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Michel: Venting is normal; just do so with those who can help

“Venting is normal.”

That was the sign on the back of a truck my husband and I were following. At first I thought it referred to my habit of expressing emotions to trustworthy friends, and I smiled with relief.

Then I noticed another sign, “Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid.”

I then found the necessary vent on the top of the truck. The vapors that escaped through the outlet in no way affected the visibility of other drivers.

I hope that the venting I’ve done in the past hasn’t hindered someone else’s progress or clouded their views.

When I feel the need to release pent up emotions, my goal is truly to find someone who will be objective and help me to see things from another viewpoint, rather than to justify my feelings.

My most recent venting occurred when I found myself losing patience and gaining frustration with my own reactions. I sat on a chair in the corner of my living room for a self-imposed time-out to talk with God.

Before I could even tell Him how badly I felt about some of my choices, my mind was filled with the words recorded in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Over and over again these words washed over me. Comforted by the assurance of His love, it was easy to pour out my regrets over past failures and imperfect faith.

Venting is normal. And I’m learning the method that works best for me. It’s when I vent straight to the top, straight up to Heaven.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.