Regardless of How I Feel

His truth stands regardless of how I feel.

Emotion – A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationship with others.

Created in the image of God, we have the capacity to experience and express many different emotions.

I, personally, often struggle with unpredictable and random emotions that are seemingly out of my control. Don’t we all? Especially us women…

Emotions are a gift from God, but we must remember that even our emotions were and are tainted by the lapse of humankind into the state of sin; AKA The Fall.

Guess what? Just because we feel something does not mean it’s true.

Deep down I’ve always known this, but lately it’s like a light bulb has gone off in my head…”Hello, I can reject any emotion that crops up if it’s not consistent with HIS truth.” I know, I know, totally easier said than done; but just think, how amazing would it be to be able to feel some sense of control over your emotions.

Our feelings do not always = Reality

Okay, so maybe we can’t help how we feel, but we sure don’t have to let our lives be run by our emotions. Perceived negative emotions are not a sin! God, himself, has been angry. For instance:

Numbers 22:22 (NIV)
But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him…

He admits to being jealous!

Exodus 20:5 (NIV)
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…

It’s how we deal with and what we do with our emotions that matters.

When our emotions have us feeling out of control, many of us (myself included) look for ways to mask, numb, or suppress our emotions. We all know how this turns out…We end up making poor decisions that only add to and exacerbate the emotions we are suppressing in the first place. Speaking from experience here!

Many of us turn to social media and technology, staring at screens for hours. Many turn to food, alcohol, or drugs to escape feelings. We all long for a feel-good substitute for actually feeling. We need to feel all the feels, the raw and hard feels, but do so while keeping our mindset geared towards HIM.

If we do not face our emotions and feelings head-on, we will see negative consequences. These consequences will start inside, emotional or spiritual, and will eventually cause very real consequences on the outside both physically and behaviorally.

And sorry ladies, our hormone fluctuations each month or with pregnancy, menopause, etc. are just no excuse. God understands our bodies and how they work better than we do. God created us women. He knows we are strong and capable to deal with the physical and emotional aspects of being a woman. I am not saying this is easy. No way! I fail to “keep my cool” all. the. time. and especially when hormones are raging. BUT I do not believe it is an excuse to behave badly.

What I’m working on now is having my very first response, no matter how I’m feeling, to be to turn to the Lord.

This requires discipline and mental strength. It’s so much easier to numb the feelings and emotions, but I’m here to grow, and growing requires discipline and strength. It’s not easy.

Scripture itself can provide me (and you) with many promises to help level my emotions and feelings. That’s why it is so important to study and know The Word.

I may deal with certain mental and emotional problems for my entire life here on Earth, no matter what I do. Thankfully, though, HE will be with me the entire time. I can look forward to the future knowing that one day all of my pain and suffering will be gone.

True hope is found in Christ alone. He’s with you even when you don’t feel like he is.

Remember this always: His truth stands regardless of how you feel.

– AMomsFaithUnbroken

 

A dear friend shared the song and video below with me. It seemed fitting to go along with this blog entry. Enjoy!

My New Take on Self-Care

I’ve been thinking about how the world views self-care for a while now. The topic was brought up in a Bible study I’m doing, and it really piqued my interest.

Have you noticed that almost anywhere you look there are signs, messages, and advertisements telling us to “love ourselves first” and offering to show us “ways (or how) to love ourselves more”?

These messages, to me, are not a right-out lie, but a distortion of the truth.

The real truth is that our worth is not bestowed on ourselves. It is impossible to experience God’s complete and total love simply by telling ourselves how lovable and worthy we are.

We also often hear “I’ve never loved myself…” or “She just doesn’t love herself enough…”

The truth of the matter is that we are born loving ourselves. It comes completely naturally. It is not something learned. We listen to our inner voice and take care of our bodies when needed. We are born children of Christ and in his image. He loves us, and we are precious to Him. In His love, we find love for ourselves. God does not tell us to love ourselves before we can love others. He asks that we listen, help, take care of, and pay attention to others in the way that comes naturally when doing those things for ourselves.

That being said, caring for others as we do ourselves does not come naturally. It is something we must consciously put effort into.

We do not have a low self-image, but a low view of God. We do not need to learn to love ourselves more, but to love God and others more in order to receive light, love, and blessings.

Think about it, maybe we are easily offended and hurt because we do love ourselves and not because we don’t. In fact, I’m sure of it! Nowadays, people take offense to anything and everything they don’t agree with it seems. This can be attributed to people being more self-involved and not putting God before themselves or treating others as they treat themselves.

God’s love will set us free from self-loathing and loneliness. 

His light will shine within and out of us as we learn and practice loving others as we love ourselves; not by focusing on ourselves, but by focusing on His Word.

This is not to say we shouldn’t take care of ourselves, but take a look at what we are doing to take care of ourselves. Spending time in prayer and studying His word should be our main focus in self-love and self-care.

–  AMomsFaithUnbroken

DISCLAIMER
I do not mean to minimize or trivialize those who suffer low self-esteem, self-love, and self-image due to mental or verbal abuse or manipulation, which is a different story. 

REFERENCES
Ephesians 2:4 and 5
Genesis 1:27
John 3:1

 

Those Dark & Scary Places

I want to talk about the dark, scary, somber and lonely places our mind can take us. Those places where we isolate ourselves, blame ourselves, blame others, doubt ourselves, doubt others, doubt our worthiness, and even doubt our worthiness in God’s eyes. The places that keep us anxious and frightened. The places that keep us from being happy where we are at. Those dark & scary places.

We all have to consciously make an effort to “not go there”; to not let our mind wander; to not let others lead us there; not let our circumstances keep us there; and not let the devil tempt us there. Those dark & scary places.

I will openly admit that I have always been a worrier, and one to go to and linger in those dark & scary places. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety even in what could be seen from the outside as some of the happiest times of my life. I do feel we can be predisposed to anxiety and depression. Nobody wants to be anxious or depressed. I do feel there is a genetic aspect. I’ve dealt with such for most of my adult life, but have found relief from medication at times, friends, family, and most of all God.

Since I have started down the path of the unknown with my son’s diagnosis of autism, I have had to fight especially hard to stay out of those dark & scary places.

Of course, I have been looking to my faith to help me be strong in every way, but sometimes I still fall victim and am tempted, pushed, or fall into those dark & scary places.

I decided to do some research on God’s view on autism. I consulted with Mr. Google, and he led me to a very dark & scary place. I came across an article that claimed those born with autism are cursed with a dark and evil spirit and will be healed once that evil is cast out. This claim was even backed by stories in scripture. I choose not to share such with you, because I don’t want to go back to that place and read those terrible words again; I don’t mean the words of the scripture, but the words that used that scripture to take me to a dark & scary place. This article made me doubt, made me place blame, made me feel guilty, and made me feel as if God himself was punishing me. My mind spiraled out of control.

I then began to look at other Bible verses such as Isaiah 65:6-7 (NIV)

6 “See, it stands written before me:

I will not keep silent but will pay back in full;
I will pay it back into their laps—
7 both your sins and the sins of your ancestors,”
says the Lord.
“Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains
and defied me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
the full payment for their former deeds.”

I kept replaying in my mind “You shall pay for the sins of your fathers.” I don’t mean literally my father, but my ancestors. This then morphed into me feeling like I was being punished by God. This then led to me going over all the reasons he would have to punish me…I used fertility treatments to conceive, I played God, therefore, God in his anger gave me a child, no fertility treatments needed, but gave me a child that has disabilities as a punishment.

Thankfully, I later realized that thinking that way was absolutely a sin in itself. It was most definitely the devil planting those seeds of doubt in my mind and leading me astray. God does not punish us for our sins or for the sins of our ancestors as is told later in the Bible. My punishment for my sin and those of my ancestors was put on the life of Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for all sin; present, past, and future. My debt has been paid through His blood.

A dear friend also helped me out of those dark & scary places. She reminded me that with fertility treatments or not, if I were not meant to have children God would not have given me children. We all have free will, but God is ultimately in charge.

I believe God does discipline us in that he places us in circumstances and situations that refocus us on Him; to become closer to Him; to be reminded how much we need Him; to keep us aware that our actions do have consequences. Discipline is different than punishment.

Hebrews 12:5-7 (NIV)

5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

It’s so easy to let the devil place those seeds of doubt in our minds. Truly, all we have to do is look to scripture to know that he is dead wrong.

Everyone always says “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I don’t think this is true at all. I think God absolutely will give us more than we can handle so we will turn to him and become closer to him; this goes back to being disciplined but not punished.

It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit that I let the devil in and that I spent some time in those dark & scary places, but I share in hopes of helping you to realize that this kind of unhealthy and sinful thinking is just the devil getting in. Don’t let him in. Whether he tries to snake his way in through the internet, others’ comments, an unfortunate circumstance or bad experience, keep in mind that you are a cherished and loved child of God. Consciously make an effort to stay out of the dark & scary places, and be on the lookout for the devil trying to put you there. Even if you’re already in those dark & scary places or find yourself there again, look to Him to consciously find your way out, and remember you are forgiven.

– AMomsFaithUnbroken