Unashamed Emotions

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Last night I began reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel, an account of his survival of the holocaust. After two hours, I almost two thirds of the way through of the book. As I crawled into bed at midnight my mind was filled of the horrific scenes the author had described of his experience living in a concentration camp. It was almost impossible for me to go to sleep and five hours later, early this morning, I finished the novel. As I closed the cover I dialed up mom and cried over phone, I had to tell someone about what I had just read. Two hours later I called my grandma, she had read this same book only a few months ago. We discussed scenes of the story that had stood out to us and the overall importance of this piece of literature.

Later on in the conversation, I started talking about her late husband, my Grandpa. The man who baptized me, had a massive library, and will always be the one I wish I had been allowed more time with. Once again, I cried over the phone.

Earlier this week, I cried as curled up in my hallway closet with my dog, Lupi, as we waited out a tornado warning. During the First Wednesday Worship Service at church I found myself in tears again. Worship music always seems to move me, but that night I cried for people I did not even know. Our minister had asked for prayer for a young man who would be deploying by the end of the week and a young girl who was about to undergo brain surgery. It was also revealed that several members of the congregation were fighting migraines. This stuff broke my heart.

While I will openly admit, I am a crier I will also tell you that I like to laugh a lot, especially with my husband. We are so quirky together! He brings me so much joy. My Snap Chat story is often filled with what I am up to and is always completely random. One time I did a cooking show series on this app for my family and other times I just video Lupi staring awkwardly at the camera. Spotify jam sessions fill our home, as does borderless conversation, coffee, and a lot of prayer.

After reading this you might label me as overly emotional and guilty of getting caught up in the moment all to often. In thinking this, I would say that you are correct. I used to think being the way I am was a bad thing. Yes, it does has its downfalls, but it is also has its blessings.

As followers of Christ we are taught to not get caught up in our feelings and that our heart can be easily deceived by satan’s lies. This is true. satan (no capital letter needed) likes to twist, stain, and make every beautiful thing impure. he (lowercase letters always for this imbecile) puts us on guard all the time and I believe through this he sometimes steals our joy. We become so aware of everything, but forget to breathe in the splendor that surrounds us. So, how are we supposed to live life present in each moment and allow God to tap into our emotions without being lead astray? What does that look like?

Along with saturating oneself in scripture and being extremely prayerful, the bible commands us to genuine in all that we do. Romans 12:9 NLT says, “Don’t pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” This is not only a command, but contract of permission for us to be sincere and vulnerable in our expressions. Six verses later Roman’s 12: 5 says, “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” Happiness, sadness, and even frustration are emotions the Lord enabled you with. Genuine emotions that you should not be ashamed of.

God grants us moments of awe, pings of complete sadness, and bounds of abundant bliss. The Lord told Job long ago to “stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!” (Job 37:14 NLT). If that means holding the hand of the one you love for a few seconds longer, jumping up and down when your favorite song comes on, or crying at the end of the movie you have seen million times know that there is no shame in this so long as they glorify Him. God made all of these things, they are all His wonderful miracles!

This post may seem a bit controversial and I do not want the message to be mistranslated in any way. It is so important to meditate on scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your emotions once you have given your life to the Lord. God made each of us unique. We are an army of an array of everything and it’s amazing! Where would be if we did not have movers and the shakers along with the patience and pondering? I use to struggle in accepting the way God had made me and how he created me to react to things. I always wanted to be more reserved rather than chatty and to not always have my heart on my sleeve.

My hope is that as followers of Christ we would stop seeing our emotions as a bungalow of burdens and instead view them as bestowed gifts.

There is so much freedom found in our Savior. It is truly an adventure in how He can use our emotions for the better of His Kingdom once we entrust them to Him. I did not know where I wanted to attend my first two years of college, but I was soon overly excited to attend MACC. I did not know I would fall in love with a young man in a hardware store two years ago, God allowed me to feel something for him. I did not know I would read “Night” and then feel so moved to see life in a completely new perspective, but God plucked my heartstrings and made it happen. I stand today not defined by how I feel, but entirely unashamed of the emotions that overcome me. They are truly a form of art.

So, please, feel nostalgic, wander, worship, belly laugh, smile, and be amazed all for the glory of God. Most importantly, be unashamed.

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