Freedom to Feel
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
So, over the past few months I have felt a wide range of emotions linked to all of the change that has occurred in my life. I’ve had moments of extreme happiness and then I’ve had my fair share of tears.
I found myself feeling shameful for crying over things that burdened my heart because they were linked to feelings like loneliness, rejection, unnapreciation, etc.. As soon as these feelings would arise, I would push them to the side and say “Valerie, isn’t Jesus everything to you?? Stop crying.” This thought led to me intentionally pushing away every emotion I felt. It’s like with every feeling, I would rip a scar into my heart and just shove the emotion in there hoping that it would go away. Out of sight out mind right?
I felt so much guilt because how could a woman that loves Jesus ever find herself feeling these things? I mean… Jesus is everything to me. He fulfills every desire. So why am I crying?? Why am I feeling all of this?? I had put so much pressure on myself. As I was reading the book of John, Jesus hit me with a truth that rocked me. Jesus had a friend names Lazarus. Lazarus had gotten sick while Jesus was away, and so Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, sent a message to let Jesus know of Lazarus’ condition… this was Jesus’ response: “When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 CSB
To make a long story short, Jesus then stayed in the place that he was in for another TWO days, and then He and His disciples made their journey back to Judaea, which is where Lazarus was. When they arrived, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for FOUR days. When Jesus arrived, Martha met Him and said: “Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” In response, Jesus said to her: “Your brother will rise again,” John 11:21-23a CSB Martha then returns from Jesus to get Mary, and everyone that was mourning and comforting her. They return to where Jesus was and when they arrived, Mary fell at His feet and cried to Him telling Him that if He would’ve arrived earlier, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. This was His response: “When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked. “Lord,” they told him, “come and see.” Jesus wept.” John 11:33-35 CSB Eventually, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and exited the tomb. It resulted in people believing in Jesus and who He is. What took me back was where it said, “Jesus wept”. Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die before it even happened. He knew why Lazarus was going to die (to bring God glory later on), He knew that Lazarus was going to resurrect and He knew how many people were going to come to know Him for who He is through this circumstance… Yet… He still wept. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere, “Jesus belly laughed”, “Jesus giggled”, “Jesus had joy”… but it does emphasize how He “wept.” Of course, I believe that Jesus laughed, that he had a great time with friends and family… that He fellowshipped… but I truly believe that God found it important to include the fact that Jesus wept. That he felt deeply about something. I think that this give us the “freedom to feel”. That brought me to this conclusion… it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel the emotions that accompany hard circumstances. It’s okay to not be okay for a little while… It’s important to process these feelings through the Word and understand why your feeling them. It’s what we do with these emotions after that. If we feel lonely and cry about it… and keep crying… and feeling… we can become consumed and paralyzed by these emotions, which will cause us to live in bondage to them. That goes for any emotion.. bitterness, guilt, a grudge, unforgivness, etc. Even the good ones… if we are consumed by loving a person above Jesus, or obsessed with feeling independent and empowered (pride)…. Being consumed in our thoughts and emotions hinders us from living the life we were called to live. Once we acknowledge and feel these things, we need to submit them unto the Lord because He has something that He wants to teach us from the circumstances that we are living through. We have the freedom to feel, but let’s not become a slave to our emotions. That is not what the Lord desires from us, but that we look to Him and submit everything to Him. That we come to His feet and analyze what it is and why it is that we are feeling and process/filter them through Him. I pray that this encourages you today.. and that you allow yourself to feel, process your emotions and rely and God and His word to get you through the most difficult of circumstances. He loves you. -Valerie