I have emotions
I am a girl. I have a lot of emotions. I feel things very intensely. I feel exceedingly excited at the prospect of seeing my beloved friend Kara today. I feel overwhelmed when I think about running the business all on my own this weekend for the first time. I feel flustered when I think of the mess currently in my house. I feel tired when I think about cleaning it. I feel incredibly honoured when I think of all the people currently in my life that I am blessed by. I feel inadequate when I think of the destiny and calling which God has placed on my heart. I feel flabbergasted at God’s goodness and love. I feel delighted at the taste of my coffee. I feel a craving for a scone. I feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating too much cake and watermelon last night. I felt annoyed at the Asian driver in front of me half an hour ago (don’t get offended people, remember I am also an Asian Driver). I feel intense love for my husband while he gets himself a bowl of cheese and bacon shapes and thinks I can’t see him. I feel annoyed at my husband for not loading the dishwasher while he is in the kitchen…
All of these feelings I have felt in the last 45 minutes or so. Us women. We have a lot of feelings. We have so many emotions.
In the past I used to let my feelings dictate me. I thought that the way I ‘felt’ was my truth and would act accordingly. Hence, I would go from feeling excited to overwhelmed and tired. I would feel annoyed and snap in irritation. I would let myself be tossed to and fro by the state of my emotions. I then started to feel like emotions and feelings were the enemy. I used to be envious of those who seemed to be so stable and not feel things quite so acutely as so clearly I was!
God made me glorious
I have learnt however that God created my feelings. He loves it when I feel emotions. He felt emotions so acutely himself. He felt compassion and grief, anger and irritation. He felt joy and laughter and friendship! He loves it too! He just expressed His emotions through His love and desire toward others, rather than through selfishness. The other difference is that he was not ruled by them!
I am learning to steward my emotions. To not be governed by them, however not to ignore them. How to let them be toward others in love, rather than a selfish response to people. I am allowed to feel overwhelmed, excited, tired and bloated (is that an emotion?), however I do not have to let it dictate how I behave or what I know to be true. or stop me seeing others and loving them well. Does that make sense?
I am also learning to govern my thought life. I find if I fix my mind on the things that are good and true and right, to think about deeds that are pure and lovely, to dwell on all the kind, good things in others, to think about all I can praise God for (Philippians 4:8). I find that what my mind is feasting on, my emotions and feelings follow that. Hence the emotions that manifest are that of joy, peace and excitement. Feelings of irritation, feeling overwhelmed or impatience are much more unfamiliar.
Learning how to steward my emotions in my marriage has been such an interesting journey. Firstly, because boys seem to have so much less emotion! Mark! Seriously. He is like a rock. I feel excited, overwhelmed, excited again and then tired in the space of ten seconds. Mark. Well he seems to feel one emotion a day. And usually it is love… For God, then me, coffee, Dave Ridley and Nandos. Mild exaggeration but you understand my point.
The way we are wired so ridiculously differently is absolutely so fine. Listen girls. Emotions and feelings are not the enemy. If stewarded well, they are glorious. They make us who we are. God created us to feel, to have every emotion under the sun! However, they cannot rule us. They cannot dictate how we act. They can be manifested through intense love for others. Being able to celebrate my emotions if they are in keeping with what I know to be true and to disregard any feelings or emotions which I know to be carnal. Such as feelings of irritation, impatience, or feeling overwhelmed, or angry. These are carnal feelings and are not who I am and I do not have to act on them!
So embrace your emotions and feelings. They are a glorious part of being a woman. Just steward them well. Learn to act only on the feelings that are in keeping with the truth. Don’t act on carnal ones. Steward your thought life well. If you do this, the negative emotions will slowly diminish and you will have feelings and emotions in keeping with the fruit of the Spirit. This my friends, is so so so so pivotal to a healthy marriage. So pivotal indeed.
You are richly loved,
The Healthy Hiccup