The other day, I shared on Instagram about dirty dishes and prayer, and I mentioned that I was learning to feel my feelings and then cover them in truth. This has been really huge for me so I wanted to share what that looks like.
First off let me say that I don’t really love feeling #allthefeels. I’m am a professional avoider. I do happy and I do frustrated, but I’ve never liked all the other feelings- especially sadness. Lately I’ve been going through a season of learning to accept and embrace what I feel. Here’s what I know- God gave us all the emotions and feelings, and so allowing them and making use of them is part of His good plan for us.
In my head it seems like there are 3 options of what we can do with our feelings. – 1.) We can feel them and then live in them as truth (example: I feel rejected, and my thoughts could spiral into “I AM rejected. I am alone. No one gets me. This will never get better.” This is unhealthy because we don’t bring any perspective into our feelings. Our feelings CANNOT be the truth we live and function by or our lives will feel completely out of control. OR 2.) Avoid feelings. Shove down the emotions of rejection, anger, sadness. And just move on. This is unhealthy because the feelings will then eek out in other areas- frustration, snapping at the kids, snapping at my husband. I will be stressed out and sometimes not even know why! Or 3.) I can allow myself to feel and acknowledge my feelings (“I feel sad, I feel like giving up, I feel lost.”) and then I can cover those feelings in Truth- “this will pass”, “God promises He is with me.” , “He is guiding my path, He sees the future.” “I know that God allows things in my life to change my heart and grow me. I know he can use this for good because He promises to.” Another good approach is to read from Psalms. David expresses so much feeling- despair, sorrow, betrayal, joy, praise…
I can’t tell you it’s perfect, or that this is immediately effective, but I think that as I live this process out it helps me to not internalize lies that can so easily attach themselves to hard feelings. In the past when I went through some hard things, and I DIDN’T cover my thoughts and feelings in truths, and I didn’t #preachtomyownheart , I internalized some bitterness and wrong thinking about God. As we have walked through some more recent hard things, those places of bitterness and wrong thinking have been brought up to the surface. Amazingly, though some things felt like they were falling apart, the brokenness in my heart has been falling back together. Truths are covering those past hurts, and heart restoration is taking place. And as I cover my current feelings and thoughts in Truth, I believe that though this season is hard, I’ll walk out of it with stronger faith in God and His character and Word.