you can’t get focused on one thing because you’re spinning too fast.
Unfocused, stretched, dizzy.. tangled.
Have you ever felt this way?
My husband was traveling for work (bless him) which is hard on the heart. On top of just missing him, days are longer and everyday tasks are more numerous and tiring without a partner (& bless you single mamas).
My baby was getting a painful tooth and her uneasiness spilled over to me. I hurt when she hurts and I couldn’t seem to find anything that helped her through the process. And let’s be honest, the fussiness starts to get to you after awhile!
Plus, I kept replaying in my head something a friend had said that really got under my skin, my house was a disaster, the car needed a new headlight, and I had more chores to do than hours in the day.
My mind was jammed full of mental notes and should-do’s.
My body was buzzing, yet worn out from too much coffee and too little sleep.
And my heart felt tangled up.
The baby needs more social interaction.
I should be spending more time with my friends.
Why can’t we seem to get on a regular church schedule?
We’ve been eating junk lately and I’m probably stunting my child’s growth.
Guilt & lies. They creep in sometimes before you can even recognize them.
And they attempt to get you so tangled up in all the difficult things in your life, that you lose focus of gratitude, blessings, loving God, and loving others. The enemy tries to make the good and eternal things feel peripheral and distant.. unclear past all the tangles.
I wanted to feel energetic, inspired, and proactive. I wanted my hands to loosen and my chest to relax. I wanted to be released of these feelings of frustration and discontent.
But remembering that feelings are just that – feelings, is a good start. Emotions don’t always tell you the truth and they can’t be relied upon, but they don’t usually last.
Our society places high importance on the way you feel being the ultimate truth, but I’m here to tell you that just isn’t always so.
But it takes a little practice to remember and recognize this. To see past the bindings.
My only resort was to send up a prayer. I couldn’t do it alone.
A tangled heart is not something you can just will to untangle.
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I’ve found that instead of wallowing in the mess and feeling down in the dumps, I can actively turn to what I know to be true. To rely on the promises of the Word. I’ve also found that even the most desperate of prayers pretty immediately eases the weight of my heart.
I’m no Bible scholar, but I know some scripture by heart and that is so handy in situations like this. 😉
This one in particular came to mind:
“God, give me your peace that surpasses all understanding.”
THAT. That is what I needed. Peace beyond understanding to bring comfort to my heart and mind. Even though I couldn’t tell you where it was located, I knew enough to pray it.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
And there was this:
“Create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me.”
I needed to get my heart right. To forgive my friend and quit dwelling on transgressions. To resist the temptation to complain about my husband working long hours. To be thankful for my many responsibilities, as they stem from blessings.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I sighed a simple plea that went something like this:
“You know my heart and thoughts, Lord, please help me deal with them.”
Prayers don’t have to be rehearsed or formal. He knows your heart and is just waiting for you to open up. The actual scripture is this..
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
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Among all the lies and stress and guilt and tangles, there are these things I know to be true: prayer moves the heart of God AND His Word can be relied upon.You don't have to live with a tangled heart; God has better things for you. Click To Tweet
I’ve gathered these passages that will help you see through the chaos:
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. –Psalm 91:14-15
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. -Psalm 46:10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? -Romans 8:35
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. –Philippians 4:6
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. -1 Timothy 1:7
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Phillipians 4:8
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. –1 John 4:4
My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. My hope comes from Him. -Psalm 62:5
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. – Psalm 34:17-20
I pray your spirit be lifted and your heart UNtangled, my friend.
by grace & grit,