Have you ever felt something you thought you shouldn’t feel? Actually maybe I should change the question because when you feel something you’re not supposed to feel, you avoid feeling it… or at least I do. I talk myself out of it. I go over, under and around it, but never through it. I wouldn’t want to feel something I shouldn’t or give attention to something I don’t really believe in but that has come into my mind and heart, right? That’s what I used to believe.
Like a lot of other people in the country, our little family has been struggling financially for the last little while…about 8 months or so. And like a lot of other people, our prayers became a little longer, a little more sincere, a little more frequent when we realized that we were in way over our heads and wouldn’t be able to catch up or stay afloat without His help. We prayed and we believed and we hoped that each day would be better than the next. Sometimes it was, but most of the time it wasn’t so we held onto each other and prayed some more. Months and months and months went by…
I can’t speak for my husband…he is such a rock to me and doesn’t seem to lose hope ever, but my emotions and feelings were all over the place at that time. It seemed like I could go through every emotion and feeling in one day or one hour. Hope in contrast with great despair were at the top of the list. I felt angry at the situation. I felt helpless and completely dependent.
I wanted to feel angry at God for failing us and for not answering our prayers and for making us rely on others. I wanted to blame Him for where we were and I wanted to know where He was. Didn’t He know what we were fighting every day? Couldn’t He see? Didn’t He care for us? What more did He expect of us? Where was His power and mercy when we needed it most?
I didn’t let myself feel that way. I kept those feelings in the pit of my stomach and if they ever started to come up, I swallowed them back down. I never let them out. I made them stay where I thought they belonged….until one day I was talking to one of my beloveds…a friend, a sister, a light. She asked how I was really doing and I told her things were okay and that we were fine and she didn’t believe me and kept asking questions and really listening to the answers. And slowly my feelings started coming out…cautiously and slowly at first…then when I knew it was safe I told her everything that I had been fighting. I told her how I wanted to be mad at God and I wanted to feel bitter and resentful and how I felt SO guilty for feeling that way. Her answer was so simple:
they’re just feelings.
They’re just feelings. They are not who you are or what you believe. All they want is some attention. So give them some attention and then teach them the truth. She told me to get my journal and write about everything I had been holding back, and I did.
While I was writing, I felt every single thing that I had been holding back. And when I was done writing about how I felt and how I’d been wanting to feel for so long. I wrote what I KNEW in the deepest parts of my soul about those feelings…that God had not abandoned us, that He would CERTAINLY answer our prayers, that He had great things in store for us, that he was more aware than I knew of our situation, that He felt as much anxiety as I did about the welfare of our family. I knew that He loved us as only an Eternal Father could and that there was a reason for everything He had allowed us to endure. I knew that everything He did was for our benefit.
That’s how I gave my feelings the attention they wanted and taught them the truth and guess what? Not much has changed – we are still praying and hoping and believing and pleading. Letting myself feel those things did not change who I am or what I believe or what I know in my heart of hearts. I found out that it’s okay to feel…even when what we feel comes head to head with what we believe because after all, they’re just feelings.
Take Good Care,