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Should I be a First-Responder?

When I think of a First Responder, I think of the Police and Fire Departments, Nurses, Doctors, Paramedics and so on. This morning, I was thinking about another perspective to consider that I wanted to share. Have you ever thought of this applying to whether or not you respond outwardly to your first emotional response to something?

I was thinking about that this morning. As women, especially, we've heard talks at retreats and possibly read blogs, articles or even books about keeping our emotions in check and not allowing them to be in control. As an extremely expressive emotional person, I understand the concept and have read and heard messages about this, but I'm only starting to really understand the application and what it means for me recently. I am realizing that it's okay to have really big emotions about things, and also that I don't need to be a "first responder" and share my full emotions or respond with equal volume to the degree of which I'm feeling whatever it is that I'm feeling. For example, if my reaction is stress or frustration and I'm feeling nearly run over internally by the intensity of that feeling, I do not need to express that externally right away (bombarding those around me with hearing about my unprocessed/unfiltered stress or frustration).

My goal for this year is to become a healthier person, especially regarding having a healthier balance emotionally and learning to bring my first reactions into perspective under God's control and truth. I am not considering this a New Year's Resolution, because those generally rely on oneself to make said changes, and this does not fall into that category in my mind.  I do want to be intentional, though, to work with God on this area of my life and see fewer instances where I'm a "first responder." I'd also like to have more instances where I ask questions for clarification to check with myself to consider if my reaction or response matches the situation and to pray about my emotional "first response" and ask God to help me process and share what is appropriate for the situation.

This will be my prayer, "Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips."(Psalm 141:3) I'm praying for God to refine me in this area of my life, not to remove the expressive person I was created to be, but to learn how to bring it under control of the Holy Spirit and express the fullness within and consider what to share outward more carefully as the new person I am in Him.

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