Moving has a tendency to reveal our complaining hearts. It must be because moving never goes exactly as planned and a new home never ends up being exactly what we hoped for. If your heart has been griping on overtime lately, here are three things to remember…
1. You’re just flesh and blood.
Maybe you need a nap. Maybe you need some sunshine. Your deep existential crisis may just mean you’re not doing the things you need to do to take care of you. Although you may be in a season where providentially you have to endure little sleep or less sunshine, there is always something you can do to help yourself. You wouldn’t feed a toddler sugar all day, deprive him of a nap and then wonder why he has a meltdown at 5 pm when you’re trying to cook dinner. Neither should you fail to take care of your physical wellbeing and then wonder why you’re sluggish and whiney.
Recently, I heard a scientist explain how “sleep is your super power.” We know that alcohol and caffeine inhibit the quality of sleep, so even just tweaking our use of those things a little can really help.
It’s amazing how changing up our diet or fitting a little bit more physical movement into our day can benefit us mentally, emotionally and physically. While it can’t change our circumstances, it definitely has the power to change our perspective. My favorite trainer and more favorite friend, Kristen Meyers, is always writing about the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition. Follow her on IG at krissfitroseville!
2. You’re a liar.
The Scripture says something very different about our hearts than the message the world gives us.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?Jeremiah 17:9
Your heart and my heart cleverly devise all sorts of lies to feed us throughout the day. It’s really remarkable actually when you think of the number of times we have to redirect and remind ourselves of what is true. We are so easily led astray! But, God has given us His Word, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Without it, where would we be? In the dump of our own stupid thoughts and emotions. Don’t listen to your heart. Talk to your heart and make it listen to you.
Worried you made a mistake? Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”
Worried God isn’t listening? 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you.”
Worried for your kids? Psalm 37:25 “I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
All of God’s works are good. Don’t let your heart tell you otherwise. It’s a lie and believing it will make your problem worse.
3. You are very small.
Problems, especially problems that come from uprooting your family to an entire new part of the country, can feel larger than life with no resolution in sight, but in reality, they are not. Our problems, in contrast to the world’s problems at large, are very minor and it’s important that we see them rightly.
Yes, it’s hard when you have to move away from friends, but many others have had it much harder. After all, we’re still free! We can roam about as we please. We could be living in Nazi Germany forced into a concentration camp, but here we are in the greatest country, free to do what we want and live where we want.
Yes, it’s particularly frightening getting to know and trust new teachers and schools and churches to entrust your children to, but what a privilege that we have children to protect! We could be living in China where Covid positive children have been taken from their parents for weeks on end.
Yes, it’s scary trying to do life over in a completely new place, but what a privilege that we can do life at all! We could be living in 1850 when the average life expectancy was 38!
Reminding ourselves that we are small has a way of filling us up with gratitude for the exact point in history God has decided to place us.
4. God understands you completely.
The heart knows it’s own bitterness and no stranger shares its joy.Proverbs 14:10
One of the worst kinds of hurt is realizing no one else one hundred percent understands your experiences and your pain. That sadness can carry a unique sting when you’re in a new place surrounded by all new people. No matter who you meet in your new state or who you’ve known in the old, you will never find a friend who can completely understand one hundred percent everything you have been through. But, guess what? God understands you perfectly. He has seen every tear. He knows it all. When we let our hearts take comfort in that fact, we voice about eighty percent less of our gripes because we know people can’t fix our problems and we’re probably just being dumb.
No matter where we live or what things are annoying us today, may God’s mercy be so evident that all we can do is shout thanks and gratitude to our own heart and the hearts of those we meet.
Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.Psalm 119:143