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Acknowledging Emotions

If you don’t know me, I am very much a “weight of the world on my shoulders” kind of person. I feel deeply for people whether I know them or not. I feel burdened by current events whether they directly impact me or not.

Earlier this week I had a pretty emotional day. We had just celebrated Easter a couple days before so the thought of Christ dying on a cross for my sins was fresh in my head. Then I woke up one morning and suddenly my kids all looked older. Usually my days with a 5, 3 and 2-year-old seem to drag on but I kept thinking about how fast this time truly goes. I thought about how I would never feel the flutter of a baby kicking in my womb again and how I wouldn’t have any more babies to nurse or sleep on my chest. Then I thought about possibly adopting in the future and my heart was broken for the orphans in the world. I was nauseated by the statistics surrounding the topic. Later, I saw a nasty, divisive political post on social media. Next, I heard a commercial saying more people are being diagnosed with advanced cancer because they missed their regular check-ups last year due to COVID. I thought about those I know currently battling cancer and the ones I’ve recently lost due to it. I grieved and cried. It seemed like with everywhere I went, everything I did, and everything I saw I was more acutely aware of the brokenness in the world. The man on the side of the road begging for food, the prostitute on the street corner, the sick baby of a friend, the loss of loved ones. It all hit me hard.

I think sometimes as women we can push off our feelings. We would call this an emotional day and blame hormones or “part of being a woman”. But I don’t believe that’s true. God created us in His image, including our emotions. Though sin can muddle and heighten our emotions, they are still a gift from God that He uses to show us His own character. I truly believe God allowed me to see brokenness and feel grief and sorrow so that I could see the world and the people in it the way He does. Jesus loaned me His eyes and heart that day and I saw more than I wanted to see and felt more than I wanted to feel.

But it made me think about things I don’t normally think about. It helped me have compassion on people I would normally be judgmental towards. It caused me to research and learn more about problems I’d rather ignore. It led me to appreciate the season of life I’m in and be grateful for all I’ve been blessed with. Maybe God just wanted to get my attention and have me consider things from a different perspective. To truly “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Maybe He is calling me to action to walk in the good works He has prepared for me (Ephesians 2:10). Whether I’m called to contemplate or called to act, I wouldn’t do either if I dismissed my emotions that day.

Please don’t dismiss your emotions either. Consider what you are feeling and ask God to make sense of your emotions. Don’t diminish the fact that you were created in the image of God by thinking your emotions are fleeting feelings triggered by random experiences. Don’t diminish God’s presence in your life by thinking your emotions are insignificant and unpurposeful. Don’t push away your emotions but instead, praise God and thank Him for allowing you to have a glimpse of the world through His eyes and seek His guidance on how to respond.

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