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Feelings

Feelings

Feelings aren’t facts.

Have you ever heard that said before?

I can’t remember who I heard it from.

Feelings aren’t facts.

In our last conversation we discussed our hearts and their intentions. We opened by putting down the widely held-to motif of “listening to” or “following” our hearts because our hearts are deceitful.

Think about it: How many times have you gotten into a bad relationship because your heart felt like that was what you needed? Just to realize it was exactly the opposite of what you needed. So, you break off the relationship and 24 hours later your heart says, “Ach! I’m lonely! He must have been the love of my life! Go back!!!” So, you get back into previous bad relationship and the process repeats… and repeats… and repeats. (I know that’s accurate, that was me to a T before G O D.)

Like, you would think that at some point we would say, wow heart, go take a hike. But we trust our hearts, even though we really shouldn’t. We should trust God. I have never listened to or followed God and regretted it or was steered wrong. His Word is light and life. Sometimes difficult, but always leading to life and light.

Okay but feelings, right? We can’t help how we feel, right? I woke up today and I just felt happy, or angry, or grumpy, or short-fused, or excited or anxious. I just felt that way! It’s not like I was plotting all night how I was going to wake up and be in a terrible mood! I just woke up and was!

I used to believe that how I felt was indeed factual. Like, if I felt like I was going to die, I simply was going to. No way out, no negotiation, times up. I felt this way a lot. These feelings often came with hour long anxiety attacks. These attacks left me sleepless and searching for answers. They eventually led me to my family doctor and then to a psychologist who told me I wasn’t going insane like I truly believed I was at that point.

But man, can we feel strongly fictional data. Right? Like in our heads we’ll look at all the experiences and emotions and… well, data we have collected and reason that we are going insane or that we are worthless or that we are a screwup, unloved, never going to succeed… Love, if you are in that boat today, believing lies, that is just what they are, lies. And I know! You have a fantastic case to hold up against that and say, look at these statistics! Look at this data collection, these memories, this proof! These labels… This is just who I am or how I am.

And all I can say is… feelings are not facts.

If I think that I can fly, can I just do it? Just like that? Nope. Why? Because feelings aren’t facts. What if all my life I have been told I can fly? What if someone wrote me a very convincing text saying that I could fly? Yeah, that’s still a negative love.

Can we control how we feel? Not necessarily, but we can control what the product of that is. If I wake up and feel cranky, I may be more inclined to snap at my sweet hubby or my big ole dog, but does that mean I have to? Am I controlled by feeling? Or am I controlled by fact?

My husband is great at this. He says, you can’t control the first thought that pops into your head but you can absolutely take it captive and in doing so control the second and third and fourth thoughts. That initial thought doesn’t have to cast us into a downward spiral.

And he does this! In our almost 2 years of marriage my husband has never spoken a harsh word to me. Yes, we have had our fights, our “discussions” but he has never said anything to me to intentionally hurt me. I wish I could say the same for myself. And there have been times where he has wanted to but somehow, he has filled those moments with silence as he prevents his thoughts from controlling his actions. I know right? It sounds supernatural. And… it is. That is God at work right there, lady, as my incredible man holds himself to the standard of a godly man and God transforms him from the inside out. (The second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 5.) (Also, the letter to the Romans, chapter 6 for reference).

One of the things my psychologist said to me at my last visit was that he was only allowed to share with me things that he knew, facts. And he looked at me and said, I know for a fact that God exists and He is the only way.

At that point in time I had not surrendered my life to Christ, no, it would be one very long and sin filled year before I did that. However, his words rang in my ears.

So, lady love, today I will share with YOU the facts that I know.

I know that God is perfect. …perfect. Do you know what that means? That means that whatever He does is perfect. However He chooses to do it is the most perfect way it could be done.

That gives me all kinds of peace lady, I mean all KINDS.

I know that in addition to perfection, God is good. That means He never commits evil, He never dwells in darkness but rather wears light like it’s His clothing (The book of Psalms, chapter 104, verse 2). He is good so that means His plans are good, as are His ways, His heart, His intentions and motives. God is good… that carries a lot more weight than you would think.

God is loving, kind and compassionate. Real love, the kind that makes you better. Kindness like the kind that doesn’t make sense, compassion all throughout forever, for the lost, the lonely, the downtrodden, the anxious, the hurting, the depressed and the insomniac. The poor, the widowed and the orphan.

God is merciful and gracious. He doesn’t give us the punishment we deserve and He does give us a whole lot of forgiveness and freedom.

No matter how anxious I feel about the future, these facts still remain far past when my feelings have changed. No matter how I feel, God is still this way. Feelings aren’t facts has become my soothing mantra, my battle cry against the war inside my head.

Now when my feelings say, impending doom is on its way, you are in danger, nothing can save you! Instead of those feelings causing a downward spiral, a physical reaction, you know, the muscles locking up, the shallow breathing, tight chest, racing heart beat… I just yell back; feelings are not facts! So, you can go, as my husband would say, “drink a lake”.

Feelings aren’t facts and thank God. We can feel a lot of ugly things. What if every time we did feel ugly things they just blasted into existence? That would be a scary world to live in.

But feelings aren’t facts because they change, facts don’t.

And I don’t want you to think that I am downplaying the importance of our feelings. Feelings are important and when dug into can tell us a lot about what’s going on with us. We should not discount our feelings. However, we should not be enslaved or controlled by them either. And we definitely shouldn’t take them as factual or hard-core evidence for or against anything.

So next time we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, lets move past the feelings and into the truth. Because it is fact that God says love your neighbor, give yourself up for them, and be selfless and humble. That means even if we are feeling a total grump pants rampage coming on, we don’t have to let that become reality. We can control what our feelings lead to. We can’t change facts.

Okay, but there is one more thing.

My psychologist told me that fact that he knew, because he knew that I had no hope of escape without Jesus Christ. He had seen plenty of clients with my issues along with tons of others, and beyond any and everything he knew that goodness, hope, perfection, joy… these things only dwell within the One True God and apart from Him, we have no hope of truly experiencing these things.

I’ve shared with you some of my testimony before. When it hit me that I could never do good without Christ in me, it changed everything.

Now love, maybe you have avoided this God thing because you are afraid of becoming prisoner to religion. And lady? Freedom only lies within Jesus Christ. He gave Himself up, His life, so that you could experience freedom. Freedom from doing whatever your heart is feeling that day. Freedom from being drug around by your feelings and controlled by that. I am no longer a slave to sin, I am a slave of righteousness which is a much different imprisonment, I assure you. And love, I hope to see you on the other side.

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