I had a complete meltdown Tuesday night.

Ouch! I cried out in excruciating pain and began to yell at the one who inflicted this pain on me, telling him to get out of the room. I was angry as I blotted the blood running out of two deep wounds on my foot.

Hobson was in trouble. For those of you who don’t know, Hobson is my lovable, but challenging, two-year-old cat.

He didn’t mean to dig his sharp claws into my foot. He was just trying to scoop up a toy he had dropped onto my foot. But it hurt, and I screamed at him. (I actually locked him in the guest bedroom for a while until I pulled myself together.)

I sat down and began to question, why did I respond like that? Yes, it hurt, but did it really justify yelling at my cat and putting him in isolation? What’s going on with me?

I knew there was an underlying reason for this uncharacteristic response. Yelling at Hobson in anger was a symptom of something that ran much deeper.

God showed me I was letting the stress of feeling pulled in so many directions affect my outlook on everything going on around me. I was afraid of failure, feeling inadequate and worried about all that HAD to be done instead of trusting God to accomplish what He’s given me to do.

After confessing to the Lord, I released Hobson from his “prison.” God used my sweet (but hyperactive) cat to show me I needed a time of rebooting and refocusing. Otherwise, I would have just continued down a path that wasn’t healthy for me or those around me.

Tuesday night was a great reminder that I need to trust God instead of being anxious. I’m thankful God used pain and Hobson to get my attention and help me refocus my thoughts on Him instead of the challenges ahead.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

I’d love to hear from you. What helps you handle stress and avoid meltdowns?

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