Argh… why do I grab for comfort food every time stress hits?

Why do I shut down when something feels too hard for me?

Why can’t I just stop doing that?

I stared at the list of common coping strategies that the counselor had sent me. There were several choices that I would call my “go-to” behaviors. These are habits I have formed to respond to pain. All kinds of pain – physical, emotional, relational pain.

But what I wasn’t paying attention to — was the source of the pain.

It is like putting on another sock instead of taking the rock out of my shoe!

Take time to get the message

In the last post, we talked about the value of taking the time to learn the message that emotion has to give.

Behaviors can also lead us to a message. Let that sink in.

What is the behavior you keep returning to without thinking about it? Like grabbing for a cookie or turning on the TV.

Those examples are not bad things. But when they are an “automatic” reaction to something, there might be a message.

Let’s take the time to get the message!
Why we are doing what we are doing?

Green card

A story that helps me remember there is often something underneath a behavior was right after the devastation of the attack on the twin towers on September 11th. Before that event, Mark and I had applied for our green cards and were told it would be a wait. But after the attack on America, everything was unknown. We didn’t know if we could stay as we weren’t American citizens. Our lawyer said to be ready for anything.

But here is the thing, we were trying to sell our home in Canada. So the question became, what should we do?

One morning Mark and I arrived at the closet where the vacuum is stored. “I’ll do the vacuuming honey” “No, that is alright, I will do it…” We went back and forth for a while and both were adamant that we wanted to vacuum!

What was going on for both of us is that because our future was uncertain and so many things beyond our control – we wanted the pleasure of controlling a vacuum and getting a job done!

Got the message

We realized what was going on for us and we said, I think we both need to spend some time with Jesus. He is the certainty we can run to. We still laugh about the vacuum fight.

Your turn

Do you have a behavior you are repeating and don’t know why? Sit with Jesus for a bit. If He doesn’t show you the root, perhaps call a trusted friend to pray with.

If you both don’t sense anything – maybe He just wants to draw you close? That is a common message in our busy lives. Maybe that looks like a relaxing walk or cuddling on a cold day in a soft blanket. Don’t take on the bondage of trying to “figure it out.” If you don’t sense anything – Just be with Him for a while and let Him restore your soul. Psalm 23.

Take God out of a box and just hang out with Him. Just saying…

Walking with God on the path of joy,


PS – Please leave a comment and tell me how God is reaching out to you.