Through this whole process, I have discovered something: I have emotions. Shocker, right? Some of these emotions are NOT pretty, and as a good Christian girl I didn’t think I was allowed to have these ugly emotions. Instead of letting myself feel angry about the fact that I am in chronic pain, my life is controlled by a disease, and I am a 23-year-old struggling to have even one child, I would just slap a Bible verse on the pain like a Band-Aid and keep on rolling. The problem with that was I was not actually dealing with anything that was going on in my heart. I continued to suppress my emotions by quoting scripture and saying, “God is good. He is faithful. He will use all of this for His glory.” While all of that is true, it does not take away the fact that this season is so hard! I continued suppressing and suppressing until one day I finally tried to pray and yelled out, “God, I can’t pray! I am too angry!” I actually shocked myself! I was doing such a good job at hiding my emotions, I didn’t even know I was that angry. So I took a step back and looked into my heart, and it was just brewing with anger. I had let this anger fester in the dark places of my heart for so long that it was now spewing out. You know why I had suppressed it for so long? I felt like I was not being a good Christian, having faith, and standing on the promises of God if I was angry or confused. I felt like feeling that way just wasn’t allowed. I finally decided to start exploring what was inside of my heart. One day I said to the Lord, “I know you are a good Father, but right now that is really hard to see. Right now, You seem very mean.” Six months ago, I would have never dreamed of saying that! I would feel it was disrespectful. I have learned that the Lord gave us emotions and He is not caught off guard when we experience them- even the “bad” ones. When I was honest with myself and the Lord and told Him I was angry, He was like, “Finally! We are getting somewhere!” He wasn’t about to come down and rebuke me. When I actually lay what I am feeling before the Lord, it allows Him to come close and be with me in my emotions. Otherwise, I just sweep all these little feelings under the rug and continue adding to the mess. Eventually, those little feelings turn into a volcano ready to explode at any moment.
My husband likes to make sure we are “staying current” in our relationship. He says, “If I do something to hurt you, or something you do not like, tell me right then.” When we stay current in our relationship, we talk things through as they are happening. When we neglect to do this, distance comes between us that tends to lead to an explosion of emotion because of little things we have been suppressing. I think the same can apply with the Lord. He is the Great Counselor and when we stay current with Him, He is faithful to walk with us through all of our emotions so we don’t end up exploding. Emotions do not scare Him! He made them!
I want to encourage you to take some time and look into your heart. It can be very scary to look in those deep places, and it’s even scarier to let the Lord into those places. We have become masterful at staying too busy to allow the time for real heart checks. I know for me, being raised in the church, I thought I was not allowed to feel the emotions I was feeling because somehow that mean I was doubting God and His goodness. Throw all of that away. Free yourself to walk through what is in front of you. Free yourself to feel again. The Father is ready and waiting to venture into those deep places with you.