Along my travels in this world I have been faced with different views on emotions and authenticity. Lately I have begun to understand them a bit more and would like to share with you all.
Emotions, they are tricky little things aren’t they? I know that my emotions can change in a split second and can also take over if I am not careful. I have gone from calm, cool and collected to angry and off the wall when taken off guard. It has always been easy for me to flip off the handle. My prayer once sounded something like, “Lord, please help me to control my anger” but they are now more along the lines of, “Lord, please rip open the hardened and angry places in my that rise to the surface when faces with adversity, remove the filth and replace it with Your love and Grace”.
You see, I have begun to truly understand that what comes out of me when faces with adversity, is ultimately those hidden places that rise up when I am off guard. These are the things that I stuff down and try to cover up day to day, the places I hate. Hoping to maintain control of these places is not the approach I should have been taking all this time. Controlling the uncontrollable is exhausting.
Only recently have I been in the place of looking to God to remove these pieces of me. This is work and can be painful as I have spent a long time stuffing and covering up. It was uncomfortable at first, as these pieces have been in my for so long and even though I no longer want them to be part of me, I was still clinging to them in a way. The Lord has been patient with my through this process and He ever so gently brings me to where I need to be. He has shown me how I need to allow Him to open up old wounds, cleanse me and then healing can take place. He has shown me that my emotions are fickle and cannot always rule my behavior, but that I must allow myself to feel deeply at the same time. Confusing! Fortunately Jesus came to our rescue and now the Holy Spirit is able to dwell in me. The Spirit has given me the strength I have needed during this process.
Part of the struggle for me, is that I always want to remain authentic, genuine. I don’t want to seem fake and am striving for transparency in a world that hides. I think I am beginning to see what that might look like for me. I read an article the other day that really shed some light on what it means to be an inauthentic Christian. It helped me to realize that, as a Christian, I am striving to be more like Jesus. I am striving to be patient and loving in all things and with all people. Sometimes this means I “fake it until I make it”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ever seem fake, but sometimes my actions will be contradictory to my emotions. Jesus did not command us to have feelings of love towards each other, but He has commanded us to the action of loving each other.
With time, prayer and the Holy Spirit, I know that my feelings will change. As I choose to allow God to work in my life, my emotions will begin to mirror His will. As I choose to remain patient despite the inpatients creeping up on me, the easier it will become over time. As I choose to be silent when my emotions are screaming in injustice, my anger will subside.
Today I choose to allow the Spirit to work in me, through me and to remove those dark, filthy places so that there may be room for the peace, love, patients, and joy.
I am and will always be amazed that as I come to the cross with my broken life, Jesus takes it and replaces it with beauty and love.