For me, I feel sad, because this is the first Mother’s day without my Mom’s mother. I still deal with disappointment because of my three God-raised babies. I am jealous of other families, because right now I not sure how we can extend our family. I grieve with my friend who just lost her mother. I hurt for my acquaintance who won’t have her baby this Mother’s Day, because the adoption isn’t finalized. I wait with my friends who desperately desire to become mothers.
Sometimes, I am tempted to numb myself to these emotion, but I know that isn’t how Christ created me to be. If you try to numb yourself from negative emotions, you end up numbing yourself from all emotions. If I numb myself from sadness and disappointment, I wouldn’t have full joy.
If you want to fully experience the good emotions, you can’t numb yourself to negative emotions.
Ever since my brain tumor diagnosis (five years ago), I have been told that I was strong. Initially, I was confused. I was just trying to survive. I didn’t feel strong. What was I doing that demonstrated strength? I have learned that when I embrace my emotions and ask Jesus how to deal with them, I am strong. When I break down and cry in front of people, they don’t see that as weakness, rather as strength.
Our culture is confused about “being strong.” Some believe that emotions are bad, because they can lead to pain. We are strongly motivated to cover them. If we truly want to deal with our emotions in a healthy way, we have few positive examples. We see people numbing themselves through alcohol, drugs, overeating, smoking, hiding, and more.
So if you want to experience all the good emotions, what do you do with the negative emotions?
Be honest with your emotions. They reflect what is happening in your heart. If you don’t like emotions reveal, pray that God will heal your heart. He knows. He is the Creator. He is making us into His workmanship (Eph. 2:10). He will heal the emotions that aren’t good for us (like my jealousy). He hurts with us. And He will give peace that others don’t understand. He is faithful. He will heal the negative emotions. Trust God to make us more like Him.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (ESV)
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (ESV)
Phil. 4:6-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5Let your reasonablenessd be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.