Guest Post

Today’s post has been written by Debbie Swindoll, Executive Director of Grafted Life Ministries.  I appreciate her willingness to share her insights about the emotional impact of this virus situation with this listening audience.  Awareness of not only our physical needs, but also our emotional and spiritual needs during this challenging time can be helpful.   How might our concerns become invitations to deeper connections with God?  Take care folks.

Processing the Emotions of Covid-19

Yesterday I was cooking lunch and my husband, Curt, came in to help. I had chicken on the stove, and he started messing with it. I told him I didn’t want him to turn it over yet. A few minutes later I noticed he was moving the chicken around on the pan. I became uncharacteristically irritated at his help. Our conversation quickly escalated until I “washed my hands” of the responsibility of the chicken being done properly and snippily turned the job over to him.

Why was it so important that I control the cooking of the chicken? This question came to mind a little while later. Entertaining the question connected me with the reality that Covid-19, the slowing of my regular activities, feeling cooped up at home—so many unknowns lay at the root of my desire to control lunch preparation. I was feeling out of control and unconsciously trying to gain some sense of control back. The true condition of my heart was leaking all over lunch.

At the end of Psalm 139, David asked God:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (NLT)

During the next couple months our hearts will be regularly tested by our circumstances, and our anxious thoughts will leak out into our actions, our words and into our relationships with others and God. How might we see this season as an opportunity to more fully understand ourselves and grow closer in dependence on God?

Let me give you some ideas to consider.

  1. Proactively set aside regular time for an emotional check-in with God. Recall the events of the day and how you reacted to them. Name any feelings that you notice. Ask God to help you identify possible underlying emotions that motivated your actions. Talk with God about what comes to mind.
  2. Designate a “time-in” chair with God—a place you and possibly other family members might go to pause, process rising tension, and ask God for help in recognizing what is going on in your heart.
  3. Welcome the observations of others. Sometimes others see rising emotion in us before we do. Invite others to tell you what they see so that you can grow in your awareness and responsiveness in your relationship with them and God.
  4. Resist the temptation to ignore or fix your emotional responses on your own. Willing ourselves out of fear, anxiety, frustration, anger or whatever emotion arises during this crisis thwarts the potential for true growth and change to happen in our hearts. A better choice would be to use the awareness of our emotions as an invitation to connect with God and others on a deeper level. Be honest with God and let Him be honest with you about how your feelings may reveal pockets of unbelief or doubts about His love and care for you. Invite the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart with love and encouragement. Ask for help with your unbelief and express your desire to trust God in fuller ways.

As we journey together and apart in the uncertainty and volatility of the next few weeks, it is likely that our emotions will surface more regularly and at times with intensity. How might God be using these times to search our hearts, help us grow to understand our anxieties, and bring them before Him?

May we recognize and embrace God’s invitations in full.

Debbie Swindoll


Grafted Life partners with church ministries to build relational cultures of love for God and one another.
We invite believers into deeper Christian life through intentional engagement with God and the Body of Christ. Our resources encourage intimate, heart-probing, and transforming relationships with God and others.
Contact Us



Original Post: