Do you ever have a moment where circumstances reveal something in your heart you didn’t know was there?
Like when you yell profanities at the car that cut you off with an anger the situation didn’t necessarily call for.
Or when you want to run away and hide when that person walks in the room though they’ve done nothing to you.
Or that moment when a simple and kind invitation becomes a swirling vortex of worries and fears in your mind.
Recently, I was faced with a hard truth that sent my mind spinning. I found out some information that caused a full-on brain freak-out. It was an overreaction of epic proportions. It truly was impressive, I must say.
This particular situation revealed that I’m not nearly as healed as I thought I was in some areas. It exposed some growing that I still have to do. I saw this external situation as a direct reflection on myself and my identity. I thought, because this was happening, it was evidence confirming that I was a failure. I was certain this was a result of my mistakes and my being wholly and completely inadequate on every level.
But then I stopped the train of thought and shoved my emotions down.
“I’m fine. I have faith.”
In that moment, in my mind, faith was the antidote to my emotions. If I had faith I wouldn’t feel weepy or angry or any other emotion I deemed as wholly undesirable.
But that thought process is so wrong. I wasn’t being faith-filled, I was numbing myself and slapping a Christianese label on it.
But God, as he always does, so sweetly took me by the hand and reminded me of who I am. And that faith, true faith, isn’t devoid of emotion. Just because I felt sad or mad or hurt didn’t mean that I wasn’t a person of faith, it just meant that I was a person. And that’s okay.
Have you ever used the excuse of “faith” to shut down your emotions?
In this season, I’m having to relearn what faith looks like. I currently feel like I’m in a really intense trust fall with Jesus and, if I allow myself, I’m experiencing all the emotions that a free fall brings.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Hebrews 11 lists a bunch of men and women who we now affectionately call “heroes of faith”. They screwed up a lot but they are commended, thousands of years later, for their faith in God.
Noah was probably fearful as he was building the ark. He had to consistently combat the judgment and names the people around him called him. And yet, he was a man of faith.
Abraham made his fair share of bad decisions and took matters into his own hands as a result of fear and insecurity multiple times. And yet, he was a man of faith.
Sarah was a control freak who doubted God. She horribly mistreated her servant out of jealousy that grew from a situation she caused. And yet, she was a woman of faith.
Moses was an abysmal leader at times and wondered if he could measure up. On more than one occasion he did things in his own strength. And yet, he was a man of faith.
I’m learning that we can be full of faith whether things are good or bad. Whether you’re an emotional wreck or you’re having a great time, neither precludes you from faith. You might be struggling with doubt or insecurity or worry, but that doesn’t stop you from being a person of faith.
I encourage you, no matter what your life looks like right now, to reach out to God. Learn his character and cling to his promises. I might not know much, but I do know this: the goodness of God is the anchor that I’m holding onto in this season. And I’m so thankful that I can place my faith in who he is when things seem unclear.
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I remember coming to a similar conclusion one day when I realized that what I thought was a new found peace in my current situation was just me choosing to feel nothing so I could feel better
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