Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

All the Feelings

I am the girl who has been planning her wedding since she was a little girl. My wedding Pinterest board is decorated with color schemes and themes, a variety of dresses and rings, all of the things. I don’t get very excited about many things, but I was ridiculously excited about my wedding.

Two days ago, Desmond and I decided to postpone our wedding. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I texted my friend today and told her I no longer feel the urge to cry at the thought of things not working out the way I envisioned and the sickening feeling in my stomach has disappeared. A part of me wants to describe my response as dramatic and convince myself it was just a day and it’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage, and we’ll celebrate later with all of our family and friends. While all those things may be true, it was also true that I was devastated. That’s the word I used after sharing the news. Even if it’s the right decision, the wise choice, the best option, God’s will, it was still devastating.

Part of being human is getting to experience the range of emotions God has blessed us with. After my dad died, I was scared to feel emotions, terrified that I’d be overtaken by them. My therapists helped me learn there was nothing to be afraid of. I could trust my feelings would stay as long as they needed to, and I could still show up in the world. I also learned that I was capable of creating space for multiple emotions. I can feel joy and sadness. I can feel disappointment and excitement. So when I felt the feelings of devastation of postponing my wedding setting in, I plunged in deeply while embracing the excitement of still being able to marry the love of my life.

Too often we forget that two things can be true at the same time. We try to force ourselves to choose and are left feeling unsettled and not true to ourselves. We are complex, dynamic beings. Our feelings are constantly shifting and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing (although if you’re experiencing really high highs and extremely low lows over short periods of time, you should go talk to a health professional). You can love being a mom and also be really tired of all that comes with being a mom. As much as you enjoy serving at your church, sometimes you do just want to show up on Sunday and sit on the pew. There is room for those feelings.

There are a lot of lessons I’m learning through this experience and I’m grateful I’ve shown myself how comfortable I’ve become feeling emotions, and multiple emotions at that! Yes, I was devastated, but the thought of spending my life with Desmond still filled me with butterflies. He is the light at the end of every dark tunnel and joy in the morning and warmth through the coldest seasons. Other feelings may come and go but those things will always be true. My godfather reminded me to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:8). No matter what today looks like and what tomorrow brings, regardless of the tears I cry, laughter I enjoy, pain I feel, smiles I carry, thank you God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

October 2021(at a wedding celebration)

Positions and Conditions

Position – where we are

Whether in war or sports or in an aircraft, position matters. Most of us desire to be in a certain position in life. A place we strive to go or maintain our stance in. If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves in places we had no intentions of being. Years will pass and we’ll have no idea how we ended up where we are. The children of Israel were serving other gods, not realizing that in doing so, they were pushing themselves further from God (2 Kings 17:18-20). Maybe you’ve allowed time to get away or perhaps you got distracted by the things of this world and you’re not in the financial or spiritual or relational or professional position you thought you would be in by now, but I encourage you to be aware of where you are and the steps you’re currently taking to get to your ideal position.

Condition – how we are

How are you? We’re usually asked multiple times a day and our usual response is “I’m fine” or “Everything is good.” But how are you really? What does your heart look like? Out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23) so ask yourself, how is it? How long have you been carrying that achy feeling? Is there a joy you can’t explain? Or has an emptiness crept in? It’s so easy to go through this life not feeling. We’re neither happy nor sad. We’re busy doing and not being. I encourage you to stop and consider the condition you’re in.

Positions and Conditions

As we live our lives, it is important that we keep in mind our position and condition. Too many people are where they want to be in life but they’re not emotionally well. While others are emotionally sound, but can’t tell you the last personal goal they achieved. After I got my last degree, I soon got an amazing apartment and a job I couldn’t have dreamed of being any better than it was, but I was a wreck inside. Now that I’ve allowed God to heal those broken parts, I’m questioning my current position. I believe this is what life is about: a constant self-evaluation as we strive to live the lives God intended us to, impacting those He intended us to. Check your position and condition.

 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

In the right position with the right conditions (August 2019)

An Anyhow Praise

There are times in life when we just don’t feel like it. ‘It’ can be anything from doing laundry to praying to smiling to going to work. We simply don’t want to. Sometimes we push through those feelings and do what we have to do anyway and other times we do nothing. If there was ever a time ‘I didn’t feel like it,’ it was a few weeks ago. My mind said, ‘go ahead’ and my body said, ‘naw, you good.’

In the past month, I’ve managed to hear about six people dying (celebrities not included), many of whom I’ve had personal interactions with on some level or another. Those who know me, know I don’t take death very well (yea I know the saints shouldn’t be stricken with grief and all that but He’s still working on me in that area), so at any moment I really could have shut down. Add on top of that a headache that had been present for a week and at times was debilitating (my younger sister had to stop in mid sentence several times until I pulled myself together to listen to her), along with annoying allergies/sinuses.

It would make perfect sense to go to work, come home and go to bed, but my church was having a week long revival. My sister and I had made up in our minds we were going every night and every night, I didn’t feel like going. I was emotionally drained and my body was exhausted, but every night, I went. Every night I would shout ‘hallelujah’ or ‘thank you Jesus,’ and my headache would intensify but I would shout it anyway. Every night we would go down to pray, and I didn’t really feel like talking to God, but I did it anyway. I didn’t necessarily get up feeling better but I knew what I was experiencing wasn’t going to be forever.

Every night I went to church, every night I got down on my knees and prayed, the devil lost. I know he thought because I was physically and emotionally tired, I wouldn’t be faithful to what I said (go to the revival every night), especially after the days went on and I didn’t feel any better. But after that first night of the revival, I realized it wasn’t about how I felt, it was about what I knew. I know God still sits on the throne (Psm. 47:8). I know trouble doesn’t last always (2 Cor. 4:17). I know weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psm. 30:5). I know the devil is a liar and my God can’t lie (John 8:44; Num. 23:19). There are too many things I’m depending on God to do to allow my ever fleeting emotions and mortal body to control my faithfulness to Him. Time and time again, He’s showed up for me and just because I don’t feel like it, doesn’t mean He’s not worthy.

So even when you don’t feel like it and everything in you is giving you a reason not to, do it anyway. Worship God anyway. Praise God anyway. Go to church anyway. Pray anyway. Remind the devil, that despite how you may presently feel and the lies he may tell you (why would you serve a God who won’t heal you, if God loves you so much why won’t He make you happy), you’ll always have the last laugh because your Father in heaven has the last say and all things will work together for your good (Rom. 8:28).

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April 2016