I've already told you my time in China was more than a little bit tricky. No offense, China. It really wasn't you, it was me. A friend I had there, Anna, was smack in the middle of a couple of heart wrenching situations too. When asked how she was, she would be honest that she was struggling. But she would quickly return to what she knew was true about the situation. But before her words of hope and comfort she would say, "This is a statement of faith, not of feeling."
Up to that point, it had not occurred to me to say anything other than what I was feeling. Her disclaimer sentence really impacted me.
Her statement did three things:
- It allowed her to honestly admit she was wrestling through a hard place and didn't like it even a little bit.
- It brought her right back around to Truth about her situation and didn't let her ever changing feelings be her compass.
- It gave me permission to do the same.
Feelings vs. Truth. We tend to fall on one side of this fence or the other. I don't know about you, but my feelings are to be trusted above all else. I am sure they are SO right on...until I realize I was in crazy town and they were exactly the opposite of right on.
Case in point: that time I married a total stranger when I was 20. Those were not the best feelings to run with. I tell you that only to make you feel better about yourself. You have, no doubt made some feelings-based choices you regret. You have likely not married a stranger though- and if you have, we need to chat because I'm sure we could exchange alarming stories.
Conversely, we can come down so hard on the side of Truth that we disregard emotions stirring within ourselves. Or within others. This can be detrimental to relationships. Like that one time early in our marriage when my husband responded to a my emotion-laden emesis with a flippant, "Well, just don't feel that way." Ha! As you can imagine, it didn't go well. We still laugh about it though. And we still say it to one another frequently, as a joke of course.
Our emotions are not equal to truth but they do hold value as indicators to our internal life. Giving a limited amount of air-time to our feelings is largely what helps us get over them and off that fence.
My statement of faith and not of feeling this morning:
I have everything I need to parent my children well today.
Even though I am sleep deprived.
Even though the girl child views homework as a form of torture and we have piles of it to complete.
Even though the boy child is sick and screaming.
2 Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life because we know Him who called us by His own glory and goodness."
So what is your statement of faith not feeling today? I would love to hear it.