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Test Today by Josie Firstbrook, M.A., LACMH

Ever notice what happens when we are stressed? The real us comes out — not the one we put on for the public, the one that hides. Hard circumstances, events interfering with our plans, disappointments. All these things can open the door for our not so nice person to come out. In addition, these days there are COVID concerns, school schedules, unplanned delays, working at home while children do online school, family members getting sick, economic uncertainties, and on and on. It can be overwhelming and debilitating. So many difficulties are facing individuals and families right now. “And yet, we know that, when the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19  Sometimes, however, it’s hard to get to the point where we hear those comforts, let alone feel them.

Maybe we can learn something from Hezekiah’s experience in 2 Chronicles.  Envoys had been sent from Babylon to ask him about a miraculous sign that had occurred, and “God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.” Sometimes we hear an announcement on TV “This is only a test.” That message seems like an understatement when applied to the pandemic situation. But a test serves its purpose. The announcement advises us not to adjust our equipment. Tests are not done because of faulty equipment. Usually, they occur to make sure the system is working. The testing also points out difficulties and need for repair. Sometimes that happens with us, we need a check-up, some reminders, etc.  Tests are meant to make us stronger.

We might be able to prevent some of the problem by admitting to ourselves and others that we have struggles and times of distress. Dr. Larry Crabb in Inside Out states, “Most of us spend our life trying to pretend thigs are better than they are.” Acknowledging our weaknesses is part of self-awareness. Keeping track of emotions helps too. When we realize our anger tank is getting closer to being full, we need to release some tension. I’ve heard that during these days, even the most even-tempered people have gotten grumpy. What helps you when your grumpy meter gets too close to the exploding point? Going for a walk/run, venting to a friend, praying, journaling about what is bothering us, are some ways to help us cope.

If you need someone to help you process all this is going on in the world and your life today, give us a call at 302-738-6859, to make an appointment to talk to one of our therapists.  We’ll be happy to help!

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