Hi. My name is Sophie. I like to pretend emotions don’t exist.
Two weeks ago my days were filled with one challenge after another, and by Friday night I could feel myself going into an emotional lock-down, attempting to bury every feeling in a Fort Knox-type armory with hopes that they would never surface again.
My Fear of Feelings
Welcome to my default setting. I am a master wall-builder. I’m sure it’s because I’m scared of feelings. Scared of loving people too much, and then enduring their rejection or removal from my life. Scared that God will punish me for liking someone. Scared of letting people down (even though it’s inevitable). Scared of doing things wrong. Scared of being seen.
Scared of a “yes”—because it seems like I only know how to trust God for a “no.”
This isn’t a new thing for me. Last year at this time, almost a year to the day, God was addressing the same thing in my heart. Praise for his patience.
But really, wouldn’t it be so much easier if feelings weren’t a thing? You wouldn’t have confusion, anxiety, fear, or pain. It would be great—we could float through life unaffected and uninfluenced.
But that would be a major problem.
My Fear Lies to Me
See, when I start to believe the lie that it would be better if I didn’t feel anything, I’m directly attacking the way God made me; I’m saying he made a flaw, a fundamental error in my design.
But that’s just not true. And it gets worse—because belief in those lies equates another hideous reality:
When I allow gospel-muscles to atrophy and fear-paralysis to set in, I’m directly attacking the very character and nature of our Father. I’m abusing and smearing his image and integrity into a false caricature that distorts and misrepresents his flawless reality.
Therefore, all of these heart struggles I’m experiencing right now can be traced back to one thing: my perspective of God.
Like Paul says in Romans 1:25, I’ve exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and I’m worshiping and serving a created thing (my false view of God) rather than the Creator.
Now, lest you think I’m speaking from a position of victory, know that as I write these words my heart would build more walls than can be built, if I’d let it. Even now, I can feel myself trying to close up and self-protect. The desire to seal off my heart from people is real and heavy and reveals another reason I need a Savior.
The One Who’s Stronger Than My Fear
And we have One—One who felt everything. No emotion was kept from Jesus. He endured all things and experienced all the feels and was tempted in every way we are, yet without sin.
Because he is stronger than the strong man, because he has defeated sin, Satan, and the grave, he has proven he’s also stronger than my strongest affection. He’s stronger than my heart (1 John 3:19-20). He’s stronger than my view of him. He’s stronger than the lies I believe about him. He’s stronger than darkness. He is stronger.
There is nothing we face or struggle with—whether it’s temptations, sin, or our empty pursuit of broken cisterns—that is stronger than the Lord.
If God would overcome death and hell, then he will certainly not leave us flailing about, struggling with things that cannot be overcome by him.
Including the feelings and emotions I often wish were nonexistent. Including the graven image(s) I’ve constructed of him. Including all my guilt and shame.
God is working right now, but not so much to give us predictable, comfortable, and pleasurable lives. He isn’t so much working to transform our circumstances as he is working through hard circumstances to transform you and me. (Paul David Tripp)