Feeling All the Feels
Confession time, I wear my heart on my sleeves - both of them. I am unapologetically full of drama. And I can go from one feeling to the next as quickly as the weather can change in west Texas. Joy, sorrow, contentment, disappointment, anger, bliss, these are all emotions that make us fearfully and wonderfully made. The more I swim in the waters of Jesus the more I feel free to be me. To boldly live in this wide range of emotions.
I love this age Aria is at. She is 3 and is learning what it means to feel all the feelings. She wouldn’t be her without the over zealousness she expresses when encouraging others or the overwhelming frustration when strife hits. Maybe you have the same type of temperament – the highs feel extra high and the lows feel extra low. God isn’t surprised by it. I love picturing him looking down at this very moment with a big grin saying, my dear child I’m so proud I made you. Most days I feel like the queen of the most grand toy-filled, sticky floored, food stained, hot mess castle, but yet he sees beauty in my imperfections and crowns me with His love and tender mercy. (Psalm 103:4)
This week included a lot of feelings – feelings of fearfulness and anxiousness as my daughter had surgery, feelings of unworthiness and shame brought on by old wounds opened by current events, feelings of inadequacy and resentment as my daughter chose others to comfort her instead of me. That thick black line that often feels like a Grand Canyon between expectations and reality is where most of life is lived. Here are a few truths that have become my anchor in these times of emotional instability:
God is in control. We find comfort in control, yet God often reminds us that we aren’t. These emotions are a gift. We can learn to run to Him when they start to overwhelm us and praise Him when our compass feels steady. (Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”)
Grace is for everyone. It is especially important to give this gift to ourselves. When grace feels far away I take a really deep breath and imagine I’m breathing in grace, letting it inflate my heart and breathing out hopelessness. Showing grace to a difficult situation or person can be very hard to wrap our minds around, especially when there are hurts so deep that the pain never really goes away. It is comforting to me to know that it’s not up to me to find justice or resolution. We can equally despise what brought us to this emotion and recognize that grace is a precious free gift given to the least of us. (Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”)
He delights in me. Even when I’m in a no good, very bad mood, I have a heavenly father who is always ready to lavishly pour His love on me. He sees the real me who often feels like prisoner to my own emotions, but promises to break those chains. Think back to your dating days, simply knowing that your sweetheart was thinking about you immediately fills that love tank up. God is not only thinking about you, He is constantly treasuring you. I hope that thought alone gives your love tank enough fuel to burn forever. (Psalm 18:19 “He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”)
He goes before us. Even as we are laying our heads down to sleep, God is preparing our way. He is recharging our batteries, so we can function tomorrow. As I rise, I don’t know if it will be a day filled with imagination or irritations, delight or drama, fun or frustrations, but I do know that this is a day that my Lord has made. And because of that I can always rejoice knowing that not only was it not a surprise to him, he has carefully laid my path if only I will take his hand and follow it. (Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”)
There really is a time for everything. Emotions are the lifeblood of the you that makes you you. It’s the color in our lives. Give yourself permission let it paint the brightest mural. Danger lies in thinking that you can’t be filled with two opposing emotions. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”)
I can feel like a horrible mom and the best mom.
I can feel like I’ll never reach my goals and appreciate how far I’ve come.
I can feel desperately weak and incredibly strong.
I can really hate a situation and treat it with grace.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
I am proudly a woman who feels all the feels. It gives me the gift of empathy. No matter the cost, that gift makes me a better wife, momma, friend, daughter, sister and for that I am forever grateful.