In honor of Mental Heath Awareness Month, I am celebrating freedom on the blog this month. A few special author guest posts are lined up. First one is this Thursday. Keep watch!
Today, I will share about my tangles with feelings.
Friends, have you ever been paralyzed or so overwhelmed by feelings that you would rather they just go away?
I have wrestled with feelings instead of just letting them run their course. Somewhere along the way, I learned how to stuff feelings down or pretend I was ok when I really wasn’t.
Hardcore emotions straight from the soul, fight back. They will only stay trapped or snubbed so long.
When we show up in adulthood, we all have different amounts of love and pain brought from childhood. It took me a long time (until I accepted Jesus) to really embrace my feelings without trying to wipe them away.
Perhaps the biggest irony is that I became a marriage and family therapist in my twenties, and even went on to get a Substance Abuse Certification.
Head knowledge does not eliminate heart pain.
In my Godless life [where I did not know Him, but He knew me], many, many losses happened. And many, many feelings stacked on top of each other, clogging the airways to my soul, blocking light.
Layered and sometimes fighting with one another caused my soul to be in a constant state of unrest. I can look back and give myself grace. No wonder I did not know what peace felt like.
Regroup. Slow down. Take a breath.
Allowing myself to really feel these things has been like learning a foreign language. At first I wasn’t too sure what it looked like or how it should sound.
Embedded memories, unshed tears, unresolved relationships.
God has breathed on my dry bones,
the ones of the past that were lost, broken and spiritually dead.
As I follow Him, He helps me excavate these feelings … some have reappeared in raw form. As I study and pray, sometimes I find myself crying.
At first, I wanted it to stop so I could hide … go to sleep, take a walk, forget about the pain that was surfacing … again.
So, what happened to the “new-er” me, the forgiven me, the chosen me?
The hard parts of my heart where anger lived, softened by His power.
The loneliness hole was filled with His mercy. By His grace I am free.
The perfectionism was humbled by The Perfect Trinity.
Hopelessness was the foundation of all the feelings. My hope every day is I will meet Jesus, Our Living, Loving, Saving Lord.
Now for the past almost three years, I have been learning how to manage the myriad of feelings that rise in my heart on any given day. My feelings are a part of me. And expressing them while respecting others and myself is important. I still worry some, but not nearly the way I used to. I rely on prayer and talking through the things that bother me.
Deny, numb, avoid: The Enemy’s Approach
Experience pain with all its snot and mess: God’s Approach.
When you are all in, this is how you roll. When He leads, you follow. And if you experience any hurt on His narrow path, He promises to be with us. Reach for His hand, seek His face, and allow Him to love you in the midst of the hurt.
Now one thing I will say, if you are on a healing journey with God, find someone you trust to talk to or cry with. God is someone we cannot see or physically feel. Sometimes a good old-fashioned hug squeezed with love, or a wise elder friend, or a professional who can see things objectively can be important parts of the holy healing to wholeness.
There is no shame in feelings.
They are a part of you whom He created very carefully and lovingly.
So pray, pray, pray for Him to lead you to His peace and joy, found in the amazing way He forgives and graces our lives.
Sometimes it is a certain book He wants us to read
Or He points our eyes to a certain article online
Or maybe a new friend enters your world
Or you find yourself crying at everything because years of tears are finding their sweet freedom.
The amazing thing is Our Lord will just wrap you in love while you come to terms with what caused the pain in the first place. Then, when the harvest is ripe, He will use the pain for His purposes which are always noble and righteous.
Let Him love you
Let Him into the open wounds
Let Him cover you in comfort
And in time, your story will be a light on the hill to another dark soul.
Thank you for being here today.
My updated testimony can be found on the Newberrytown Church of God Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/@NewberrytownChurchofGod/
I speak of the many ways Jesus has saved me from myself and life circumstances.
If you have feelings that need set free, let me know if you need prayer or an email conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you are in any danger of harming yourself or someone else, please call 911 to get help right away. You are loved and have a purpose on this earth.
Check back Thursday for the first AUTHOR guest post of the month!