Emotions. They certainly do bring us on a roller coaster ride, don't they?
Are they a blessing, or are they a curse?
This last few days suicide has been on the news. Emotional darkness and depression has won in at least two people's lives in the public eye.
We humans have the blessing and the curse to express and verbalize our emotions.
I know that many Christians like to say that we need not address our emotions, that when a person is in a dark and dreary place they should just get into the word and that will set them straight.
Unfortunately, many a depressed individual has lacked the ability to see out of their hole of darkness into light enough to read the word, much less open their hearts to hear what it is saying. Depression is a real sickness and needs to be acknowledged as such. Jesus came to heal. And sometimes he uses doctors and medicine to do just that. We are no less a good Christian when we seek medical assistance to come up out of a fog. Sometimes we need that kind of help. And this does not decrease the ability for God to bring us to a better understanding of emotions.
Our emotions don't catch God off guard. They don't surprise the Father. Our emotions are not a hindrance to be shut away nor a bomb to be exploded upon our whim. Our emotions are a gift that God gave us to participate in the world as human beings, creatures made in His image.
As Henri Nouwen so wonderfully stated, "What we feel is not who we are."
I also know that there are times when our emotions run us ragged. But there are not just dark emotions. There are emotions of joy and happiness. There are emotions of excitement, and love. These are all emotions that are also on the roller coaster. Removing emotions from our life landscape can create problems instead of help us.
As a young single mother of three, I was run ragged. I was going to University to get a degree, coming home to three children needing attention and care. I was frazzled. Coughs, colds, headaches, pain. These were becoming a regular occurrence with me. I was tired all of the time. Upon visiting my doctor, he made the decision that I needed to go on an anti-depressant.
At that time Doctors were not the best about discussing treatment with their patients. And patients were not really clear on how to ask intelligent questions of their doctors. Instead, doctors gave medicine and patients took it.
So, I did just that. I began taking the anti-depressant medication. It was not a good thing for me. Instead of it helping me function, it helped me not care. I just walked around in the same mess I was in, but without any drive to move forward.
Obviously, this was not a good answer for my situation. Instead, I got off of the drug. Did I do it alone? No, I had a friend that I discussed this with. Then, I sought counseling with a reputable counselor.
This counselor led me to question where my identity lay.
Did my identity lie in what I was doing? Did my identity lie in how my house looked? Did my identity lie in what grades I made, or how much money I was making? Did I know I was loved?
The first moment of realizing I was a child of God was a breakthrough moment for me. I had entered into the Kingdom of God by belief in Jesus Christ from childhood. But my life did not show that I knew that I belonged to Him and that He cared for me. Instead, I felt that every problem, every decision was mine and mine alone to make. I felt that no one was there to have my back. I felt alone. And I let that alone FEELING knock me around every day.
I learned to embrace the reality that "What I felt, wasn't who I was."
When I realized I was not alone, that God was for me and not against me I began to see life from a different perspective. When I delved into the reality that my emotions were part of God's design and that I could have them, but they didn't have to control me, I woke up to a new life. When I began to speak the truth that I am a child of God, loved by Him and that He will never leave me, I began to change.
Reading one Psalm and one Proverb every day introduced me to the God who not only listened to whining and problems, but also gave wisdom advice.
By doing this, I found that I could read completely through these two books in one month, The next month I read them again, and then again, and again... The prayers and the wisdom began to bring me to a place of stability. I began a solid morning and ended in a solid night.
When my emotions ran over me, I found that repeating the verses that rang true to me over and over (this is called meditating) helped. They were like a healing ointment on raw and open flesh. I learned that living my life as a single mom needed more than me, it needed God.
I learned how to love people in a healthy way. I learned how to give my children wise advice. I learned how to live, feeling emotions , but not letting them make my decisions for me.
Instead my decisions were made by the guidance of the precepts set up in the bible.
This was a huge breakthrough for me. It gave me solid ground to live on. I began with the Psalms and Proverbs and moved into reading the entire bible. I read it every day and every day it gave me what I needed; the wisdom and the courage for that day.
Now, I am 61 years old. My children are all grown and working profitable lives in society. I have grandchildren and a new husband.
But my days are still filled with seeking Him in His word. It is what still solidifies my life. I live life with passion! As my husband says, I'm spunky. Every day is an adventure and I greet the days and sometimes have to find my happy. I usually find it in the Word of God, or in His creation, or in the relationship He has blessed me with. I find my emotions to be a blessing. All of my emotions. But they don't make my decisions for me. And when they do, because sometimes I do (just ask my husband when I am a bit too sensitive) I must run to my Father and He gives me the courage to ask for forgiveness.
If you are so far into depression that life is a dark hole, reach out. Talk to someone. Let friends know. And if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, do that PLUS investigate what it is like to become His Child.
Next week I will bring more about this topic. A child of God means that you have God as your father. And He is a GOOD GOOD Father.
Think about that wonderful truth this week.
See you here next week at some time on Monday. Love having you here.
Because He is the I AM, i am
robyn rochelle cox
Robyn & Biff
Come and join our membership. We are on a journey.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?