(Originally posted on our former blog site on 07/30/2013)
I have been thinking a lot lately that I should get a few books to read, for fun. I see all these intelligent women post pictures of themselves reading in a park on a sunny day and I think, that looks so relaxing.
If you have known me for very long then you would see how absurd this is, because I am not… a “reader”. Not for fun anyway. I read to get information, to get guidance, to get opinion, to get encouragement, but certainly not for fun. My mind races around to a thousand different things that I could be doing to benefit me in the five minutes it takes to get through the first paragraph after rereading it time after time because I really wasn’t reading it at all. That being said, I have been thinking about getting a book. Not just any book, but something I might actually enjoy so that I do not feel like I wasted minutes of my life that I can never get back.
So naturally I thought of the movies I have seen.
People always say that this or that movie “wasn’t as good as the book”. Which makes me think, “yes, but I only wasted an hour and a half of my life instead of ten”. I know, I’m a horrible person.
One popular movie series in particular stood out to me- The Lord of the Rings.
I just love the part in the movie where Gandolf is standing on the bridge and, with his booming voice, declares to the enemy “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”.
It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. To stare certain death in the face and with all confidence declare that it will go no further. I haven’t read the book yet, but if I were going to read one, I would read that one.
Where does that leave this post? I recently spoke at a youth summer camp, to two large groups of teenage girls. I talked to them about something we all face at various times- per minute. Something that has proven to tear down lives and destroy futures. This powerful thing that we all face?
I can’t speak for you but when I am emotionally wound up about something I don’t always think rationally. If I see a person of any age be harsh with one of my sons, it’s not just Momma Bear that comes out but a whole lot of crazy too. And while I strongly respect and uphold the ten commandments in my daily life, I will give no second thought to murdering any woman who even looks at my husband with a twinkle in her eye. Why? Because of feelings. Unrestrained, pure illogical, FEELINGS.
What do we do with these feelings? Are we wrong for having them? Is it ok as a Christian to be sad? Is it ok to cry? The more I think about this topic, the more I can’t help but think- we were CREATED to have emotions. Jesus had emotions. He was ANGRY when He turned over the tables in the temple, He was SAD when He heard of his friend’s death, He was UNCERTAIN when He asked if there were another way in the garden.
We don’t work up an emotion on our own; a feeling is part of a natural reaction to a situation that we are facing.
But what do we do with these feelings?
In one of my posts a few months back I wrote about the sadness I was facing as we learned that we had lost our third baby early in our pregnancy. I referred to the scripture Ephesians 4:26 (be angry and sin not) to show how we can be justified to have an emotion but not to allow that emotion to lead us to doing something that is against the word of God.
We can be justified in feeling offended, but choose not to gossip.
We can be justified in feeling lonely, but choose not to dive into an impure relationship.
We can be justified in feeling depressed but choose not to allow ourselves to withdraw from life.
Your feelings, my feelings, are justified. So what do we do with these very real, very valid feelings? We WHAT-THE-WHAT with them.
WHAT am I feeling?
Put a name on it. The first step to any recovery is labeling the issue. So what is it exactly that you are feeling. It has a name.
THE reason is…
Understand that there are real circumstances for why you feel the way you do. Life is full of trials and triumphs. And if you are in the middle of it right now, I am so so sorry. I have been there too. Lift your head up and allow yourself tofeel. God does not expect you to be a robot. Talk through what happened, but then don’t stop there! Don’t get into the circle of only asking yourself WHAT-THE and never getting to the last WHAT. That is how we get ourselves into trouble. Only focusing on our feelings and what happened to us.
After you have identified WHAT you are feeling and THE reason, ask yourself...
WHAT does the Bible say?
The Bible says to “guard our hearts above all else”. Remember Gandolf? He was guarding Froto so that he wouldn’t be harmed. Gandolf is like the Word that keeps guard over our hearts and minds. When offense, hatred, loneliness, lust, depression or any other feeling you face tries to lay root in your heart, Gandolf rises up and says “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”.
Not this heart. Not today. I know it hurts right now, but God is faithful and will see me through this. If you don’t know what the Word says then you are left defenseless for an attack. You are allowing passage for the very enemy of your soul to tear you down piece by piece, one feeling led action to another. No one wakes up wanting to commit murder, adultery or suicide, they allow one thought, one feeling, to fester too long and do something that they can never take back.
Find a leader, pastor, or Godly parent to help you search for a scripture to stand on when you are facing a giant of an emotion, or do it the new way and google it (just make sure to use a credible source like biblegateway.com or bible.com to prevent from wrong information).
The world says to follow your heart, but that isn’t what the bible teaches. It is impossible to both follow and guard something. So my friends, know that you’re feelings are real and they happen for a reason- but they will lead you down a path with no end. Guard them. Above all else. With any circumstance, any feeling you face, use WHAT THE WHAT and see just how faithful God is to see you through!
Stand your ground, look that feeling in the face and shout “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”.
Ephesians 6:13-14 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore...