“That’s it! No more. We’re done watching politics for today!” I said as I flipped off the television.
We’d just watched our favorite news show, but it was exhausting. The hosts were fighting. My Dad was yelling at the host he doesn't like. Jamie had been sharing his opinion all day, and I felt overwhelmed and done with it all.
When I turned on Facebook, everyone there is talking politics.
Finally, I went outside to enjoy the last few nights of light and warm weather and get some peace and quiet. (Unfortunately, our neighbor decided to rev his car engine for a half hour—but it was still better than the noise of the tv.)
Most people who know me know that I have deeply held conservative beliefs. I keep up with the news. I am an informed voter, and I pray fervently about the election. Still, I have to admit that there are times when I just can’t take it anymore. Some days it all seems too noisy, too stressful, too argumentative, and just too much.
To find balance, here are some steps I’m taking to keep my sanity (and my friends) over the next few weeks.
1. Remember that God is in control.
Sounds super-spiritual, right?
Not really—because a super spiritual person wouldn’t get stressed out and overwhelmed and need to be reminded!! For those of us who love Jesus but still worry, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control no matter what happens. As believers, He controls our lives.
God is never surprised. His plans aren’t hanging on polls or pundits. On November 5, our calling is still to follow Jesus down every path He has for our lives.
Like the old Twila Paris song said, “God is in control, we believe that His children will not be forsaken….we will choose to remember and never be shaken….there is no power above or beside Him we know….oh, God is in control.”
2. Turn off the news (at least, for a while)
My brother loves the news. He is much better at riding the ebb and flow of it than I am. He takes it all in stride.
I’m not like that. I get stressed and tend to believe all of the “the sky is falling” hype. So from time to time, I have to turn off the news and turn on something else.
For instance, the night I said “enough,” we really didn’t turn the news back on. We went outside until it got dark, then we watched HGTV. Sometimes, you just have to give your mind a rest so you can get up and keep moving forward the next day.
3. The beauty of the "unfollow" button.
Long ago, I decided that I would not argue on Facebook, and I would not let people argue on my posts. However, lately, I have to admit that the temptation to “Reach out and smack someone” is real!
There are people on both sides of the aisle who are just over the top.
I’m a big believer that sometimes the best thing for a friendship is to mute them for a short time on Facebook. Because I love you, but I just can’t take any more hysteria.
4. Turn up the radio
The Bible tells us to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3)
Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed or depressed by the election, it’s a good time to start praising and worshiping God. Maybe turn on a little praise music.
Another thing that works for me is to turn on some music that makes me happy. Again, it’s about shifting your focus. Both work for me.
5. Finally, pray.
Maybe this should be point #1.
But one thing the Holy Spirit is reminding me of almost daily is that 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “if my people pray.”
It doesn’t say, “If my people make political memes….
…If my people argue with their neighbors, their coworkers, and all over social media…
…If my people put signs in their yards or even if my people get out the vote.”
The most powerful thing we can do to influence our world is to be people of prayer and continue to represent Jesus well to the world.
As we do this, we will survive the election season and everything that is to come.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.