How Do I Process It?
How Do I Process It?
Friday morning. A sigh of relief washes over me. Another week in the books and weekend plans on my mind. Preparing for my final work day of the week to begin, I flip on the news to check the weather and traffic. Except, I’m quickly reminded of the reasons why I don’t watch the news.
“Officer Charged With Murder”
Not the uplifting words I should be focusing on but rather words that flurry a broad channel of emotions. My heart aches for the innocent involved and my heart breaks for the ones whose lives are forever changed and impacted. My mind senses fear when I think of the backlash that typically comes. The Monday morning quarterbacks that come out in droves and stop at nothing to harass, degrade, and belittle all involved, not taking into consideration the total situation. It’s easy to say how they would have reacted despite the fact they will likely never face a fraction of the situations officers face. I dare not publicly take sides in any of these situations lest I be called partial, racist, or something worse.
My heart tells me to stand up and fight for our officers, no matter the situation. But the reality is, mistakes happen. Ugly, heart wrenching mistakes happen. When they do, they must be held accountable for their actions. But mistakes don’t just happen to them. They happen to all of us. Yes, some hold deeper and more life changing consequences and if I could wish mistakes away, I would do so in a heartbeat. But the truth is, they are an inevitable part of life. God willing, we learn from them, we move forward, and we eventually (and prayerfully) mend from them. Or do we?
I’m a verbal and analytical processor, if there is such a thing. To process things that happen day in and day out, I have to verbalize it, mentally chew it, pray and seek out ways to make sense of tragedies, mishaps, and fallen moments. Sometimes, I take to the keyboard and let my fingers do the talking. Other times, it’s a trusted friend or loved one. But ultimately, as a Christian, I allow it to drive me to my knees and dig deep into Scripture.
“We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 GNT).
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalms 34:18 NLT).
“‘The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.’ So says the Lord who loves you” (Isaiah 54:10 GNT).
As I read, I find I enter a place of rest. Allowing the Scripture and the verses to pour soothing breaths of fresh life into my worn down, weary soul. A soul once strapped with fear can now rest knowing I have a God in heaven to whom I can rest in. One that can take the backlash, the public disdain, and my fears of what’s to come, and silence them with a moment of rest as I meet my heavenly Daddy and fall into His arms of mercy. Upon entering that place, I’m left free to not allow the weight of processing a situation far beyond my control bind me down. I can simply rest and trust in that moment. I AM LOVED!
At the end of the day, when the weight of the world threatens to hard press, shake, and attempt to destroy the very good that DOES exist, I know I can take my thoughts and concerns and lay them at the foot of the cross. It likely won’t change the situation, but it will alter how I process the circumstances. Understanding I don’t need to have all the answers; understanding I must pray for all involved; and leaving room for Jesus to come in, and give me peace as I trust whatever is to come.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26 NIV).
– Melinda Merritt