I sat on this stool last week and bawled my eyes out. I have been oddly emotional lately (not pregnant).
When it comes to feelings I am literally just like a stone. I don’t have them. I don’t get riled up about things. Things don’t affect me in a feeling way.
Maybe that sounds nice to some of you who are always in the feels, always worried about someone or something – to get a reprieve from all that right? Sounds nice. Here’s the thing though, your feelings probably move you to take action towards things. You are passionate about this person, place, thing, or event and you have strong feelings about it which lead you to take some kind of action.
I don’t have those strong feelings innately in me. Walking through life unscathed by feeling is nice for a while, but it would be nice to be invested in something OF MY OWN ( not what other ppl want) and do something about it. People love that I’m calm under pressure, the same all the time, but our strengths of course can always be a weakness.
In this past season I have been waking up those feelings though. I’ve been figuring out what dreams the Lord has put in me, why I want them, how to achieve them, who it involves, who it touches, who will be let down, what might happen if it succeeds, what might happen if it fails — all previously things I had ZERO desire to touch. Because there was too much disappointment waiting for me there.
If I care about things, then if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be disappointed, I’ll be crushed. I’d rather just help others accomplish their things or I’d rather just work on maintaining my current status quo of comfort.
So, I’m out here in the feelings with all of you guys. I’m letting myself be affected by things I care about. That means passion, that means disappointment. That means excited, that means crushed. All previous emotions that I work hard to keep at bay.
So back at the weeping on the stool, because I feel things now. And I was deciding what to do with all of it.
A few months back I heard this question that often resurfaces in my thoughts – “But is this season of your life producing fruit?” –
story behind it : If you’ve heard the song No Longer Slaves, then you’ve heard the passionate triumphant voice of Melissa Helser. Her husband Jonathan David Helser wrote this song and she sings that last portion of the song. After going through a season of chronic illness and pain, she was talking to her brother in law about all the things behind seeking healing – the disappointment, other’s involvement and prying by expecting that she just wasn’t praying hard enough or doing the right things to get healed – and she was looking for some kind of resolve that would justify her current season.
And that is when her brother in law said “But is this season of your life producing fruit?” – maybe, this season ISN’T about things looking up. Maybe this season is about growth. Maybe this season is about growing and cultivating fruit when it’s really painful.
What is fruit? What are fruits of the Spirit? Fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control – talked about in Galatians 5:22.
Painful seasons do not produce these good fruits by default. Your posture in a painful season is particularly important, looking at leaning into dependency, not standing in pride, or running away in fear.
So that question he asked her ran through my mind as I sat there releasing all my true feelings about this season. I did see some little fruits growing. I looked at my life, my current coping mechanisms – and I found myself looking at community, at showing up in the word every morning even though it wasn’t magical and fun and goosebumps, at running out my frustrations instead of burying my feelings in Netflix, at showing up and speaking up and trying – something that’s SO uncomfortable and unnatural for me.
I saw myself clinging. Something I don’t usually do. Usually I run away, I hide, I shrink myself, I get critical of what others are doing bc that makes me feel productive when I am not being productive.
And the clinging. The desperate clinging. That’s what is producing fruit. It’s not my fancy spirituality, but the Holy Spirit himself who is able to do the work, because I’m showing up (broken and dependent) to his workshop to be loved on and worked on.
” We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” – – – Romans 5:3-5 MSG version
The tempered steel of virtue. That is what being present to pain and leaning into it, not away, creates.
It is comforting to know that there doesn’t need to be a solution to this process, because it really is about the process and what is being made during it. I needed that reminder.
If you need a friend to chat through things with, message me on Instagram or Facebook, or wherever. Always an open spot to chat with me, friend.