Tidings of Emotion
“Faith is not a vague sense that, “God will work it out.” It comes from prayerful immersion in the Scripture.” – Timothy Keller
I am experiencing a bit of emotional fatigue. I am mired up in what May brings. The responsibility is overwhelming. Instinctively, I want to bury my head against the wind and just get through it. Yet, that is unfair to this gift of life. I am forsaking the blessings by dreading what hasn’t even happened yet. So, I’m trying to own the pain I feel while traversing, with revelry, this rocky road we call life. These seasons are equal reminders, as rejoicing often is, that there is beauty to behold – little bumps and bruises can be blessings to.
I just found out a “boy” I liked has a serious girlfriend. The pin prick reality that I am not a mother placed salt in a fresh cut wound. I don’t write this with bitterness. I write it with loneliness, and an ache that feels too real to mark with borders. We are often frightened to feel these emotions. How are we able to navigate joy if we haven’t traversed the road of sadness? I don’t count my journey desolate. It is rich, mysterious – a wondrous thing!
We cannot always trust our emotions. They are deceptive. Nevertheless, we do have permission to experience them, own them, and use them as fuel to propel us forward. There is no formula for “how you should feel” about a situation. Emotions are to be felt, not to govern. They can bubble up from circumstance, or a reservoir untapped - full of their sharp headiness. These unexpected wells of emotion will often catch us off guard.
So, I sit and survey the goodness of Him who makes “all things new”, whose mercies are new each morning. His love for us is immeasurable.
“So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. – John 16: 22-24 NLT
I wrote this journal entry last month while in Berea for the Appalachian Fund Conference. My heart stirs every time I read it…
I could be writing the next ‘Great American Novel’ – bleeding memory & make believe into a patchwork tapestry. My cup has been filled from other glasses these past two days. I asked God to give me both respite & passion. He is ever thoughtful to our smallest requests.
I feel whimsical. An emotion that can equate to folly in my book. Still, who couldn’t use a bit of play. Why, as adults, do we snub a simple & delighted spirit? We forget how to play. In a world that is severe & cutthroat we don’t know how to slow down and be silly.
I want more. More has been given.
I try not to idolize a situation or place. There is a resonant feeling that I am supposed to be in Berea, KY. Does this mean I will get to? I don’t know.
I enjoy a well-mapped life. My middle name is “checklist”. Yet, structure quakes underneath failures and flaws we cannot predict or calculate.
I need beautiful spaces of soft earth to dig my roots into. My life is wondrous and I am grateful for what Jesus has given – ever grateful. I know what it means to have been given wings. I long for a tether, a point of center, where I truly feel I belong. It may be foolery to think I would be able to find that this side of Heaven. This sentiment doesn’t replace the need for a sacred space. A place where my unique qualities are firmly grounded.
A Prayer (adapted from Isaiah 54: 1-10):
Lord, I sing aloud of your goodness. You, who expand my borders. I will shout in loud praise that you have kept my womb barren. My heart expounds on thoughts of your wondrous mercy. You promise me far more than those childbearing women! Make me ready. I will expand the borders of my heart. I will open up the windows and the lay out the curtains. I will lengthen the cords of my dwelling and strengthen my stakes in your sure foundation. Praise you Yeshua for a growing spiritual family. Let me ever think the “big” thoughts you have for me. Let me not narrowly confine my idea of what you want for my life.
I will not be ashamed of this beautiful life you have given me, nor will I be depressed by what I fear I don’t have. You shall not put me to shame! You are my Husband, my Redeemer, Lord Almighty! You have wooed me, rejected as I was – grieved in spirit and heart sore.
You, my redeemer, say: “I left you, but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back. In an outburst of anger, I turned my back on you – but only for a moment. It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you.” (7-8)
You have sworn never to grow angry with me again. You have promised that Your love and kindness will never depart, nor Your covenant of peace and completeness be removed, even if the mountains should crumble and fall apart. I praise you for your compassion towards me.
Lord, your loving mercy fills my cup. I praise you for the fresh start it gives me each day!