Some days I wonder if Emotional would have been a better middle name than Elizabeth. Sure, it doesn’t sound as pretty, but it’s definitely more accurate.
However, emotional can mean so many things. We understand emotion as the state of our mind. We experience different levels of emotion through joy, sorrow, fear, anger, and we know that emotions are usually indicators of what is going on in our hearts. God created us in His image, and God’s emotions are revealed in the Scriptures; therefore, God created us as emotional beings.
Maybe some more than others.
Personally, I am capable of feeling a wide range of emotions, every day, with very little to no effort. It’s scary yet impressive. A skill some might say.
But I’ve always been this way. “Emotional”. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl or maybe it’s because I grew up in a house of ¾ girls, I’m not really sure. But I do know I’ve spent a good chunk of my life trying to change. Trying to mask my emotion. Trying to be less “emotional”.
Because truthfully, being overly emotional feels wrong. It feels weak. It feels unstable. It makes people around us feel uncomfortable or laugh and it makes others roll their eyes. And worst of all, it often brings forth unwanted attention.
Whether it’s coming across a misplaced box of photos and notes from college, finding out my fiancé got us tickets to the Taylor Swift concert, getting to see and feel my friend’s baby bump for the first time, spending time praying for modern day sex slaves, or simply, watching a military homecoming video on YouTube, you can confidently bet, there will be (unsuccessfully held back) tears in my eyes.
So it’s no surprise to anyone that planning a wedding and preparing for marriage has been difficult for me. Exciting, yes. But really challenging, too.
I have experienced a whole new series of emotion in this season. There are days I couldn’t stop smiling even if someone offered me one million dollars. The mere thought of being married to the man who loves me (and my every flaw) is enough. There are others where I feel so overwhelmed with never ending to-do lists that I can feel the pain of stress rising from my back to my shoulders to my neck. And then, there are some, like today, where I wake up feeling so lonely that my brain begins to flood with thoughts of insecurity and it takes the rest of the day to force them out. My eyes become like a hose I can’t shut off and without apologizing, my tears leave streaks through my freshly spray tanned face. The pitiful tissue pile quickly doubles in size and I’m embarrassed because there’s nothing very specific to blame for it.
But it’s in those moments of weakness, the Lord is so sweet and so gracious. He is the One who searches hearts and minds yet still chooses to rescue over and over again.
He’s teaching me that masking my emotion isn’t natural or beneficial but praying for His peace and comfort is. That allowing my emotion to control me isn’t bringing Him honor but neither is denying that they are there. That emotion has been woven into my heart and soul, with a purpose and for a purpose. And ultimately, I am reminded that I’m in the process of becoming everything God has created me to be.
Thank you, Lord, for the ability to feel emotion and to manage emotion when walking with you. Please continue to transform me through the renewing of my mind. May You and your great love be what my heart is most emotional for, for you have promised us “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).