Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are feelings a "Red Flag"?

The last time we looked at the Book, Victory Over the Darkness, we were talking about our "feelings" and how we cannot base who we are on how we "feel". Our emotions are so deceptive, can cloud our judgement, and hamper our faith in God.

Today, I thought it was time to get back to the book study, maybe I need the lesson here! Let's talk more about emotions and feelings and see where some of them come from and where they might be taking us.

When I started sharing with you all out of this book back in late winter, I told you what a critical role this book played in changing my life. I lived by my feelings at that time. Depression, anger, anxiety, just to name a few. Things were happening in my family dynamic that had put me over the edge. My life and emotions were out of control. OK, we can blame a little on the "H" word, hormones and oh yea, menopause.(sorry guys).
But you know, those DO factor in to how we react and function; good or bad. No getting around it for us gals. Physiology and our health play a big role in our emotions. Just ask any husband or boyfriend and they will agree.

I learned so much at this time of my life about being spiritually prepared. Get our spiritual life in order and then it's easier to maintain our "physical"and emotional life, and vice-versa. If any one of these is out of whack our lives can be a roller coaster. Depression can be a "physiological" issue, but then it can turn into a spiritual issue. The enemy sees our state of "being" and then can use that against us. If we need medication for physical issues, then pray about it, and then we probably need to get to the doctor. I had a low thyroid for years without realizing it. I think many women do, but go undiagnosed. I'll try not to play doctor here, but if you are continuously depressed then there's probably more to it than just having the "blues". None of us want to be using medication as a crutch. I know I want God to show me where I'm out of whack spiritually, but if there is a real medical need, don't be afraid to let a doctor help. I've made this mistake many a time and it has cost me dearly.

OK, back to the book study looking at emotions.

In the words of the author, Dr. Neil Anderson:

"I believe that God desires all His children to be successful, fulfilled, secure, (remember those 8 values we have?) significant, satisfied, happy, ability to have fun, peace. Don't you? From birth you have been developing in your mind a means for expressing these eight values and reaching other goals in life. Consciously or subconsciously you continue to formulate and adjust your plans for achieving these goals.
But sometimes your well-intended plans and noble sounding goals are not completely in harmony with God's plans and goals for you. "How can I know if what I believe is right?" you may be wondering. "Must I wait until I am 45 years old to until I experiences some kind of mi-life crisis to discover that what I believed in these eight areas was wrong?"  I don't think so. I believe that God has designed us in such a way that we can know on a moment-by-moment basis if our belief system is properly aligned with God's truth. God has established a "feedback system" which is designed to grab your attention so you can examine the validity of your goal. That system is your emotions. When an experience or relationship leaves you feeling angry, anxious or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert you that you may be cherishing a faulty goal which is based on a wrong belief."

I'll share a recent example of this. Now granted, when this happened I was not in good health. I wasn't taking any medication (that I should have been). I didn't realize how bad I felt, but my emotions should have been a red flag, but I ignored them. I hold no one responsible here except myself. So if you were personally involved, just know that I love you all, and I was at fault.

Several years ago. I was heavily involved in the antique buying and selling scene. I had had several booth spaces at several different stores, and I was wearing myself out. Here is where my health should have been a consideration, but like the bull headed person I frequently become, I ran past my feelings, physical and emotional. My nerves were shot, I griped, complained, and frequently had semi- "meltdowns" over one thing or another. I knew I didn't feel great, but hey, not the first time, I have things to do. (anyone else see themselves in this scenario?) I knew God had had me start in this business, but unfortunately I was on "auto pilot" and was no longer listening to anything He might be trying to say to me.
Every day there was some sort of issue. Frustration, anger, and did I say "anger"?... took over my life. I look back on it now and think, "good grief, what was I thinking?" That was a hard lesson to learn as I was starting another heart attack by the time I finally got to the emergency room one evening. Reading and studying this book has had me think again about stress and upset. Not a good combination for ANYONE!

Next time we will look at these three red flags of our emotions: anger, anxiety and depression. In the meantime ask God to show you any areas of your life that these are manifesting. Let Him help you take a look at what and how you are feeling with any particular situation or relationship. Maybe He's trying to tell you something.

Romans 12:1-2

1. I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship. 2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Love in Jesus,

Quotations and concepts taken from Victory Over the Darkness
by Dr. Neil Anderson


  1. oh yah! Debra, I relate 100% I am 45 and in Peri Menopause. I blamed my behavior on life situations. I'm on meds. A couple months ago I had run myself ragged too! I was constantly tired and never felt rested. I just recently found out I have sleep apnea...80% of women go undiagnosed.
    Drs. blame it on hormones, depression, ect....guess what symptoms of this include anxiety, depression,premenopausal, Grogginess and morning headaches. It wasn't till I asked the Dr. for a test that we figured it out.
    been on a PAP machine and am feeling much better. Better able to hear God and and handle my emotions better. Great Post...I just want to share with anyone goes through this,Never let pride stop you from getting help. Many prayers and blessings, Deborah

  2. thank you, debra. i do occasionally struggle with
    depression and anxiety. my thoughts are so
    powerful and can drag me down quickly.

    His word is such a powerful remedy for what
    usually ails me, but you're right. sometimes a
    doctor can help, too.

  3. My dear you are the deep one. I added this blog to my roll which I should have done already. I am slow:-( But I shall catch up via His grace. I have always thought that most women juggle way too much and many don't say no enough. I try to balance things...I don't always.


  4. Hi Debra
    I think in this world today there is soooo much stimulus that we don't even realize all the stressors coming at us. It is really hard to find just a quiet spot where we can hear our thoughts. We as a people are hooked up day and night to either a phone, ipod or computer not to mention the tv. We are so programmed to having everything instant and now! I have been working on taking control of my thoughts and quieting them down to hear the voice of God. In fact I am cleaning up the attic for my prayer room... just to have a place to go to be alone with God. Sometimes I think we need, as you said to recognize and slow down!
    I say this as my life right now has been very busy... that pressure I give over to the Lord over and over
    Blessings to you

  5. Wonderful post and one that so many of us will relate to!Thank you for sharing your heart.

  6. Debra...everything I 'tune in', You've writen exactly what I need to hear! Now why don't I just follow more often, I ask myself? I struggle so each day to do my Bible study and devotions, but this morning I knew I needed to follow the leading of the Holy Sprit. I'm so glad I did. You are a great blessing and I thank you.

  7. You had me at 'menopause.' Depression. Check. Irritability. Check. Insanity. Check. Thanks for the reminder to renew the mind. I'd rather renew it than lose it...


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