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Friday, March 30, 2007

So how do you feel today?

I'm hooked on a feeling.” just like BJ Thomas sang back in 1969. Our feelings are a very important part of who we are. We make decisions based on how we feel, or change our mind because we “had a bad feeling.” As you read blogs, even this post you are judging what I am saying with your current feelings and life experiences. You are determining how you “feel” about what I am saying.

Feelings are a gift from God; they allow us to feel empathy for another person. Feelings cause us to reach out and help, they are the seeds to falling in love, and feelings can be a very powerful force. But feelings should have a proper place in all things. Anyone that knows me personally knows this is a post I am preaching to myself. For some reason when God made me, he gave me an extra dose of “feelings.” My husband is often frustrated that someone else could go through something, but I share the feelings. This is for difficult times, and for times of great rejoicing. I live on a rollercoaster of feelings; I think God uses it in a good way. On the other hand, the Lord has, and continues to work with me, showing me where these strong feelings are good and where they need to be put into perspective.

Often times we (women especially) have the tendency to study or read something then weigh what we just read on impressions and feelings, then we turn these impressions into fact.

“ We let subjective impressions determine what we’ll accept as object facts.”

~C.J. Mahaney

Many of us are just programmed this way, our society contributes to this way of thinking. You hear terms like, how does it make you feel, follow your heart, if it makes you feel good then it must be right. This would be fine if our feelings were based on fact, but they are not. Our feelings betray us, lead us astray.

When it comes to studying God’s word and living a Godly life we need to place our feelings in their proper perspective. We don’t ignore our feelings, they are valid, but they have their proper place (David in the bible is an example of this, he stood on truth but had strong feelings). First we need the foundation of truth, truth is fact, truth is unwavering, unlike our feelings. If you are studying God’s word and reading the bible, your first question should not be, how do I feel about this? You should first ask yourself, do I believe this or not?

So how can you develop this in your life? I have learned how to talk to myself instead of listen to myself. When I was listening to myself I found I did not have very nice things to say, I complained, and God felt distant. When I am in the heart of battle and life is coming hard and my emotions are all over the place. I find my rock in unwavering truth.

Christ died for me.

God promised to never leave nor forsake me.

Jesus loves me.

I take verses and speak them out loud; I say them over and over. I speak the truth and let myself hear it, in return I feel Christ drawing nearer and it is on solid ground I stand (where there is no sinking sand). Then the feelings will build and strong affection for Christ increases, and then your emotions can carry you away in praising God. Our feelings are important, it is just not where we should begin when following Christ.


Update: The above post was written early in the day. I hate to say this but God likes to make me live through object lessons. And he is making me "live" what I just preached. Someone very close to me tonight miscarried (in the process of). This was not a normal miscarry either, this person believe she would never carry child and then found herself pregnant. It was like giving hope to believe, so many years after you released that hope. And if I am very honest, this pain I am FEELING, could lead me down a dark path, one it would take a lot to come back from. Right now I am broken, I am crying out to God, and I am standing at the cross road. One path God is asking me....are you going to let your pain and feelings direct you? The other path God is asking, are you going to walk with me and BELIEVE me despite the strong emotions you are feeling right now. I am sorry to be so raw here, but it was to much of a coincidence that I wrote this right before I got very painful news. I am here to say, despite the deep pain I am feeling right now and the tears streaming down my face I chose to believe God. And I will continue to believe and trust God.



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20 Comments:

Blogger Judith said...

I'm so sorry about your friend, but appreciate your seeing yourself in the situation, So I commend you for this. It's not easy looking that deeply at ourselves sometimes.

March 29, 2007 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Oh Laurel...First of all, this was a beautiful post. And now I just read your update...
My prayers are with your friend, and with you. I can only imagine the pain of dashed hope which she is feeling...:(
I think women are so much this way...we empathise so well, and it can be used for good...or sometimes for our detriment.
Praying for peace for your friend...

March 29, 2007 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger NspiredByFaith said...

There is such truth in what you have said here. I tend to be the same way, I feel what others are feeling. I also speak out loud to myself when reading certain things in the Bible. I feel that it allows me to process the information better, as if it is being spoken to me. I pray that God will comfort you and the person who miscarried during this time. I can empathize with her during this time as someone who had given up on having children, only to become pregnant and miscarry at 4 months. I was truly devastated. God has since blessed us with a child. I pray that He will in this case too.

March 29, 2007 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I was just thinking about bad self talk (listening if u like) this morning
the devil can get in that way and lead us into believeing bad things about ourselves

By good self talking to ourselves we can allow God in

Praying for u and your friend

March 29, 2007 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I am so sorry about your friend Laurel, will be lifting her up in my prayers. Bless you for not going on feelings, but on facts. God loves you, and cares for you very much, that is a fact.

March 30, 2007 at 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Debbie B (Canada) said...

I thought i was one of the few women out there with rollercoaster emotions and an extra dose of feelings ... i was encouraged by this part ..." I think God uses it in a good way. On the other hand, the Lord has, and continues to work with me, showing me where these strong feelings are good and where they need to be put into perspective."
...thank you for sharing . God bless you .

Debbie

March 30, 2007 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

Your post hit home for me, especially your update. I'm so glad you included it as a testimony to keep believing in God. I am lifting your dear friend up to Him and pray for healing.

March 30, 2007 at 5:45 AM  
Anonymous eph2810 said...

Laurel, what a beautiful post. It is true we are drawn by our feelings and emotions. We have to trust the truth....and continue to stand on solid ground.

Laurel, I am so sorry to hear about the miscarriage. I know what you were all excited about it. I know the baby was long waited for by the person you love....(((hugs)))

March 30, 2007 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

Oh, no. I am so, so sorry, Laurel. I'm praying. For her and for you because I know both your hearts are broken.

March 30, 2007 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...

Oh Laurel...Laurel.. my Sister.

I am hugging you now and heading out on my walk and talk. Jesus will hear from me about you and your friend's pain.

I love what you said.. I have learned how to talk to myself instead of listen to myself. This is absolutely what all of us must do. Say the scriptures out loud. It will change everything. Love you. Sending you my (((hugs)))

March 30, 2007 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Laurel,
I am so sorry for your friend. I pray the Lord would bring peace to both of you.

I often have conversations with myself battling for my faith over my feelings. It is speaking the truth of God's word that prevails in my heart.

"Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."
Psalm 119:49-50

March 30, 2007 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Jen Holland said...

Laurel,

This was a beautiful post and my comment was going to be completely different, until I read your update.

Just know that you are in my prayers.

March 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Beckie said...

Laurel, I feel(!) your hurt! I believe, too, that God gave me an extra helping of emotions! And it's so easy to let those feelings control us. I also believe God can use those feelings to guide us to do His will. Like praying in a case such as your friend...and I will be.

Blessings to you Laurel!

March 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Lundie said...

Thank you. I just realized that my feelings have been my gospel. I have based so much of my action and attitude on my feelings. Thanks for the redirect. It has given me much to think about. ((Hugs))

March 30, 2007 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm so sorry about the miscarriage. I am saying a prayer for your friend and for you too.
I am someone who has to keep her feelings in check. I have a tendency to let my feelings lead me and they do not always lead me down the right path. I know the "truth", and must live that, no matter what my feelings tell me. It's not always the easiest path to take.

March 30, 2007 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Laurel..I am so sorry for your friend....both of you will be in my prayers....I love this post because it is so true...we base to much of what we do on how we feel and sometimes we just have to choose our way to the feeling...it's hard to do the right thing sometimes.....
Thanks for being real with us & showing us your faith in action.
Blessings

March 30, 2007 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Laurel, this is such a heart wrenching post. I'm so sorry for you and your friend. I had such a busy day that I didn't get to read it until just now, and I moderated your comments so late in the day.

You've made a strong point here, I'm just sorry that you had to live the lesson.

March 30, 2007 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Laurel,

I'll pray for you and especially your friend.

We were created as emotional beings but our feelings are the most shallow parts of our spiritual being. True joy lives down deep, below the raging of the waves. Or better yet, a sure faith walks above them...I will pray an wave-walking spirit for you and your friend.

Love ya girlfriend!

March 30, 2007 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Your suffering alongside your friend is a gift. I pray that you and she can see God amidst this pain. I think all (or most) women can really relate to this post, Laurel.

March 30, 2007 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Great insight here!

March 31, 2007 at 2:43 AM  

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