Written By: Hailey Case
What do I do with what I feel?
After Wednesday I had to sit down and think about what I do with my emotions. Growing up I was definitely a gusher, I always let my emotions define and control me. I remember that I would tell everyone how I felt about a particular issue and then allowed every ounce of myself to show that emotion. However, after a lot of thought and prayer, I now know that I have begun to stuff my emotions. Somewhere in the last two to three years I have switched how I perceive my feelings as an enemy rather than a gift from God. I created this idea in my head that if others knew how I really felt they would think that my emotions are too much for anyone to handle. I also feared that if I shared how I felt, I would be told it was an ‘inappropriate’ response. Now that I am aware of my ‘stuffing’ tendencies, I must now take steps to correct this fear of my emotions.
Emotions are a gift from God.
It’s not easy to think that all emotions are good. When I sit back and think about loneliness or anger, I don’t typically think those are emotions I ever desire to feel. I tend to cling to the emotions I like (happiness, joy, contentment) and stuff the ones I don’t (fear, sadness, anger). What do I do with “unwanted” emotion?
First, I must shift my thinking. God, Himself is an emotional being and we are made in His image. Because of this, we too are emotional beings. If God to has emotions, they cannot be a bad thing. Scripture is full of God acting out of love and righteous anger. If God is perfect, even the unpleasant emotions HAVE to serve a purpose. But that has to require control and submission and that is found from God and God alone.
Emotions are a gauge.
Emotions allow us to see that something is going on in the world that needs our attention. Sadness is often an emotion most do not want to process. This emotion can be brought to the surface when we experience a loss of a loved one, goal, or job. We often stuff this emotion because we want “normal” not to process what had just happened. Some see sadness as a weakness, so they “suck it up”, “shove it down”, and carry on with their day to day life. We must remember that buried emotions do not die. Shoving it down does not make it go away, submit the emotion to God. Ask for His guidance so we can process and act as needed.
I loved how Annika used Ester as an example. Ester was dealing with the impending death of her people, yet she had such handle of her emotions. If someone threatened to kill my family, I would go insane. Letting out all the emotions and acting without thinking. This is not what Ester did at all, instead, she came to the King in kindness and appealed to Him in such a gentle manner.
Emotions are supposed to lead us to action, not reaction.
They are supposed to point us to our guide, the Holy Spirit. We often look to the world to see how we are supposed to react and we see cancel culture, the tabloids, rumors, and leaks.
Let’s not model the world, we have a great picture of control, love, peace right in front of us...Jesus. He let His emotions lead Him to action, not reaction. His great love lead Him to His great sacrifice on the cross, saving undeserving people.
How can your emotions glorify and point to Your savior?
How can I practice letting my emotions lead me to action rather than reaction?