How Do You Feel? Back to the Basics of Feelings

I.AM.SAD. There… I admit it. Too often I tell myself that I have no right to be sad. I should be counting my blessings or keep looking for hope sightings. Some say we should be looking for the silver lining in this crisis instead of seeing all the bad in it. That worry or anxiety about what may happen indicates a lack of faith. But these sad feelings inside of me keep multiplying as I see more lives this crisis is hurting in one way or another.

I do believe God does have a plan for good for us, but if we have a turmoil of emotions inside of us, that doesn’t mean we have no faith. God knows our every feeling, He hurts with us, and He never condemns us for any of them.

God has created in each of us a complex brain with all kinds of emotions. Our emotional health is just as important to Him as our physical health is. Stuffing our feelings down inside us and not dealing with them can cause harm to ourselves and others, even unknowingly.

I was not planning to post today as I told God I can’t because too many feelings are overwhelming my mind and my heart. Then yesterday morning, I felt nudged to “get back to the basics of feelings.” I was reminded, too, of how so many years ago when I volunteered at a social service place for children, there was a big chart on the wall with all kinds of feelings on faces. If a child could identify with one of the faces, it would sometimes open the way for him/her to process the why and start talking about it.

I found another relevant resource to help us with feelings through this corona crisis. Denise Daniels has written First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic. You can download it in either English or Spanish.

Even adults can find help in the sound advice this workbook has to offer. Perhaps many of us need to “get back to the basics of feelings.” We can help children within our families and/or social circles learn to be smart about their feelings and help alleviate their emotional stress, but we have to start with ourselves, don’t we?

God reminded me I need to quit ignoring or stuffing my feelings. So I acknowledged this overwhelming sadness in me and wrote out some specifics of this pandemic that cause me to feel sad. Perhaps I should write specific lists for other feelings, too, like fear, worry, and anxiety.

Sometimes a mixture of emotions overwhelms me, and I can’t even figure out why, so I start to write to God about it. Then the feelings sometimes pour out and I start processing them as I am praying to our God who understands. As I sort out my mess of feelings with Jesus, I also remember He is a Savior who cares about each one. There is not one hurt we have that He hasn’t been through Himself on this earth. Not one tear, whether on our cheek or in our heart, escapes His notice and compassion.

“When Jesus saw Mary’s profound grief
and the moaning and weeping of her companions,
He was deeply moved by their pain
in His spirit and was intensely troubled.
Jesus: Where have you laid his body?
Jews: Come and see, Lord.
As they walked, Jesus wept.”
John 11:34-36 VOICE

P.S. Just as we sometimes need a doctor for physical ailments, we sometimes need a therapist to help us process our pain and emotions. There is no shame in that. Do you need further help?

Crisis Hotlines and Resources

Each of us is unique.
What works for one does not work for another.
What feelings are you experiencing today?
What helps you to acknowledge
them and work through them?

Tears Are a Language God Understands
by Heritage Singers

Memory Triggers Battle With Truth, But Truth Will Win

unfailing-love

I wrote a blog post for this week, but I deleted it all.

The second time I wrote, I still deleted most of it to start once again.

ccseedsofloveGod wants me to write authentically, but He also wants me to filter what I publish through His sieve of love. Love towards Him and love toward others. That’s why I like to write days ahead of time and keep praying for direction. When writing vulnerably, I have to be careful. Sometimes it turns out that my writing is more meant to help me process raw emotions, not something He wants me to publish for all to see.

“But speaking the truth in love
[in all things—both our speech
and our lives expressing His truth],
let us grow up in all things into Him
[following His example]
who is the Head—Christ.”

Ephesians 4:15

Too many times in my life I speak or write words that should have remained between myself and God. And sometimes a trusted counselor or friend. So as I write here, I am learning to ask myself – Does this glorify God? Does it radiate with His love or with my bitterness? Does it point to hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus?

Having asked myself these questions, my post is considerably shorter…

I read a blog post that triggered a time when my heart, too, was being judged. When it felt like a giant foot stomped on the deepest feelings of my heart and ground them into oblivion.

In times like this, I teeter on the edge of the Rock that is Christ Jesus, ready to slip and tumble back into a trap of the past where my voice was silenced. Insecurity, fear, and shame battle with Truth. I desperately stretch my hand back to Jesus, begging Him – “Help, Lord! Please take my hand and hang on to me! Keep me on Your sure Foundation of Truth!”

“I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’
but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
Psalm 94:18-19 NLT

Memory triggers of past pain can suck us down like quicksand, but Jesus’ love can plant us back on solid ground. He can give us the strength to believe that in Him we are strong and He can keep us from being swayed into a pool of uncertainty again where our voices don’t count. When we remember again that our identity is in Him, not in the painful past, our hearts calm and rest in His love and assurance.

If memory triggers drop the bottom out from beneath us, Jesus’ hand is stretched toward us, waiting for us to grab hold. He longs to help us. He is available 24/7 to hear the pains of our hearts. May we ask Him to ground us again in His Word and our identity in Him. He loves us deeply, and no one can ever take that away.

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from Me,
for My Father has given them to Me,
and He is more powerful than anyone else.
No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
John 10:28-30

A Child's Trust

“Love Take Me Over”
by Steven Curtis Chapman

“Love, take these words that I’m speaking
Love, take these thoughts that I’m thinking
Love, take me over
Love, fill up all of my space and
Love, stand right here in my place
Love, hear this prayer that I’m praying
Love, take everything that I’m doing
Love, like a river, flow through me
Love, take me over”


ccjesusloves

signature3