Lessons Learned

Hijacked Emotions and Thoughts

Hey Mom! Is this a good time to talk?” That’s what I heard last week when I answered my phone. Sure, I always love when one of our kids calls to talk! “I know you’re just trying to help but sometimes it feels like you’re trying to take over.”  Uh oh! Maybe I don’t have time to talk.

Have you ever had the occasion in which a loved one shared something you’ve done that hurt them? I’d like to say that I was humbled and repentant and that I immediately corrected the behavior, but that’s not how it went during the phone call.

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As soon as I was confronted, I was hijacked!

That’s what I call it when my emotions and thoughts abruptly start barreling out of control like an unstoppable locomotive heading for disaster.

Panic seized my mind, tunnel vision set in as my world started to spin, I broke out into a cold sweat as stinging tears began spilling down my hot cheeks. Defense rose to the top as thoughts raced frantically through my mind trying to recall what I might have done. I wanted to know and everything within me was screaming…wait! Let me explain! I wanted to defend my actions.

Time to Hide

I quickly hung up the phone, sure that the entire world knew I was experiencing a full-blown hijack.  I retreated to safety, my bed, covered my head and began to wail, consumed by the barrage of awful thoughts; “How could I do such a thing? Normal people don’t go into another person’s space and start taking over. They will never forgive me. I can’t be trusted to act right.”

After scuffling with the hijacker….the enemy of my soul, for what seemed a very long time, I cried out for help to the only One I knew would rescue me. I begged the Lord to right my emotions and my thinking.

My gallant Hero to the Rescue!

Though He never leaves me, is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, He waited for me to call out, to ready myself to listen as He answered my cries. Lord, I sobbed, why is this happening? Why did You allow this to be brought to my attention? What is the cause of this hijacking?

Over and over the Lord shows me that He allows me to experience trials and the consequences of my actions not to harm me but to teach me–to refine me. John 14 is one of my favorite passages. Jesus is comforting His disciples; telling them not to let their hearts be troubled as He is preparing to do what He was sent to do, die for our sins. He tells them that though He will leave He will ask the Father to give us another Helper, the Holy Spirit that will abide with us forever to teach and to remind us of all that Jesus said.

Holy Spirit You are Welcome Here

Emotionally spent, I quietly listened for the Holy Spirit to teach me, to show me, my mind wandering back to the day the offense took place, a grandchild’s birthday party. I remembered feeling things might be getting a bit chaotic; wait, have you ever been to a children’s party when things didn’t appear chaotic?

Truth be told, I struggle with needing to feel in control. Which led me to ask why I struggle with needing to feel things are orderly? That’s when I recognized my helpful actions had a root of fear. My thought process was:  if things get out-of-order then bad things will happen. Yes, that is my core belief, in the midst of chaos, I become fearful, fearful of “bad things” happening.

Why? Growing up in a home where parents divorced and remarried multiple times, chaos was the norm typically ending with bad things happening like:  arguing, emotional trauma, physical hurt and many times rejection or abandonment.

I learned at a very early age to take control, believing I was responsible to keep order so that everyone would be happy and bad things would not erupt.

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I discovered this fear root goes even deeper.

Why am I afraid of bad things happening? Honest answer, because it makes me and those around me suffer or at least uncomfortable and I don’t like suffering or discomfort.

I long for perfect peace. Yet, can I produce perfect peace? Do I have that power? No! Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT).  

Well, here I am nearly 50 years old, been a Disciple of Christ for more than 25 years and the fear root still rears its ugly head, hijacking my emotions and thoughts. I feel more out of control, more chaotic inside than I ever have.  Really? Really!

So, what’s it going to take to gain order over the chaos, to prevent further hijackings?  

I’ve literally exhausted myself “trying” harder to do what is right, to be in control, to prevent the chaos from turning bad, all to no avail.

It’s not about trying harder; it’s about recognition and release. Recognizing the root, in my case fear, and releasing it to the One who has the power to eradicate it and replace it with His Truth—the only security that guards our emotions and thinking from further hijacking attacks. Our God is the God of order, not chaos.

So basically the most helpful thing I can do is to trust God with the fears that open the door to chaos within myself…the hijacking of my emotions and thinking. And believe that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)

What emotions/roots/or hijacking do you want to invite the Holy Spirit into rescue you from? Remember…Recognition always comes before Release! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below and journey together!

**Please re-blog or share on your social media pages if you believe this will help another.

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