Abiding with Jesus Motherhood

Letting Emotions Be Our Guide

I ran to my room and googled: inconsolable crying. Meanwhile my husband tried to comfort and console our sweet boy back to reality in the room next door. Nothing seemed to work. A popsicle, a gentle voice, some fresh air, his blankies, our embrace, he was frantically screaming and weeping. This wasn’t the first time it happened to our three-and-a-half year old, but now my husband had me worried after he mentioned, “I think something’s wrong with him.”

I felt both guilt and confusion over the way David was acting. Was it my fault? Why was this happening?

But the most important question on the forefront of my mind was, “What can we do about it?”

I didn’t think I’d find anything worth reading on the internet, but the first article I found stopped me in my tracks.

All I had to read was the title, “Inconsolable Crying: Be Near.”

As I allowed those four words to simmer in my spirit, God’s voice came to the surface.

That’s what I do for you too, He said.

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Yes, as a 33-year old, I still have my bouts of inconsolable crying. Although I don’t make a raucous scene like David, I still have times when I’m crying {on the inside or outside} and nothing helps- not a hug from my hubby or a verse from the bible, no happy thoughts or a bouquet of a flowers.

It’s hard not to feel guilty for these sometimes irrational waves of emotion, aren’t I supposed to be stronger and more stable than this? Swinging from the trees of celebration to sitting deep in the pit of sadness all in one day doesn’t exactly seem mature. But I’ve come to realize, this is normal, part of being human is feeling intense emotions whether you’re 33 or 3.

There is nothing wrong with my son, or with me or you.

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When we follow Jesus on this adventure of life, we don’t have to fear our ups and downs, our tragedies and triumphs, victorious days or our wasted years.

When we welcome emotions we give ourselves permission to embrace life to the fullest, to experience and engage with our pain, passions, and our past, extracting as much beauty out of the messes and miraculous as we possibly can.  

But so often you and I naturally run from our emotions, especially the negative ones. We despise them for ruining our days or our lives. We feel powerless to change ourselves and often succumb to their waves that pull us under.

After reading the four-word title of the article, I realized the roller coaster of emotions we experience on a daily basis and through our lifetimes doesn’t make God run. Quite the contrary, God our Perfect Father draws near to us and waits.

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God waits us for us to look up and see Him there in the room with us.

He doesn’t say get over it.

He doesn’t say slap a smile on your face and be happy.

Instead of disregarding or disciplining us over our emotions, He quietly waits for us. By being in the season, in the situation, or in the same room with us, He encourages us to also sit and stay, instead of run and hide.

Adventures come with breathtaking viewpoints and befuddling valleys. The every-changing terrain is what makes an adventure beautiful and exciting. The different altitudes we climb, the varying trails we traverse all come with undeniable emotions.

Rather than a cause for alarm, emotions signal that we are alive.

Every emotion serves a purpose that we often forget.

Through the turmoil and tears, the heavy heartbreak and painful past, our emotions are a guide to point us to the pervading presence of Jesus in our midst.

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It’s not about persuading our little boy back to reality. Our emotions are not some other-worldly experience, they are proof that we are massaging life with both hands, unafraid of getting splattered and stained.

Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on realty. Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God…Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice…” Peter Scazzero

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The spectrum of emotions we experience is not immaturity, but evidence that we are walking forward with Jesus in a beautiful adventure. More than just tears in the eyes, or an ache in the heart, our feelings bring out the fullness of what it means to do life with Jesus.

If you aren’t experiencing pain, you aren’t experiencing beauty. Darkness makes us appreciate the beauty of the light. If you aren’t allowing yourself to feel the hurt, sadness, loneliness, and disappointment this fallen world has to offer, you probably aren’t feeling the fullness of the joy and beauty the redeemed moments have to offer.”Annie Downs

There’s nothing wrong with you sweet sister. You are doing just fine, in fact more than fine, you are becoming more whole and alive than you ever dreamed. If you believe it, every one of your feelings guide you straight to the arms of Jesus. Every emotion, an invitation to be with Him more closely on this adventure!  

 

 

*The last few weeks I’ve run the gamut of emotions- with my parents flying back home, people falling in love, babies cooing and smiling, unexpected angry outbursts from toddlers, my own fears and failures keeping me up at night, and curious questions about the future. Life has a way of serving us up all flavors of feelings even we’d rather not taste them. But instead of thinking I’m unstable and weak because of the ups and downs, I’m choosing to see my emotions as an invitation to walk closely with Jesus. Who’s joining me?

Traveling with you,

Charissa

 

 

 

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