I got triggered. A week ago.

When triggers hit, emotions flood like a tsunami. It comes at you fast and furious and it’s easy to think you’re drowning. In a way you are. In a way you’re not.

Emotional reactions fill the body with significant physiological reactions. When the brain floods, our response is fight, flight or freeze. A sense of helplessness threatens to take over.

Although this often accompanies an overwhelming sense of drowning, you really aren’t. You just don’t know it yet. The body eventually calms down and rational thinking returns. However, without intentional work to renew the mind, pain triggers can detour our minds and derail our hearts.

We might end up down a rabbit hole.

The-Chase-of-Hope-When -Emotions-Take-You-Down

The enemy loves opportunities like this so he can weasel his way into our souls. Like sipping from Alice’s wonderland bottle tagged “drink me”, we wonder if his solutions could make things better. To swallow the enemy’s bitter offering is to make problems larger than life. As if they’re even bigger than God. Emotional responses might carry us away like Alice’s tears.

We search for answers and we might find a tin marked, “eat me.” We try that too. His pleasantries deceive and leave us in worse shape than before. Hopefully, we’ll become wise to the enemies’ lies and deceit.

How can things be set to right?

We need to look beyond the quick solutions set before us. We need to be more clever than that, and we can be. It’s not easy to fight the urge to make the pain stop now, but we don’t have to chase the rabbit into a maddening world.

We can chase hope instead.

Chasing Hope in Real Life

I’ve had an opportunity to chase hope all week long. After days of struggling, I’d begun to wonder how long this would last. Would I be disqualified from the work I know God is calling me to do? The same week I got certified as a life breakthrough coach, I wrestled with needing another breakthrough myself.

Oh, that crazy enemy. He keeps at his ridiculous ploys. I keep finding a God who says, “Come with me,” instead.

This morning I awoke to a message which I read incorrectly. My mind misinterpreted the words to say, “Who do you think you are as a Christian woman?!” This was not AT ALL what was messaged to me. However, the next message I read did actually attack my character.

After misreading the first message, then reading it correctly, my heart softened. Once I saw that I’d misread the message, the hurt and anger I’d been wrestling with settled down and conviction stirred my hear. I started crying to Jesus about how I needed to repent.

Then, I read the message that attacked my character. It hurt and the anger came roaring back to the surface.

I had enough awareness to notice the stark difference between responses. Yet, anger and hurt have been ruling my thoughts for a week now.

I’ve been praying. I’ve been fighting through worship. I KNOW there is a spiritual battle at play, and yet it’s hard to get past the pain. Especially when it feels wholly justified.

Even so, we must push through if we want to cultivate a life well-lived. And the way to push through is with surrender.

Once my heart shifted into repentance and than back to indignation, I knew I had to surrender my fleshly responses. No matter how much I desired their momentary satisfaction.

It’s crazy irony, this laying down of pride, fleshly desires, and self-will for the sake of fighting spiritual battles. We think fighting looks like strength and God’s way of being strong often looks weak.

God’s still helping me work through the anger and He’s speaking through His word, through worship music, and more.

He invites me, and you, into hard steps in order to see more of His holiness. This is just as true in hard days at is when days are easy.

I’m not sure I want to move forward all the time, but deep down I do. So that is the choice I am making today.

One step towards Him. Standing on the rock of Christ, because everything else shifts like sand and crumbles away.

[tweetthis]Without intentional work to renew the mind, pain triggers can detour our minds and derail our hearts.[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]God invites us into hard steps of laying down pride and sin in order to see more of His holiness. This is just as true in hard times as when life is easy.[/tweetthis]

HOPE PREVAILS: Insights from A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression
{Interview & 2 Book Giveaway!}

Click here to win Hope Prevails and the companion Bible Study.

Chasing hope is not always easy, is it? My friend, author and Dr. Michelle Bengtson, wrote a book about hope that speaks to the spiritual roots of depression. She is a clinical neuropsychologist who has dealt with depression and understands the journey. If you’re struggling today, be encouraged so you can chase Hope too.