How I Calm Runaway Emotions

Stories for the Journey


Note: This week, I will be sharing stories of my emotional  journey. I think we often misunderstand or neglect emotional health. God has been working on this in my life. All of these are intended to tell what happened to me, not to tell you what to do. They are anecdotes NOT advice. You have your own journey and have to do your own research. Feel free to share your stories in the comments or in an email. I would love to read them! 

I suppose both men and women have emotions. However, as a woman, I feel the need to express them more than my husband does. Sometimes that is good. Often that is bad.

It is bad to express my emotions if I will hurt someone else in the process. It is wrong to express my emotions in destructive ways. It is wrong to expect those to whom I express my emotions to carry them for me.

However, when tears well or I feel discouraged or fearful or any other negative emotion, it is easy to allow them to run away with me. Please tell me I’m not the only one that ever spends a lot of tear equity and regrets it the next day when the emotion is past and logic takes over.

Those four months when I wasn’t sure I had cancer or not, I felt some fear. It was easy to start on a trail of “what ifs” that led me to near panic. One of the best therapies to get me through those months was my piano. If my piano were a CD player, I would have had these two songs on repeat:

Rejoice in the Lord was written by Ron Hamilton. What was my greatest fear for four months was a reality for him. I feared waking up from surgery to the news of cancer. With no warning whatsoever, he woke up from surgery with one less eye due to malignancy. He penned these words and began a ministry that never would have been possible without God’s working through his trial.

Lyrics: (source)
God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

The other song was from some old sheet music from when I played piano for our high school chapel’s praise band. I don’t know the author, but the song is My Life is in You, Lord. I literally placed my life in His hands during those months because there was nothing else I could do.

Many times since then, I have calmed raging emotions on my piano bench. But it wasn’t me. It was the Great Composer Himself Who reached down and ministered to my heart as I struggled to trust and play the notes.


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