Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8)
It wasn’t my regular Monday morning routine. Seven inches of snow covered the ground. I opted for a later start to my day. First stop, the post office. Two books and a gift needed to be mailed.
The books were easy. Stuffed them in mailing packs, completed the required paperwork and off they went down the mail chute and on their way to Canada and Australia.
Next in line – the gift for Susan. Not so easy – as it was a Pig Popper. Think Nerf type toy in the shape of a pig that shoots out fluorescent lime green ping-pong balls from its mouth. Do I know how to pick gifts for my girlfriends or what? ( I might need to start re-thinking my gift giving talents, hire a personal shopper or I may be looking for new girlfriends!) I know – a weird gift for a girlfriend – but to get the why of such a whacked gift – you will have to read Susan’s book Farm Days. Trust me. You’ll get it!
I needed to come up with a way to protect the Pig Popper so that it wouldn’t get crushed or broken in transit. I scanned the shelf finally picking out an extra large bubble-wrapped-lined-envelope. Addressed the envelope. Stuffed the Pig Popper into the envelope, head first of course! And down the mail chute it traveled to take up residency in Illinois.
As I tromped my way through the snow to the car, I couldn’t help but think how much I was trusting the bubble-wrapped-lined-envelope to protect the precious cargo – an envelope that cost a couple of bucks.
I opened the car door to a beeping phone, signaling an unread message. Grabbed my phone. Glanced at a message from Susan, hesitating to read the message in full as I wasn’t quite ready to go there. I knew it was a response regarding a message that I sent as I was struggling BIG time through her Bible study – Pure Emotion. Just saying, it’s not an easy study nor a pretty study for me! It’s a challenging study and I’m not even through week one!
I don’t like ‘dealing’ with anything that mentions the word emotions. I don’t like talking about emotions. I don’t like expressing emotions – unless of course, it’s all the good ones – love, joy, peace, calmness, happiness, kindness – just to name a few. Those I can do!
The kicker is – I don’t like to cry! I don’t like for my friends to see me cry! I don’t like to hurt! And I don’t like my friends to know I’m hurting. I don’t like having conversations where I might loss control of my emotions! I usually avoid them at all costs – especially if they involve conflict! (I know – a lot of exclamation points and don’t likes in that paragraph – just trying to keep it real!)
As I dredged my way through four days of week one of Pure Emotion – which took me two weeks to complete – the following lines caught my attention:
“Our emotional responses can make us vulnerable.”
“Emotions expose us.”
“Subdued emotions help us maintain control.”
“Consider that feelings might not reflect the reality of a situation.”
OUCH!! Those four lines summed me up and what I didn’t like about emotions. Susan’s words popped several layers of bubble wrap – bubble wrap surrounding my heart – bubble wrap that needed popping! Layer after layer of protection allowing me to “stuff” and “hide” emotions deep in the crevices of my heart – only to seep out during the most inopportune times – with seep out – usually meaning blow-ups down the road on some unsuspecting soul! Emotions that I had not yet yielded to God. Emotions that I needed to yield to God. And yes, some emotions that I still need to yield to God.
So how does one pride-filled individual tell her friend that she doesn’t like talking about her emotions because of her lack of trust? Her lack of trust in God . . . Her lack of trust in her friend . . . Her lack of trust in herself?
One doesn’t – or maybe I should say – this one didn’t – until God spoke to me through the bubble-wrapped-lined envelope! As I reflected on stuffing the Pig Popper in the envelope, I realized that I needed to trust God with my emotions like I trusted the bubble-wrapped-lined-envelope to protect the Pig Popper. I needed to trust Susan. And I needed to trust myself.
His Word tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. I needed to lean into God’s understanding. I needed to submit my ways – my thoughts – and most of all my emotions – to Him. I needed to obey God. I needed God to take my crooked ways and make them straight. Flat out – I need to trust God with all areas of my life – including my sometimes crazed emotions.
Not sure about you, but I am so thankful that I am a work in progress. Progress – not perfection. I am not where I should be – but I’ve taken those first couple of steps forward or as Susan replied to my post, “Hard to put in print, but the first step in growing – in faith! God wants us to yield EVERY area of our lives. Including emotions.” So won’t you join me in yielding our emotions to God? Yielding our emotions in such a way that honors and glorifies God? Yielding in such a way that our trust increases in Him, our faithful friends and ourselves?
Father God, thank You for the gift of forgiveness. Thank You for making us in your image – emotions and all. Forgive us for “hiding” our emotions from you. Forgive us for “stuffing” our emotions. Forgive us for not trusting you with our emotions like we should. Fill us with Your courage and boldness to yield to You – to yield EVERY area of our lives to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Share the most whacked out gift that you’ve ever given to a girlfriend and why for a chance to win one of three copies of Farm Days or Pure Emotion – your choice!