The Emotions Inherent in Life Pauses

Emotions are God-given and part of our humanness. They serve an important purpose by allowing us to express feelings and release tensions. Sometimes, we avoid emotions, suppressing them until we can experience them at a more convenient time. But often that moment never comes and those squelched emotions bubble to the surface unexpectedly and in inappropriate ways.

Many emotions are involved in life pauses. Learning to deal with them as you wait for your circumstances to change, or a time of waiting to end and forward motion to resume, requires acknowledging and processing the emotions.

The emotions of waiting:


The year 2020 was emotion-filled and fear topped the list. We feared everything from getting and surviving the virus to having enough food and supplies. Fear is a primary human emotion, but it is also a mind-set that proves one of the greatest deterrents in waiting and in life. Often, we miss opportunities because we allow fear to take control.

When I was younger, I found it extremely difficult to stand in front of a room full of people and speak. Fear shook my voice and knocked my knees. With maturity (I like that word better than age), I’ve learned that each time you push beyond fear you gain courage. Initially, moving beyond your comfort zone is difficult, but each experience prepares you for the next.


So much anxiety is involved in a time of waiting. For those who experience jobs temporarily suspended, or terminated, financial anxiety is ever-present. One of the greatest times of anxiety involves waiting for medical test results or diagnoses. The inability to control what is happening sometimes sends anxiety to an unmanageable level.

In our heads we know we should be able to manage anxiety, but emotionally the unknown time frame and potential what-ifs overwhelm. It’s not a personal failure to be anxious. Don’t feel you have to endure anxiety. Get help from a professional counselor or physician.


We live in a world full of angry people, who thrive on blame-placing and complaints. When forced to wait, that anger intensifies. Anger comes in many forms and is often directed at numerous targets, even God.

While I don’t think we should beat ourselves up for experiencing anger during a life pause, we also shouldn’t give full vent to it. Expressing anger can quickly become an increasing pattern that negatively impacts you and those around you. Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”

Anger rarely changes situations. Calmness and trust bring clarity and peace to life pauses.


Are you surprised to see happiness in the list of life pause emotions? Do you think only negative emotion is involved in waiting?

Most people equate positive emotions with times when everything is going according to their plans and life is rocking along just as they expect it to. It is possible to find joy in times when your life is on pause, but you have to look beyond the negativity because that is what seems most prominent.

During the life pause of COVID-19, many discovered they enjoyed the slower pace of life, which provided time for reading, conversation with family members, and simple pleasures like playing board games, cooking together, or working jigsaw puzzles. Happiness is an emotion we can choose to experience and cultivate.

When life hands you a time of waiting, a life pause, make the most of it. Rest. Reflect. Read. Pray. Allow the perspective shift that wipes the fog from your vision, shines light on blessings, and brings peace.

“May God, our source of peace, be with all of you. Amen” (Romans 15:33 GNT).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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