Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I received some very difficult news. In fact, I would put it in the “traumatic” category. I was very distraught, even physically ill. I found myself asking the famous question, “Why me?”
One night, I couldn’t sleep. What would life be like now? Things had been going so well. What pain and suffering would I have to endure now? What changes would be made? I thought about Karla McLaren’s book—that there are messages in emotions, but I couldn’t even tell what I was feeling. It was a jumbled mess of discomfort.
Finally, early into the morning, I sifted through it all and found deep inside the root emotion I was feeling: it was fear. Fear of the future. Fear of physical and emotional pain. Fear of changes in our lifestyle. Fear of the affects of this on my husband and my kids. And fear of how people would see me.
PROBLEM: I was feeling fear about upcoming changes in my life.
I quietly got up and looked up the message in fear. Karla McLaren said the message in fear is that an action needs to be taken. (Read more about Karla’s book here.) Well, that didn’t make any sense to me. I couldn’t change my situation, no matter what action I took. I could not change this prognosis.
So I decided to ask that question: “What action do I need to take?” I asked it prayerfully in my heart, imagining going deep inside myself and having faith that my Heavenly Father would help me find the answer.
Guess what!? I did find it. And I received it almost instantly after asking it. It was the impression of a path. The air was dark and murky, but I could tell the path split into two directions. Both choices remained muggy and difficult to see. But I knew one path represented faith and one represented fear.
The action I needed to take was very clear. I was to choose which path I was going to go on, choose which one to exert my energy, my focus, and my thoughts toward.
Of course, the choice was easy. I knew to choose faith. Not because it looked easier or happier, but because I knew faith is power, and I knew fear was captivity.
Okay Heavenly Father, I told Him. I choose faith.
And do you know what happened?
There were no illumination of lights, no heavenly choir singing, no angelic visitation. The path before me was still murky and foggy. But the fear was gone. And I felt peace. I felt an expansion of myself, and a quiet whisper say “Yes, Brittney, you have the capacity to do this—no matter how hard it seems.”
After that, I was in peace, and I fell asleep.
Days passed, absent of that overwhelming, life-stopping fear. Every once in a while, I could feel a few doubts creeping in, but I would stop them and exert my energy and focus into faith again.
And you know what? It’s been over a year since this has happened, and I can see now that I made it through. We all did. We are okay. And I believe we are even happier now because of the change.
SOLUTION: I recognized the emotion fear was bringing to me–that I needed to choose which path I was going to take. And I chose.
Not every emotion-moment is like this. I don’t always see the answers as a visual image, but I do get answers, and when I act on them, I’m always left in peace. The answers always come. Our emotions really are messengers!