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Life Notes: How do I process this?
Life Notes

Life Notes: How do I process this?

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Sylvia Gaston

Feeling confused, frustrated, mad, anxious, sad, afraid? Regardless of how much or how little you know about what is happening around us, you are certainly aware of what is happening in your own life. It’s crazy town! Navigating all of the emotions you may be experiencing can make you feel tossed back and forth like a boat without a motor – or even oars.

I have found myself so saddened at the division that is happening in our nation. That sadness has turned into anger at those who I perceive to have created the horrible circumstances in our country.

How am I supposed to process and behave during uncertain times?  What do I do about all of the unsure, unknown, and unwanted things around me?

To start, I need to not to let my emotions call all the shots.

It’s important to know that we are made up of 3 parts. They are all very different; all very important:

  1. Our body
  2. Our soul (mind, will, emotions)
  3. Our spirit

Our body will process physical danger: fight or flight. If we’re not being physically attacked, we can move on to the role of our soul. The soul is where we take information into our mind and begin processing. Sometimes this process is intellectual; but often, it is emotional. Lastly, we access our will to determine what we will do next.

But wait, what about our spirit? If we are Christ followers, we have God’s Holy Spirit living alongside ours. We have direct access to the smartest, calmest, bravest, most compassionate person ever! God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere. Perhaps we should begin there – within our spirit.

When life seems out of control, we can respond better by asking God’s Holy Spirit to replace our emotions with faith. Reliance on the higher power and authority of God is where we need to be. It is actually where God wants us – completely and utterly dependent on Him.

He also promises us wisdom. In James 1:5-8, we are promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.”

In recent days, as I navigate and process, I have asked God for wisdom. He has reminded me to be still, breathe deeply and remember what I know to be true. He has reminded me how much He loves the people on this earth, even the ones who are behaving badly. He reminded me that I am not their judge. He reminded me that I need to realize the real enemy here is Satan. The king of lies and hater of mankind is at work stirring up havoc, confusion, division and hatred amongst us all.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. It hurts to even write these words because I see and feel so little peace right now. I can do nothing better than to model the example of my Savior and invite His peace into my body, soul and spirit. Then, I can spread that peace, by my thoughts, words and actions, to others who are as undeserving as I am.

So, how do I process this current turmoil? With a great deal of prayer, perspective and peace – never forgetting who I am and to Whom I am utterly dependent.

I encourage you to join a community of Christ followers to pray and process together and to encourage and comfort one another. If you need help finding such a community, email me.

Sylvia Gaston is Connection and Development Pastor at Koinonia Church. She can be reached at or at 559-582-1528.


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