Have you ever been asked “how are you feeling” and really wanted to share exactly how you’re feeling, and then decided that it would be better to just say “I’m fine, how are you?” I grew up most of my life not understanding how to deal with my feelings. I would usually cover up the feelings for a while until it was too hard to hide them, and then they would explode in my face and to the people around me.
Little by little, I have come to realize that it’s okay to tap into those feelings. We spent so much time trying to ignore our feelings, instead of acknowledging them so that we can grow. Is there a way to celebrate and be present on what’s happening in your life? Is there a way to acknowledge those difficult feelings and moments, without letting them take over us, but to actually let them transform us into better people, friends, and humans?
God knows that as humans we have these deep feelings that can take control of us, that can really affect our lives, our mental health and in turn our spiritual health. I mean, Jesus was overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and desperation in the Garden of Gethsemane right before he was going to be taken. However, he didn’t just complain about his feelings or he didn’t ignore his feelings. He told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee that he was in agony and to keep watch over him. What does this tell us? That he went to his closest friends and opened up about his feelings and asked them for help. He wanted them to “watch” over him. Then he went straight to prayer, because he needed to speak to his Father. So what does this tell us? He did two things. He was open about his feelings with his closest confidantes, and he laid down his pain before the Father.
At the end of the story, Peter and Zebedee’s two sons ended up falling asleep when God told them to watch over him. Not just once, but 3 times. Here’s the thing: humanity will fail us, but our Father will always lean into our grief, with love and grace.
So what’s the point of the story? Before the Lord, we have to be vulnerable and we can’t just say “I’m fine.” Vulnerability leads to transformation. It’s okay if you don’t have a confidante to keep watch over you, I mean Jesus’ best pals fell asleep when he asked them for help. But, our Father is always there.
*This podcast was inspired by Dr. Anita Phillips’ podcast “In the Light” Season 1 Episode 10 “Feelings & Friendship.”