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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin


December 4, 2014 22:36

12.04.14 This is a word that strikes a chord with every single one of us. There are numerous types of feelings. Good and bad. There are various definitions of the word. Today, I have really been examining the meaning of the word. “Feeling” in lay terms means to use the word “feel”. This is an interesting word because it can be used as a verb or noun. My husband would laugh at me, because he LOVES to discuss feelings. So what does “feel” really mean? “Feel” Verb 1- To perceive or examine by touch 2- To have a sensation of something, other than by sight, hearing, taste or smell 3- To find or pursue by touching 4- To be or become conscious of 5- To be emotionally affected by 6- To experience the effects of Noun 1- Quality of an object that is perceived by feeling or touching 2- A sensation of something felt; a vague mental impression or feeling 3- The sense of touch 4- Native ability or acquired sensitivity I love the description that Wikipedia uses to describe feelings: Perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction among receivers (see emotions), but varies depending on one's tendency to handle the situation, how the situation relates to the receiver's pastexperiences, and any number of other factors. Feelings are also known as a state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments or desires.’ The Lord has revealed something to me that I feel will be pivotal in the course of my walk with Him. Feelings are emotions we feel every day. But we each have individual interpretations of these feelings. There are many factors to how we “feel” things. How I “feel” about a particular situation is going to be completely different than how you may “feel” about it. Examples of some common words we use to describe our feelings: Joy. Anger. Fear. Sad. Excited. Nervous. Annoyed. Concerned. Relaxed. Thankful. Certain. Secure. Shame. Embarrassed. Elated. Determined. I am happy when I spend time with my family. Then, I am annoyed when my children don’t act how I don’t want them to act. I cry every single time I watch the Biggest Loser or when I read someone’s blog who is dying or has lost a loved one. If I am being honest, I will say I feel more of the unpleasant emotions more days than I feel the good ones. Fear. Distress. Despair. Disappointment. Bitterness. Agony. Sorrow. Desperation. Loneliness. Loss. Alone. Historically, if I have had any of these negative feelings, I typically either do one of two things. Suppress them or have a complete meltdown. Actually both cases end up in meltdowns at some point. Even panic attacks in the worst cases. Then sets in the guilt; the guilt for even having these feelings. Then there is the part of me that feels these feelings are a direct consequence to my actions or lack of actions. In this place, Satan finds his playground. The last thing I want to do is talk about it either. I am quite the people-pleaser. I have always defined my self by what others think of me and not solely based on my worth in the Lord. I mean let’s be real here. To most people, I probably seem to have things held together well. I mean, that’s my goal, at least. That has always been my driving force. Perfection. Control. If I have it all together, then I have more friends or people are happy with me and want to be around me. Isn’t that how it works? Hardly! That is one of the Satan’s lies I have always believed; that if I can “control” every aspect of my life then I will find contentment and security in that place. I have found that I find myself in the exact opposite place. In that lie is where all the negative feelings have surfaced and never been dealt with. I have found myself in the worst times of my life trying to “control” my circumstances in life. One of the biggest things I struggle with in life is anxiety. If you have never felt this emotion then I could be honest (mean) and call you a few select names or I could be nice and tell you how blessed you are (insert anger emoticon). But, for the ones of us that know what it’s like to be anxious or to even have a panic attack, it’s awful. It is one of the worst feelings on earth imaginable. Let me just get things straight right off the bat. Forgive me if this statement offends you, but in it makes me feel better to say it out loud. Satan is a complete asshole. Or speaking in more “Christian terms”, he is evil and is out to get us. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 Looking back over my life in the last 10-15 years, he has completely ruined so many situations for me. Things that the Lord meant for good, he has tried his best to ruin and at times, he was successful. I will save those stories for another day, another post; but you get the point. The enemy is constantly hovering around, waiting on a chance to kick us while we are down, to stop us in our tracks, to dismantle any opportunity for the Lord to work His purpose in us. He loves to distract us and remind us of our weaknesses. One thing the Lord has revealed to me this week through His word and through those close to me is that the FEELINGS I have are real. I need to allow myself to feel these emotions. I usually allow myself to resort to a place where these negative feelings control me, consume me, ruin me, drive a wedge between me and my walk with the Lord. As I said earlier, my whole life I have strived for perfection, in my marriage, in my job, as a mother and in my relationships. When that happens, I feel disappointment, resentment and guilt. Who can withstand such high expectations? I have allowed these thoughts to take captive of my life. In that place, I am bigger than God. In that place, I am of no use for the glory of God. In that place, I am drowning in my own ignorance and selfishness. I am consumed with fear and worry. Right where the devil wants me to be. Paralyzed. Ladies, this is not where the Lord wants us to live. He only wants the very best for us. We must stop Satan in his tracks. Satan was defeated when Jesus died on the cross for us. Jesus has already won this battle. It makes me sad when I think about how I continue to fight a battle that’s already been won. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 I think the biggest mistake I have made is not allowing myself to truly “FEEL” these emotions. To claim them. They are real and for a purpose. I need to cry out to the Lord and tell him how I feel. I love the Message version of this scripture. The Message Bible really simplifies things for me at times when I’m most stubborn to see or hear the Lord. Psalm 18:6 (MSG) A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience! He wants me to call out to Him. To show my need for Him. To take a step towards him. A step out in faith into the unknown. When I do that, I take away my sense of control and relinquish it to Him. (Gulp!) But in this step comes freedom! Earlier this week, a dear friend told me something very important after I received some news about Will that was devastating. She told me to grieve. It’s ok to be sad. Just because I am sad doesn’t mean I don’t trust the Lord. That statement alone has rocked me to the core. As a side note, this friend will be so humbled to know the Lord has used her to encourage me. We share so many similarities in our walk. The Lord is gracious in how he places people in our path to forever change the course of our lives. Back to the story … Will started having ear infections when he was less than a year old. He had several right in a row during cold season. The infections would clear but the fluid never would. It was something we watched for several months. The infections would come and go. Then he turned one and he wasn’t saying many words. Being a pediatric nurse practitioner, I am always in a state of examining or diagnosing my children (and other’s children) with something. I knew he should be saying more but just played it off in my mind, as he was just “shy” like his father. I didn’t want to actually admit that he could have a problem. Finally at around 18 months, he had ear tubes placed. His ENT told us after the procedure that the fluid in his ears was so thick; it would’ve never drained on its own. He told us to imagine going underwater and trying to hear someone talking to you. You can’t. Well we felt terrible, no wonder he wasn’t talking. He couldn’t hear anything. You have to be able to hear to speak. So now we were set right? Ears fixed- check! Now he will start talking. Well he didn’t really. At his two-year-old checkup, his pediatrician and I talked about speech therapy because he still was behind at that point. But he had started to make some progress since getting tubes, so we decided to wait. By around 2 ½, he hadn’t made much progress so we pulled the trigger and started him in speech therapy. That was quite the ordeal, but, our insurance company finally approved it all and he started in February of 2014. He turned 3 in September and we then pursued getting him evaluated through Allen ISD for therapy, since that is a free program if he was indeed eligible. Hello! Please and thank you! Well it was quite the process getting him evaluated, but it was finally completed after three months. Tuesday of this week I received a phone call from the therapist who evaluated him. She told me that definitely qualified for therapy through the school district. Then she went on to tell me that he was in the 5-10thpercentile for his age for his speech. She even had a few red flags that he could have a form of speech delay that is very hard to treat and takes years of therapy. Of course, insert the devil; I got on Google as soon as I hung up with her. I then just cried. And cried. Honestly, I was devastated at the possibilities here. The “what if”. Then I felt guilty because I was sitting here crying. I felt guilty that it was something we as parents had done that got him to this point. The flood of thoughts.. we didn’t work with him enough. I didn’t read him enough books. I should’ve gotten the tubes earlier. Was it something I ate or drank while I was pregnant? Stupid coffee and Coke zero, worse off probably the Taco Bueno. Is he ever going to catch up? The fear of kids making fun of him because he can’t talk. I called Cory and I just cried. I couldn’t hold it together anymore. I text a few family and friends asking for prayers for Will. That he would be placed the “perfect” therapist, that he can continue to grow up to be the boy/man the Lord created him to be. That we can raise him to SPEAK boldly for the Lord. For us to rely in God’s sovereignty for Will. Then the Lord showed up. I love how he shows up through people. I was reminded that God has made this part of Will’s journey. He has called us to walk in this, no matter how long it lasts or how hard it may get. Then it only gets better. Another friend then reminded me that Moses was bold for the Lord even though to the world it didn’t look that way. Later that night, we were having our family bible time discussing our Advent reading for the day. Afterwards, Emma wanted to read a story from her AWANA book. Well, God has quite the sense of humor. It was the story of Moses. She read out loud that although Moses wasn’t a good speaker, but he was used by the Lord to do big things. The Lord was faithful to fulfill his promises to Moses. Lastly, the following morning another friend text me that God used a man like Moses to remind us that it takes all shapes and forms and that His power can and will work through us. What an awesome way for the Lord to show up and allow me to see that He has never left. Sometimes the Lord really has to be obvious for me to see and hear him. I get so easily caught up in my own ways, even with the best of intentions to do good. Important points of this story: 1- Life happened. I FELT a strong emotion. Usually I would keep it all in and in that is where it festers and grows. In suppression and in attempts to deal with these feelings on my own, Satan began his attempts to torment me and control me. Rather, in my weakness I took my tears to the Lord and said it out loud. In doing that I was releasing this from inside the depths of my soul. I held those thoughts captive and brought them to the Lord. There He met me in my brokenness. Have you every just sat and repeated the name of “Jesus” out loud. One of my favorite songs “Your Great Name” that is sung by Natalie Grant. “Every fear has no place at the sound of Your Great Name”. There truly is peace is speaking his name out loud. Especially in times when there’s nothing else to say. We have FREEDOM in His name. There is HEALING in His name. 2- Jesus felt emotions of every kind. In my daily struggle to be perfect, I tend to lose in the battle of comparison. I compare myself to everyone and wind up feeling worthless in most cases. But, worst of all I even compare myself to Jesus. He was perfect and lived a perfect life on earth. Another lie from Satan I have always believed is that I need to be perfect to come before the Lord. That is the furthest thing from the truth and is completely opposite of what the gospel teaches us. Jesus died for me, in my place, because he knew I could never be perfect. Grace. A concept that is really hard for me to grasp. The bible is full of examples of Jesus experiencing emotions. Joy. Anger. Anguish. The scene where Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was betrayed and arrested is mentioned in all four of the gospels. Jesus knew the fulfillment of the Lord’s plan was coming soon. In his humanness he showed REAL feelings. He cried out to the Lord expressing his REAL emotion. In John’s gospel it states, “He knelt down and prayed… he prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood” (Luke 22:42-44). In Mark 14:33-34 it says “He took Peter, James and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death”. Jesus knows what it feels to be sad, to be happy, to be devastated at the things of this world. What a comfort and honestly a feeling of relief for me. I mean I have never sweat blood or anything, but I have been crushed and in agony. The good news is I don’t have to feel guilty, like I am less of a believer in Jesus because I have these feelings about situations in my life. He too felt this way. But the difference is, He went to his knees before the Lord and brought those feelings to the Lord. He didn’t allow this to come between him and the Lord’s will for his life. 3- In our life, we are going to have trials. In fact in James, we are told to expect them. James 1:2-3 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” Rather than being surprised, we should prepare our hearts for these experiences. We should be in constant communication with God and depending on Him to fight the battles for us. In our own strength, we will lose every single time. Guaranteed. The Lord never promises life will be easy, but he does promise to be there with us. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deut 31:8. That is a promise we can cling to in any circumstance. I am learning I don’t have to carry on living my life suppressing these feelings and acting like I have it all together. I think as women this is one of the biggest hindrances in our walks. We believe the lies that we have to put up a front that we are strong and we are all like Carol Brady or June Cleaver. That is not reality. They were fictional characters. We are all a mess in some form or fashion. Find me one woman on earth that doesn’t have issues. The bible is full of women that were a disaster. Can I get an amen?!? As women, we find ourselves sitting around having superficial conversations and sharing about all the ways we are “blessed”. The line I use the most when things get complicated is “It’s fine”. Really? Who am I kidding, it’s not fine. Life is not fine at times. In fact, at times, life really sucks. God created us to be dependent on Him. It’s time for us to start being honest with ourselves. It’s time for us to have more of God and less of ourselves. John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” We don’t have to have it all together. We never will, so why even keep trying. The Lord wants to carry our burdens, all our fears and worries. Even the ones we think are silly and simple. I will be honest; my son could have something far worse than a speech delay. I can hear Satan scream at me saying “it’s just a speech delay, that’s no big deal. God doesn’t care about the small things. How dare you even think this a big deal, there are people with far worse issues. Don’t even waste your time”. God cares about the little things. Every single thing. We have to learn live IN his grace, not alongside it. We have to quit pretending things are always easy or that we can handle these situations on our own. How can we be an encouragement to one another as the Lord commands us if we aren’t honest with ourselves and with each other about our struggles? Colossians 2:6-7 (MSG) 6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. As I was driving this morning to take Will to preschool, I had my list with me of all the things I needed to do today. Then the Lord began speaking to me. Quite the interruption I must say. I was listening to music and was overcome with His Spirit. Has that ever happened to you? Praying and crying out to Him and then you suddenly feel His presence. If it hasn’t, my prayer is that it will. It is really indescribable, yet the most amazing feeling to be in His presence. I found myself listening to the song “Find You On My Knees” by Kari Jobe. The Lord used these lyrics to speak directly to my heart. I find you in the place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end, find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you but brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty. When I am weak, when I am lost and searching, I’ll find you on my knees. As I was driving, I felt the strong sense to put my list down and to go back home. To sit and write. To share my story. The devil would like me to believe that I am the only one who feels this way. To shut me down at the start line. But, I know the Lord has put me in this path to encourage someone else. I will be honest; I don’t like to be in the spotlight. Even though I sing on the worship team, I still get so nervous every single time. I use to have to take a Xanax every time I sang for the first year or so. But the Lord called me to serve in that way. He met me in my need. In the same way He is now calling me to share this and not be fearful of rejection or fear of putting my reality on public display. He is calling me to be real with you. I pray that this message finds the exact person the Lord intended it for. My heart is for women. We need the Lord. We need each other. My prayer and my hope in you reading this is that you would be encouraged. Encouraged to seek God in your deepest need. What feelings have you had that you need to take to the Lord? Lord in our brokenness, you lift us up. Jesus, we are desperate for you and need you to come. Jesus. We love you Jesus. I pray that as women we would walk in your grace and see and feel you for who you really are. If we truly believe you are who you say you are, we will never be the same. Amen. For your glory alone. Holly “Find You On My Knees” – Kari Jobe

Troubles chasing me again,

Breaking down my best defense,

I'm looking, God, I'm looking for you

Weary just won't let me rest

And fear is filling up my head.

I'm longing, God I'm longing for you

But I will find you in the place I'm in,

Find you when I'm at my end,

Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,

When I am weak, when I am lost and searching

I'll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith,

And what if heartache still remains?

I'll trust you, my god I'll trust you.

'Cause You are faithful and I will...

Find you in the place I'm in,

Find you when I'm at my end,

Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,

When I am weak, when I am lost and searching

Find you on my knees, my knees.

When my hope is gone,

When the fear is strong

When the pain is real,

When it's hard to heal

When my faith is shaken

And my heart is broken

And my joy is stolen,

God I know that...

You lift me up, you'll never leave me searching,

Find you in the place I'm in,

Find you when I'm at my end,

Find you when there's nothing left of me

to offer you except for brokenness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,

When I am weak, when I am lost and searching

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