It feels like our world is imploding. Real talk…2020 has been emotionally exhausting and mentally challenging for me. I’m guessing you can relate. The events of the last month have added to my pain and as a black woman, I have to be honest, it’s added to my anger. There are a lot of voices commenting on the horrific and inexcusable death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others.
I have a lot I could say, but I also know that as someone who battles with depression and anxiety, I have to be careful not to send myself into a downward emotional spiral. I feel anger, heartache and pain, and in order to process it, I have to choose joy moment by moment. Not fake “happy thoughts” that just help me get through the day....but I choose the spiritual joy that comes from balancing the reality of what is happening in our world with knowing God’s truth and having a personal relationship with Jesus.
The Word of God is true.
"God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) We should not fear the enemy because we have victory in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57, Romans 8:37) We should not fear man because God is on our side. (Psalm 118:6)
We should fear God and serve Him only. (Deuteronomy 6:13).
𝐖𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐢𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬.
𝐖𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐢𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐫.
𝐖𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐠𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐢𝐦 𝐛𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐟𝐟 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐇𝐢𝐦.
𝐖𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐢𝐦 𝐛𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐇𝐢𝐬 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬.
We spend too much time fearing the wrong things. Like those who fear others because of the color of their skin. If we spent more time fearing that at the end of our life we wouldn't hear those precious words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," then so many things would be better in this world.
We would be kinder to each other.
Love would override our pride.
Our minds would be at peace with no room for hate.
Racism would cease to exist.
Narcissism and selfishness would be overcome by humility and hospitality
I’m preaching to myself as much as I’m preaching to you.
Every day I try to speak and behave in ways that will make our Father proud. I’m far from perfect. I handle a lot of things wrong and I cringe when my behavior doesn’t reflect the character of the daughter of God I strive to be.
I love God.
I fear disappointing Him.
As I’ve prayed for our nation and sought God’s peace for my mind, all I kept hearing was “some of y’all need to learn who to fear.” Sadly if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t that person. I assume if you are a part of the loved+blessed community, that you do fear God. That you have a reverence for Him that leads you to treat all His children with love and respect.
But if like me, and you are struggling to maintain perspective with all the emotions you’re feeling, don’t ignore the pain. Don’t stuff down the anger. Allowing yourself to feel it, but direct it to God. Ask Him to help you process it all and ask His Spirit to guide your actions. He can use that pain to fuel change – change in your behavior and to advocate that others change theirs.
You can choose joy and hope without ignoring the pain. Because our pain has a purpose. Use it to propel you forward into positive action, don’t let it be a momentary outrage that fades with the passing of time.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.