Emotions and Other Inconveniences

So my running joke is that I’m broken because I don’t do feelings and I don’t do sappy. It’s soooo not true. I promise you, as I sit here with tears streaming down my face because of the emotions I “don’t do” that did me in today, that I do, indeed, do feelings and sappy. I actually do them quite well some days. Yay, me. 

The first quarter of 2017 has, um, “presented a host of opportunities for improvement”. (That’s corporate speak for “it sucked dirty canal water”, just in case you were wondering. I’ll add “translator” to my resume. You’re welcome.) The health just ain’t cooperatin’. The daily grind is stressin’ this mama out. Too many things on my mind. I’m getting good at setting limits, but it’s not always easy because some things HAVE to be done. #AdultingIsHard #WhenIsRecess

In the “old days”, I would grab a smoke, a drink, get angry, and stay in my head. I can certainly hit myself where it hurts. This is not the recommended approach to life, apparently. I’ve been smoke-free for over seven months and grabbing a cigarette is not even something that crosses my mind most days. Weird that it ruled my life for so long and now it’s odd to remember that I used to smoke.

The way I handle things now, while far from perfect, is nicotine-free and working through things in my head. I may still be silent, but I’m not “stuck in my head” anymore. I’m working through the honest feelings, opinions, and actions that are causing my struggle. I don’t attack myself and give in to the urge to convince myself how imperfect I am. The reality is no one is perfect and we are all working through our own issues. 

Today, for instance, I am working through feelings of frustration (pain), inadequacy (others’ opinions of me), fear (failure seems imminent at work some days), loneliness (because I do not have anyone who can hold me and tell me it will be ok), and rejection (hello, life). 

The enemy can easily use my emotions against me – if I allow it. I never thought ignoring those negative thoughts was possible. It just never occurred to me that I didn’t have to entertain such thoughts. Now, though, I’m starting to understand that the self-abuse is not a mandatory action. I have been granted grace, so maybe I can extend a little to myself, yes? 

I was posting on my small group page earlier (it’s a study about rejection) and one of the discussion questions reminds us that Jesus was also rejected. Tonight the light bulb went off on that point. If He was rejected – the Son of God – how in the world could I ever hope to escape rejection? Am I that special? Awesome – yes. Special – no. We are all equal in the eyes of God. The pain of my rejection/shortcoming/frustration cannot compare to the pain Jesus felt on the cross. 

When I think this way, I am able to remind myself of these things: 1. we are all in the same boat here, dealing with the same things, 2. we are all loved equally, 3. we are all forgiven, 4. we were spared the horrendous pain of the cross. Point #4 reminds me to have a grateful heart and that, no matter what life is tossing me, someone always has something greater to deal with. In other words, I can tell myself to just “suck it up, buttercup” and give thanks, then pray for the people who are battling far worse situations than I can possibly imagine.

1 Peter 2:24

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (NIV)

Isaiah 61:1-11

61 The Spirite of the Sovereign Lordf is on me,

because the Lord has anointedg me

to proclaim good newsh to the poor.i

He has sent me to bind upj the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedomk for the captivesl

and release from darkness for the prisoners,a

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorm

and the day of vengeancen of our God,

to comforto all who mourn,p

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crownq of beauty

instead of ashes,r

the oils of joy

instead of mourning,t

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

a plantingu of the Lord

for the display of his splendor.v

They will rebuild the ancient ruinsw

and restore the places long devastated;

they will renew the ruined cities

that have been devastated for generations.

Strangersx will shepherd your flocks;

foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

And you will be called priestsy of the Lord,

you will be named ministers of our God.

You will feed on the wealthz of nations,

and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shamea

you will receive a doubleb portion,

and instead of disgrace

you will rejoice in your inheritance.

And so you will inheritc a double portion in your land,

and everlasting joyd will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;e

I hate robbery and wrongdoing.

In my faithfulness I will reward my people

and make an everlasting covenantf with them.

Their descendantsg will be known among the nations

and their offspring among the peoples.

All who see them will acknowledge

that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”h

10 I delight greatly in the Lord;

my soul rejoicesi in my God.

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation

and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,j

as a bridegroom adorns his headk like a priest,

and as a bridel adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up

and a gardenm causes seeds to grow,

so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousnessn

and praise spring up before all nations. (NIV)

*originally published March 10, 2017*

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