Tag Archives: getting caught in feelings

We Do it to Ourselves

I got upset with my husband on Wednesday for leaving without telling me, when I was waiting for him to have our time together. Actually I wasn’t mad, I was shocked and then hurt. But I determined not to let it bother me. Not to give it any energy.

It didn’t go that way. I had a rogue thought I should accept his message to act like he isn’t here, and I’m afraid I liked it and gave it too much attention. Then I got caught in a situation I wasn’t prepared for. I was putting clean sheets on the bed and he came and helped me. There were no words between us. I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing. And then, of course, I kept to it. (I know better than this.)

But it was fed by what I learned at the end of my hospital stay, that he gets upset when I don’t let him lead. Ok so let him lead in this one.

You can see how quickly it goes downhill. More like in the ditch.

By that night I was under condemnation. Because I had felt God’s approval to my first thought, but couldn’t stay with it and veered off-track. I didn’t think what I was doing was healthy or what He wanted, and I kept thinking about Joshua (which I just finished) and all the times Israel missed God’s preferred will because they thought they needed to fight. They couldn’t imagine His way, so He let them do it their way.

The condemnation feelings (lies) I did catch. I know condemnation is a lie! Finally. (Roman 8:1) So I didn’t listen to my feelings, I just ran to Him and said, “I feel like I’ve let you down, but I don’t want this to come between us.  I don’t ever want anything in between us! So here I am surrendering to You and Your way.”

Immediately, the feelings of condemnation and separation lifted and I felt His smile. He gave me an idea of what to do that night and I didn’t do it perfectly (I forgot I’d written down what to say and it would have been better!) But I did manage a poorer version without the results we had hoped for. However, now there is an opportunity for him to lead. And me to learn how to follow!

We don’t have to let feelings of condemnation come between us and God. Those feelings aren’t from Him. I was so grateful to see I had learned that!

The other thing I learned through this (more is coming I’m sure) is that my love language is trying to “help” and take care of people. Many times it’s not in the way they want to be helped, and often feels like control (and our marriages could benefit from living with less attempts to control each other.) So I asked God for a new love language and He graciously said “Pick one,” and gave it to me. Now I’m anxious to see it manifest. It shouldn’t be too hard to adjust to if it’s a gift. And God graciously showed me I had already experienced it in the hospital.

So why am I sharing this? (It feels a little like the dreams I used to have of getting to school without clothes on.) Shame grows in hiding. If you hate shame and don’t want to live in it, share it with someone. It’s good for us to know that we are all the same broken beings. It isn’t something we will ever grow out of. We will get better, the closer we live with God and follow His ways, but we will still get caught in our ways, still fall on our faces. We aren’t ever going to be perfect on this planet. That should help us step out of discouragement at our performance; and step out of shame.

This is why my new book on Joshua and Ruth has the subtitle My Laws Will Keep You. God’s law was meant to be a comfort to us, a helper, a protector. This really comes through in the book of Ruth, a tiny but beautiful love story. Most of us haven’t seen His law this way, but in the Greek of John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love Me, My laws will keep you.” Doesn’t that just make sense!

 

 

 

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Working Your Way Out of Anger, Fear, Hate, Blame…

It’s so crazy how far you can grow and still fall back into the same old stupid patterns with their same old stupid powerful feelings in a minute.

Actually the slide doesn’t start in a minute, but once it has begun a minute is all that’s required for another thought to take you from 0-60. Maybe even a second. It’s unnerving.

And worse is the incredible surprise that this can still happen after all the work and repair and growth–after all the good things that have happened! And then comes the shame and doubt. I will never get it. I will never be a good person, good wife, good mother… 

The truth is you will always be a human; some triggers will get healed if you ask for help or have an understanding partner, and some will not because you won’t be able to get to their source, and some might be hormonal. But the point is don’t get discouraged; we are all in the same boat and we all need forgiveness. We had an episode like that this week, and the anger is what startled me. I would give it to God, let it go, and another thought would come and in a second I would be all caught up in it again.

I was so gratified to talk to my friend who I thought was way past that and discover they had had the same thing this week!

The more awareness you have the more control you will get–that’s how it starts to get better. But you may not eradicate reactions completely. You will always have to say I’m sorry, if you let loose and express your feelings. Thank God I didn’t get that far. There was plenty I wanted to say, but I’m glad, now that I’m through it, that I didn’t. I only had to say sorry to God. And I know He (They) are always so happy to hear it and take me back to sanity. They never get tired of helping us even though we get tired of asking for help. It’s so embarrassing, but God is never shaming.

Ruach (Holy Spirit) kept giving me little thoughts to grab on to when I was so angry, and then I would calm down; and then another negative would come and off I’d go. Finally I remembered to choose, but I almost wanted to be angry. But was it worth it? Yes! Well no, I know what anger does to your body. No, it is not worth it. And then I started telling myself. Just choose. All you have to do is choose. Even when you know what to do and have told people 1000 times, it’s hard.

What always gets me out is writing. I got my devotional and my journal and spent some time alone with God. That smoothed it all out. I fought it for at least 12 hours, but why? Just because I’d been wronged! So what.

God said, “Have you given me control of you life? Do you think I can handle it?” Sometimes I actually say no, because I know They don’t control other people’s choices. But can They work around that? Yes, they are very creative. Peace is worth it. Trust is worth it. He is worth it! But we have to listen and choose.

 

 

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