Emotions stirred within me.
These were the kind of feelings that called out from the deep, silent reaches of my soul. Denied and passed over feelings that I could not attend to at the time, demanded my attention now.
These feelings encroached upon my heart and mind like waves. It is said that sea waves are large-scale, irregular-moving surges of water that form under sustained winds. Such waves billow unexpectedly at times. Thus, my wave analogy seemed to align with my stirring emotions.
For the past two weeks, I have kept myself strong. I have kept moving forward. I have kept myself feeling positive and bright. I have kept myself focused. All the while, I was being bombarded by a steady, sustained wind that was causing an emotional din inside of me.
Two weeks ago, our home was broken into by two intruders. They entered through our Happy Blue School room. They crept along the floor so as not to be detected by the series of motion detectors inside the house. They crawled into our dining room. Next, they moved in silence into our living room space. Thankfully, their last intrusion took at least one of them into our kitchen area where his movements triggered our house alarm. The two perpetrators made a hasty retreat – but not before stealing some significant items from our family – items that our boys needed for school and that John needed for work.
The past two weeks, our focus has been two-fold. First, John and I centered our attention on helping our boys process this trauma in a healthy way. We didn’t want this latest burglary event to wound and scar them with bitterness, fear, or anger. Second, we worked to re-secure the house. This step required us to analyze what had happened and identify the weaknesses in our security system. Upon doing that, John went to work. The most recent security measure took place yesterday. The window and burglar bars in our Happy Blue School room were finally replaced and fully repaired.
Upon inspection, both house and family appear fixed and fine.
And we are.
Yet, I confess that I feel that the stresses and strains of our recent home invasion have been bombarding my heart and mind with a sustaining, relentless force these past two weeks. Such stresses have surged to my attention. When everything happened, I needed to put my family first to bring them peace of mind and security of heart and spirit. I wanted our sons to respond with resilience. In order for the boys to do that, they needed to observe this resilient, focused spirit in me. John and I encouraged the boys to let their emotions spill. We identified them. We named them. We then, set them free. Yet, as we did all that for the boys, I didn’t do that for myself. Instead, I buried my emotions. I told myself that I would deal with my feelings later. Although I’ve written about this invasion in a couple of previous blog posts, this particular entry is my determination to unearth whatever is ailing me now.
No longer can I delay or deny what I am feeling.
I desire to embrace and deal with these feelings and the adversity that broke into our house two weeks ago.
How do I feel?
I feel sad.
I imagine that these two guys are young – maybe similar in age to our boys. Yet, unlike our boys who were asleep in their beds that early Saturday morning, these two decided to break into a stranger’s home and steal. I cannot conceive my children choosing to do this – for any reason. Yet, these two intruders did. By the amount of evidence before us that morning, these two young men were very experienced in this line of thievery. They entered our home with the intent to steal and for no other reason. Instead of having hope for the future, these kids are choosing to pilfer for it. Yes, that makes me very sad.
How do I feel?
I feel nervous.
John leaves for Zambia soon. He’ll be away for two weeks. I confess that having John home gives me extra measures of peace of mind. When he is away on a ministry trip, I must be extra-vigilant and extra-alert for the care and protection of our family. As a result of the increase in crime in our suburb, I feel especially wary. I will need to be extra cautious. Yes, this makes me feel nervous.
How do I feel?
I feel unsettled.
The safety and security of our home was breached. The past two weeks have not been normal for us. We’ve had to do a lot in a short period of time to repair the damages and to address our home security weaknesses. We haven’t replaced what was taken yet. This will happen later. In the meantime, our sense of normalcy was overcome by disruption – similar to a surging ocean wave. We were doused. We’re only now shaking ourselves back into any degree of normalcy – and that makes me wonder, what is normalcy anyway? Yes, this makes me feel unsettled.
How do I feel?
I feel determined.
In January 2017, I determined that I would journey the year without sugar. I tend to eat – chocolate especially – when I am emotionally compromised. I decided that I wanted to forego sugar for any kind of consolation and instead, turn to my God. Believe me, I was flooded with emotions that I needed to keep in check these past two weeks. However, not once did I turn to chocolate or some other sugary source to attend to my emotional needs. That’s huge for me! So, how do I feel about that? Yes, I feel determined and remain determined to keep seeking my God for my needs and nothing else.
How do I feel?
I feel thankful.
Even in the midst of this situation, even in the midst of my sadness, nervousness, and disruption, I am thankful. Many have come alongside our family to encourage us and care for us. The outpouring of prayer and support has been incredibly comforting to us. We do not feel alone. The generosity of some to help us in the replacement of what was taken has filled our hearts with gratitude. We feel loved and cared for. That means a lot. A lot. Yes, the burglary was unsettling, but the support we have from so many of you – steadies us. Yes, this makes me feel thankful.
Thus, after taking the time to identify and name the feelings within me, I feel better now. Like I shared, it’s helpful to unearth what is buried deep in order to be healthy and hopeful. This is what emotional awareness is all about – recognizing one’s feelings in order to explore and understand what is happening to me and how I may respond in an appropriate and healthy way. Because ultimately, if I don’t deal with these feelings well, then I could impact my family in a negative way in the future. And then? Well, then, all of our work to help our kids deal with the burglary in a positive way is thrown out the window! I’m a hypocrite, then. Nope. I am not going there!
Thank you friends. I just needed to write this post and share it with anyone who would be willing to read along. As I wrote, I realize that I’m actually doing pretty well – and I’m especially stoked that I haven’t needed sugar to help me feel better in the midst of all of this stuff.