Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

An Irritation Transformation

We all have these days.

At least, I hope beyond hope that I’m not the only one.

We start out as fun, happy, motivated, generous people.

And then somehow and without warning, a transformation hits.

Where we used to be easy-going, we’re now difficult. Where once was a happier outlook is now a massive attitude. Where we had a smile we now have this look of the inconvenienced and agitation.

I call it the Irritation Transformation.

And it’s never pretty. Worn by us, or aimed elsewhere.

Somewhere someone is getting ready to let someone else have it, and a little conversation bubble pops up with the words “Thar she blows!”

I know we’ve all been there, but I’m forced to come at it from a different perspective than most.

When you live with Dysthymic Disorder, also known as chronic depression, irritability isn’t just a fluke reaction of annoying circumstances that flow in and out of your day . It’s a very real medical symptom. It’s the warning signs of a flare up. The inkling of an oncoming episode. A bout of low-grade depression about to sweep in and try to stay awhile.

Can I be honest? I wish I weren’t robbed of the ability to shake it off like your average person. For the mood disorder sufferers, this is something your brain would like to trick you into believing has settled right down into your bones, and that everything around you should be interpreted as unpleasant and unwanted. Dramatically so.

And so the Irritation Transformation begins.

And we’re not just talking about being irritable due to unpleasant situations that arise through the day. We’re talking an irrational irritability that might not have any rhyme or reason, just a reaction borne out of your body’s inability to process all the things it’s working overtime to handle.

And all sorts of people wind up receiving the brunt of your symptoms.

And you wind up saying sorry a lot.

Like. A lot.

In any case, this is not what a child of the King wants to display to the world, even within a normal capacity. And there are so many of us that are bravely navigating the seas of varying types of depressions and disorders and wanting to represent the Father but what are we to do with the influx of symptoms threatening to take us from healthy to heartless?

As a believer, I struggled with this for the longest time. I was supposed to be a light in the dark. I was supposed to represent His great love, not an un-holy and feeble attitude. I was supposed to be a beacon of His grace, not constantly requiring it.

“Lord, what am I to do about my transformation into irritation? How do I battle a disorder that doesn’t care who or what I’m about to encounter? Or how many times something small has caused a meltdown or caused a snap response that doesn’t even sound like me?”

I’m still learning how to manage this particular Β behavioural symptom, but I’ve realized a couple things that are key to moving past it even when I’m still not feeling a hundred percent.

– I Promptly Hand It Off –

Everything starts engaging the wrong part of my faulty wiring, and I don’t really have the capacity to deal on my own when an episode begins. But I still know who does. He is very, very, capable, and will cushion the onslaught of irrational thoughts and reactions and words, and invites me to give it to Him.

And in those moments, this is not like I’m capable of a big flowery, theatrical, deep prayer where I “submit” everything, including my disorder (which I do daily when I’m able) but this is a simple hand off. It’s a prompt and frustrated and desperate “Lord! You take this! I’m so done. I can’t be here inside this anymore.”

And He does.

1 Peter 5:7 doesn’t dress it up or make it complicated, and thank goodness. “… cast all your anxieties, difficulties, and concerns on Him, for He cares for you.”

We serve a God who anticipates exchange. We can hand it off. Whatever it is. The greek word for {cast} actually means transfer. I can transfer all my agitated flare-ups to God and then walk away.

But it gets better.

– Walking Away And Taking Peace With Me –

The next step is to step out of whatever environment is causing the stress and that irritation transformation. I tranfer my anxiety to Him, and then the smartest thing to do is immediately change where I am. And I mean physically, but also emotionally, and spiritually.

And because God is a God who anticipates exchange, and holy transformation, He exchanges my irritation for His peace. In my leaving the place where I was bombarded by chaos, I get to be impacted by His provision of peace and rest if I ask for them.

This is no small thing.

Transformed in Him, I can be released from those negative synapses trying to fill my head with static and find peace again. He wasn’t joking when He said, “My peace I give to you.” He said it for a reason.

And this doesn’t just happen overnight, this is a process. Much like the way God works in all of us, it’s a constant reshaping and transferring and transforming.

This is why we read “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

My transformation from irritation to peace and ease and rest might take the rest of my life. A gradual adjusting to constantly handing off the difficult and trading up and being fed His constant and never ceasing goodness. And because He promises it, I’m good with it.

All the while, we’re to have this conversation with Him, “search me, Lord, know every thought, even the disconnected and irritable ones. And see what I need to transfer over, and how I still need Your transformation, and direct me with Your upstanding and everlasting ways.”

The Irritation Transformation

You may not be struggling with irrational irritability. You may be struggling in a completely different area. But He’d love for you to make an exchange with Him, trade sorrows for joy, trade heartache for abundant love, trade disappointment for His security.

Trade your symptoms for His measures of restoration.

He waits to make an exchange on the inside, that will affect the outside.

I’m ready for the next transformation. You?

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So thrilled and glad to be linking up today with some amazing bloggers! Hit the following hashtags and join us for some nourishing words of encouragement?
Joining Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup now and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory linkup at 5pm est.

14 Comments

  1. Marie Bilston

    July 7, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    It’s the GREAT EXCHANGE!! It happened at the cross of Calvary, and is still effective and available in every moment today. You really nailed it for me today, Christine. My faith still stands. I’ll give HIM all my restlessness, in exchange for HIS peace.

    • Christine Duncan

      July 7, 2015 at 5:15 PM

      It is a great exchange! I love the word transfer. It sounds official, permanent, finished. He’s that good πŸ˜€

  2. I am Christine, I’m glad that I found your post. It has so much useful information and encouraging words for those {like me} who suffers depression in any level or intensity. I would love to have you in my blog talking about this and your own experience. Would you like?

    Blessings and hugs! Rest in Him.
    Tayrina
    http://www.atinymixof.com

    • Christine Duncan

      July 7, 2015 at 5:13 PM

      Hugs to you, Tayrina, you’re always such an encouragement! I’m so glad you stopped by, you make me smile, girl. Depression demands that we navigate life carefully, doesn’t it? Giving over our feelings to God on an intense level so we’re not ever caught up in it all.
      I would be honored to be a guest on your blog, Tayrina. I’ll email you πŸ™‚
      Hugs and blessings for your day, friend! Believing God for great things in Him!

  3. The biggest step is knowing we CAN hand it off to him. I’m learning to give “things” to Him – but I am learning to STOP taking them back. Sometimes I feel like I’m having a tug-of-war:) Learning that I can is part of the process of learning to trust and believe who I am with Him. I wish I had understood this earlier! I’m so glad you shared your heart – and how you are learning to handle the challenge. I’m learning, too!

    • Christine Duncan

      July 8, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      Yep, that’s the biggest part, knowing we can. And to leave them there… I struggle with that too. I try to remember that I’m not just left to leave it all with Him and walk away with nothing, but we walk away loaded up with good things the minute we’re in His presence!
      That’s been a huge difference for me.
      Really glad we’re learning together πŸ™‚ Major blessings for your week, m’dear!

  4. Oh Christine! So blessed by these words, especially these:
    “I was supposed to be a beacon of His grace, not constantly requiring it.”

    Thank you for always sharing such raw experiences and relating to others without downplaying your own unique life and person. I don’t have a disorder, but I know what that transformation is like.

    For me it was more one of fear. I remember the day that the Lord transformed my heart from one that had long lived in fear and had become irrational over it to one in His perfect peace. And there are many days where that transformation happens again….and again.

    I love these words, and your precious heart!

    Blessings sister in Christ! #TellHisStory

    • Christine Duncan

      July 8, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      Aw, thanks Bethany! I think we all have things we need transformed over, instead of that thing transforming us… fear, yep, that’s probably a huge one. But I’m sure you’d say His peace is much bigger πŸ˜‰ I always glad to know that people can relate, we all have things we’re battling.
      Battling and navigating alongside you, girl! You’re such a huge blessing! xxoo

  5. I don’t deal with the same syndrome, but can I say that pre-menopausal hormone SWINGS, pre-moving stress, AND 100+ temperatures with no central AC here in Turkey make me a bit prone to irrational irritability too? πŸ™‚ Oh, I wish it were not so! I appreciate these 2 exchange tips. I was just thinking today that I can sense my “irritation level rising.” I’m going to hand it over to Him, and distance myself.

    Praying for you now, as I suspect your situation is much more challenging.
    #TellHisStory

    • Christine Duncan

      July 8, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      I’d say you have every reason to be prone to a little irrational response every now and then, Betsy! I think I would be too in your instance, sounds like a busy time right now πŸ˜‰ But thank goodness He is waiting to anticipate every need we have!
      I covet the prayers, my friend, and I’ll be praying for your week to go well too! Hugs!

  6. I love this Christine. I have experienced this exchange in wonderful ways – I can give Him my fears and anxieties and He fills me with His wondrous peace. Truly transformational. You described this process beautifully. I was blessed as I was reminded of all that is available to me, if only I am willing to take part in the exchange.
    Blessings friend,
    Kamea

  7. The Irritation Transformation. Oh yes, I have seen this overtake me more times than I care to count. πŸ˜‰ What I love about this post is you can apply these steps to so many things. By simply giving whatever we’re carrying, whatever is burdening us to God, we are set free and can find peace. Thank you for sharing, dear friend. Love this.

  8. Irrational irritability. Yes, I’ve been there, Christine. The underlying cause of my symptoms is different from yours; the end result? Not so much. What you’ve written resonated so much with me that I actually printed this post out and have read it several times. My heart aches for you in your struggles, but I cheer for the wisdom you are gaining (and sharing) as you practice the steps you’ve described. I’m so thankful we have a loving heavenly Father who “knows how we are formed and remembers that we are dust!” (Psalm 103:14)

    • Christine Duncan

      December 9, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      Aw, thank you Lois! Sorry I missed this initial conversation… but I’m so glad this spoke to your heart. I think it’s a symptom we don’t often talk about and it has such sway over our lives sometimes.

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