Are you angry? Are you sad? Do you doubt? Are you questioning why things are happening? Are you frustrated with the path you’re on? Are you struggling with life in a world that feels like it’s in shambles?
Have you taken it to God? Have you expressed those emotions to Him? Let Him have it. Yep. Let it rip. Scream. Yell. Cry. Whine. Don’t hold it in, don’t try to hide it in the recesses of your mind and heart. Let Him see it. Let Him hear it.
He already knows. He isn’t shocked by you and your emotions. He isn’t surprised by anything you can throw His way. He isn’t going to break apart in the midst of your anger or doubt. He isn’t going to turn away from you. He isn’t going to disown you for feeling.
Tonight, I let her fall. I warned her a few times that what she was doing wasn’t the greatest idea. She was tired, emotional and wasn’t hearing me. I let her fall. It shocked her and confused her and she fell apart. She screamed and she cried. She kicked and she thrashed. She was hurt. Hurting because she was in a bit of physical pain; hurting from the shock; hurting emotions from big life events that are too much for a little one to handle. Hurt that I allowed her to fall. I gave her a few minutes and she finally screamed for me. “MAMA! I NEED YOU!” I gathered her in my arms as she dissolved into tears. “Tell me how you feel. Talk to me,” I whispered. “I fall down. I need you. You didn’t catch me. I sad. I frustrated. I got a boo boo.” She cries and repeats “you didn’t catch me and I sad.” Her voice catches and the tears flow from my eyes as I hold her close and rock her. I kiss her boo boos and she sees my tears. Her face crumbles and her eyes flow with fresh tears and she whimpers “you cry too?! You sad too?” I hug her tight and smile as tears run down my cheeks “yes baby, I love you and when you are sad and frustrated, I feel with you and want to help. It’s okay to be upset.” We cry together for a few minutes and then we talk. We talk about what happened, why it happened, what we need to do to make it better, and what choices she needs to make to stay safe and healthy. She goes back to playing but isn’t doing that unsafe action anymore and I think about how often I don’t take my hurts to God. I hide with them. I hold them deep and try to keep it all positive for everyone.
But y’all. He wants them. Just like I quietly waited for my girl, God waits for us. He sees us and is there waiting. He’s there to hold us and comfort us as we process big emotions and big life events. He’s there offering a gentle embrace and whispers “tell me how you feel. Talk to me.” He wants our hurt and our thoughts. He doesn’t take our trust for granted and He doesn’t cower as we unload on Him. He grieves and hurts with us and tenderly tends our wounds. He’d rather experience our negative emotions with us and help us heal than to see us fester and turn to unhealthy sinful choices. He loves you. He’s a good Father.
What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. Ephesians 4:25-27 (The Message)
4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. 6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. 7 God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. 14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace—don’t let it get away! 15 God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. 17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. 18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. 19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. 20 He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken. Verses from Psalm 34 (The Message)