I had the opportunity to interview Tim and Anne Evans back in April of 2019. It’s incredible to go back to some of the things they said about being triggered and how to move forward in a healthier way. We are not subject to our emotions or behaviors. Our triggers do not reflect our identity or who God has called us to be.
Last week, I mentioned how we need to identify our toxic thoughts and feelings, replace them with God’s thoughts and boldly declare who we are in God. These are all so important. As I reflect on my time with Tim and Anne, I want to introduce one more concept. It’s answering the question, what story are you living today?
The idea behind this is choosing to live in the present. When we experience a triggering incident, it’s important to not let prior experiences define the problem at hand. We have to let the trigger in the moment speak for itself. We can take control of our triggers by isolating them to the current issue.
1 Timothy 4:16 (CSB) says, “Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.” There is wisdom when we pause in a triggering moment and pay attention to our response. Whether we respond outwardly or inwardly, we can ask ourselves, what emotion am I feeling and why?
It’s easy to bring our past into the present. The enemy wants to have us in two stories. He either wants us in the past, where we regret things, feel like we aren’t enough, and feel like we didn’t do things right. Or he wants us in the future, afraid of tomorrow, anxious and afraid we won’t be enough, telling ourselves we won’t make it because we aren’t smart enough, rich enough… you fill in your blank.
The thought of living in the present is so powerful. A lot of times we can get triggered by the past and let ourselves fear the future, but right here God is with us. In this moment, He is reassuring us that the best is right in front of us. Do you feel that way?
All of us have things in the past that affect our present. It isn’t a question of, how do I keep ithem out? That isn’t the answer. Instead it’s about inviting God into your moment. It’s saying to the Lord, “Lord, would you come in and examine my heart? Is there anything in my past that I don’t really want to carry? I want to be fully present in my current relationships. I don’t want to treat this relationship like old relationships that don’t really apply here. This isn’t a story about the past, this is a new story and I want to be fully present in this story, today.”
God wants us living in the present moment with him. He wants us drawing on him for strength. We don’t have to live in pain from the past or fear of the future. We don’t have to define our loved ones by past experiences with other people. We can invite God into the moments when we are triggered and find that it’s an opportunity for healing.
I want to pause here and ask, are you feeling shame from anything in your past? Are you experiencing fear and anxiety for what might come? You don’t have to live that way.
Genesis 2:25 tells us that Adam and Eve felt no shame before sin. This tells me that God did not create us to feel shame. If you’re feeling shame from your past, I want you to know that you don’t have to live with that shame anymore. The same with fear. If you’re feeling fearful of the future, you don’t have to. God is with you, right here and right now. He wants to free you from those emotions and help create new responses to the things that trigger you.
If you need prayer or anything else, please reach out to us. We have a team that is here for you!
Pray with me today: “God, I thank you so much. Lord, Your heart and desire is that I am present with you and with my family. You don’t want me to allow something to steal the joy that is available to me today. Help me make a decision right now to lean into you. I choose to be present today. Help me snap out of any negative cycles so that I can embrace the life you have for me. I choose to be present with my loved ones. I choose to be present with You, because there is a gift in this place where you’re with me.”