What are you feeling today? Lately, I’ve been struggling to answer the same question. I know that my emotions are in there, trying to come out, but I’ve been overwhelmed with all of the sudden changes in life. Often, in times of stress, I look at everything happening or the needs of others around me, and I realize that it’s impossible for me to do/be it all. I begin to believe the lies that if I was good enough, I would be able to handle whatever life threw at me, and that everyone else’s health and wellbeing matters more than my own. Anxiety doesn’t just creep in, it punches its way into my heart and mind like a wrecking ball to an abandoned building. And that’s just the thing. . . When I get lost in these “my needs and emotions don’t matter” mindsets, I am a lot like an abandoned building. Forgotten. Fragile. Empty.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. God created me with both needs and emotions as a way to draw me closer to him, the ultimate provider and comforter.
We move towards restoration when we acknowledge where our thoughts and feelings are leading us. Are we believing lies? Are we trying to cope with uncertainty by shutting down? There are benefits to every emotion, even the ones we sometimes deem “negative.” For instance, fear motivates us to prepare, and anger helps us be honest—with ourselves, and others. Sadness gives value to what we miss, and loneliness motivates us to seek connection. We can trust that no matter what we feel, Christ understands and offers us empathy.
Let’s consider the very first Good Friday. In less than a day, the disciples went from sharing the Last Supper with Jesus to seeing his lifeless body hanging on the cross (Matthew 26:17 – 27:56). The same followers who had spent years traveling, teaching, and performing miracles with Jesus were likely feeling afraid, confused, and grieved at the unjust loss of not only their friend, but their Messiah.
Our world feels a bit upside down right now. Different, but not totally unlike how it must have felt for the disciples on the day Jesus died. However, because of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross, we can have the Holy Spirit living within us. He is a perfect advocate, granting us peace and rest in the knowledge that we have not been abandoned. (John 14:15-21)
Thankfully, social distancing hasn’t totally taken away our ability to connect! I encourage you to check in with someone today or post in the comments how you’re feeling. Doing so will help prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the Good News that’s just a few days away. 💜