My whole life I was told that the fact that I am a sensitive and overly emotional person was a weakness. When I felt something strongly and expressed it, I was laughed at and told that it was a “bad” thing.
Up until recently, I accepted that as truth. I worked tirelessly to shove feelings down, to learn to ignore them and beat myself up if I let them get the better of me. I adopted this mindset of “constant apology”; anytime I felt something, I apologized to those around me. Anytime I let emotion spill over, I told myself I was a broken mess who needed fixing. Until recently, I did not realize how much this deeply impacted my life. It has been a main cause of insecurity, and mental turmoil. Fighting against who God created me to be turned out to be an unnecessary battle accompanied by an unnecessary amount of pain and heartbreak.
I have been told I am wishy-washy.
I have been told I am too sensitive.
I have been told that I am immature.
I have been told I am incapable.
I have been told I am weak.
All because I feel things.
But recently, I started to realize that it is actually quite the opposite. I did not even recognize that this change was occurring until a few days ago. My ability to feel deeply, to express emotion, to empathize, is actually a huge gifting from the Lord.
Yeah. You know why? Because with it, I can fully and passionately love others. More specifically, children. I started working as a preschool teacher, and man did I realize how much God prepared me for this calling. If I wasn’t able to hold such a depth for passion, I would not love kids the way they NEED to be loved. If I wasn’t able to feel intensely, my motivation for persevering in a relationship with Jeremy would be non-existent. If I wasn’t able to empathize intimately, I wouldn’t have the ability to help women who have gone through traumatic and tough situations.
I wouldn’t be able to love as effectively or anywhere near close to how Jesus does.
Showing feelings expresses how deeply I care about those around me. And I don’t know about you, but I think the world needs more of that right about now. I know there are still going to be those in my life who look at me and laugh; who see my past and think I am incapable and immature. But I look back and see growth. I see that I did change my mind, I changed my plans, I found new passions and discarded old ones. I figured out a path then jumped on a different one. And that is okay. That does not mean I am wishy-washy and weak; that means I am a young woman who is seeking out God’s plans against her own.
I am proud of the woman I am right now.
And as I enter into my career as a woman, I refuse to apologize for who I am. I have already experienced push-back. I am looked down upon because of my age, my lack of experience, my sensitivities and emotions, my faith, & my opinions. But I know that God has called me to be who He created me to be. And I am entering into a season of life where I am learning to find a new confidence in Him without apologies.
We have all experienced this at some point. A lot of times we are looked down upon because of our intensity of emotion. But I truly believe God created us to be this way. It is such a unique and powerful quality we possess. God wants us to embrace our abilities to feel deeply and intensely. He wants us to love to the full capacity He granted us. It is not a weakness. I repeat. It is NOT a weakness! It is a strength.
I want to carry this with me as I enter into the professional work field. And I hope you will too. The world needs more believers who love others. The world needs more people who use their strengths to make a real change.
So instead I say
I AM learning.
I AM sensitive to the needs of others and to my own.
I AM mature.
I AM more than capable.
I AM strong.
All because of who God is and who God created me to be.
My intensity of emotion is what draws me to the book of Psalms the most. Because I FEEL that book. The ups and downs, the crazy roller coaster David and the other writers take us on is so relatable. We are silly people if we do not acknowledge our human condition!
“Luckily for our emotional selves, there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to feelings: Psalms. Its about more than just feelings of course, but emotions definitely play a role in this book. I think King David was an emotional kind of guy. He was a warrior, he was a king, he was a fighter-but he was also a lover and a poet. He was complicated, just like us.”
His emotions were apart of how God created Him. They did not make him any less warrior, king, or fighter; they just made him more human. And what is he known as? A man after God’s own heart. The Psalms remind us that it is okay to be emotional and it reminds us to bring those to God. He wants us to be ourselves. That includes all the messy feelings and emotional craziness! Because He always meets us there in the midst of that.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30: 11-12)
Let us not apologize for who God created us to be. Let us embrace our emotions as a strength. Let us bring our emotions to the throne room when we cannot control them.
Let us use our emotional depth to love others well.