Not popular words in religious circles. They’re treated as inferior soulish expressions as opposed to higher spiritual ones.
But if we are tripartite beings (three in one) made in the image of the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) where each is of equal importance, then why do we speak of the soul and the body as the annoying younger siblings tagging along with our spirit man?
Why do we act as if the God who made us spirit, soul and body did so in error?
NOT RANDOM AT ALL
The Lord is not random. He does all things well (Mark 7:37).
Beginning with you as a spirit, He formed your body in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14) and outfitted you with a mind, a will, and emotions, so you could have agency on the earth.
Nothing about your design is accidental.
Yet, feelings get a bad rap because they make you feel vulnerable or because of their potential unpredictability when expressed by others.
But God gave them to you because they have a purpose. Their purpose, according to minister and trauma therapist, Dr. Anita Phillips, is to show you what you need.
And to the extent your feelings are dismissed as unnecessary or invalid, is the extent to which you won’t care about your neighbor’s.
So, the failure, my friend, is not in having emotions. It’s in ignoring them.
And if you buy into the notion, your feelings should be suppressed rather than addressed. You don’t lock them away like you think. You actually turn them on yourself.
HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED
When you swallow sorrow and anger because you don’t have a safe place to express them, you drown in the sorrow and become the object of your own anger. You’re mad at what happened and, on top of that, frustrated that no one cares.
So you’re mad at yourself for being the person whose feelings no one cares about.
WHO’S WITH ME?
There’s nothing like having someone in your life who can feel you.
Even if they can’t relate to your exact scenario, because pain is common to the human condition, they recognize what you’re going through and give space to your feelings.
Emotions are not only signals for us, they’re meant to be shared.
Why else would Jesus say rejoice with those who are rejoicing and mourn with those who mourn? That tells you you’re not supposed to experience your emotions in a state of constant isolation.
There’s a place for internal processing, as well as sharing.
And I know feelings can get messy. It can feel like the one sharing is just dumping on you. And you have your own feelings to process, so who needs that?
Well, Jesus never said solve the problem of those who mourn, just make space in your life to mourn with them.
And He gave me the visual of a shipping drum. The style immigrants fill with goods to send to their family back in their home country.
Now picture one smaller scale.
One you could easily hold in your hands. Imagine someone holding that out for you, allowing you to dump your feelings in them. They hold it till you finish and toss the drum in the trash.
You got it out. They didn’t get messy. But they heard you and felt you. Then imagine doing likewise. How free would you feel?
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
Because emotions are meant to pass. They only stay because we don’t have safe people giving us space to let them out.
But until you find people who understand this Christian journey is about relationship, not religion. People who see the value God sees in your full expression: spirit, soul, and body. I encourage you with this…
On earth, Jesus was touched with the feeling of our infirmities—body and soul. He carried your sorrow and anguish (Isaiah 53:4).
Between the gamut of emotions He felt during his 33 years (yet without sinning), to their crescendo experienced during the physical torment at the whipping post before finally being nailed to the cross—He allowed himself to be acquainted with your agony.
So that even now, as our high priest at the Father’s right hand, He empathizes with that you’re going through (Hebrews 4:15).
If you have NO ONE ELSE to pour out your heart to, you can always tell Him. And He will do you one better than hold a shipping drum for you to dump into. He will heal you everywhere you hurt—body and soul.
I’m rooting for you!
NEED HELP TALKING WITH GOD?
Prayer Changes Things
Join me on YouTube as I pray a quick prayer to get you going in the right direction. Whether you’re new to prayer or your prayer life has gone stale, nothing replaces quality time with Jesus. So, if prayer feels awkward, I’m happy to pray with you.
And if you pray regularly but want some company, I’m here for that too.
And because these prayers are based on God’s Word, you can be confident you’re praying according to His will.
IF YOU’RE A MOM AND YOU’RE TIRED OF PRETENDING…
Join me for Motherhood Unmasked
It’s the podcast for you, the mom battling the effects of your childhood trauma on your parenting journey.
Let’s get real about the challenges we face, so you’re as comfortable in your skin as you want your kids to be in theirs. TUESDAYS on any platform where you enjoy music and podcasts.
I’ve swallowed a ton of sorrow and anger thinking I didn’t have a safe place to express them.
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And I feel you on that.