life, My Faith

Emotional dodgeball

I started a Step Study again recently. I honestly don’t remember the first part of the last one. I think I was too broken back then. But this time I’ve jumped all in. I want to figure myself out, to let God continue the work he so graciously is doing. But dang. It’s hard.

I got up in my feels over a question about “what ifs” in my life. I mean I know I’ve always lived in the land of what if. I had a huge imagination. In my defense, I read those choose your own adventure books and when I didn’t like the outcome, I backed up and rechose, so I was kind of conditioned for the what ifs.

But listing them honestly, the ones that I don’t want to admit are still there…the ones that still have a sting….the ones that make me feel like my life could have been different…those are the ones that hurt. But those are the ones that can heal as well.

Today as Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is hard. When I say that people assume either my mother is dead or I have beef with her, but neither of their is true. On days like today I mourn what could have been. It could have been a day where I am surrounded by the children I wanted to have of my own. But it’s not. By now they could have children if their own. (Ya that’s weird. We shouldn’t bring that up.). There’s a whole what if land that makes me a little sad. Because I can’t back up and choose a new adventure.

But I am learning, slowly, to see the beauty here. I can see the little lives I get to pour into, not because I birthed them, but because I choose them. There’s something sacred there. Sure my home is kind of empty, except for a couple of dogs (and a couple of mice…don’t ask. I’m working on it.). But my heart is still full with the knowledge that I am special to some pretty special little people who are so special to me. There’s beauty there.

And His ways are not my ways. But His ways can be beautiful if I choose to see the beauty in them.

What I know to be true is it’s okay to hold space for both sadness and joy, beauty and pain. Those contradictory emotions can coexist. They probably should coexist. I spent decades trying to evade both sadness and pain, which inversely meant I also never experienced true joy or beauty. You have to have both to appreciate the other.

So what do we do then with these big emotions? Someone asked me the other day how you stop having big emotions. I told them I was the wrong person for that question. God gave me big feelings and he made me this way for a reason.

So instead of trying to figure out a way to escape being an emotional being, I have to take my big emotions and bring them to the feet of the Big God, the one who can hold me and my emotions and help me sort it all out. He’s just waiting for that chance to help me make sense of the beauty and the pain.

And while we wait to make sense of it all, maybe he just wants to sit with me in it. He gets it. He gets me. After all, I am the One that Jesus loves. (And so are you. )

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