God, Is It Really Okay Not To Be Okay?
I am a very emotional human. Growing up, I was told to quiet my emotional tendencies because I was just “too much.” A while back, I was told that I shouldn’t feel certain emotions because I was“too blessed” to be feeling such. Sadly, I do not know what to do with all these emotions. I mean, I know God created them, so I want to feel them, but I don’t want to seem ungrateful, either. So, sometimes, I just try to ignore them. But ignoring my feelings has lead me to repress them instead...not the healthiest thing, if you ask me.
At first it seemed like I had it all together, but deep down I was rotting inside. I’d cry only when I was alone, and I hid the fact that I was miserable. I did not know why, but I just knew that I was not okay. I tried reaching out to others to tell them my feelings, but I always ended up hearing the same things: “Snap out of it,” “ You must want my attention,” and “Just think happy thoughts.”
I was baffled. Rather than encouraging me to see things positively, it did more harm than good. And apparently, I did not know that, somehow, those words affected the way I communicated with God.
My quiet times were full of pretension. I’d read my Bible and pray, but I would repress everything at the same time. I would thank God for blessing me, but deep down, there was anger, anxiety, and doubt. I know, how dare me, right? I was denying how I truly felt, though. I thought that if I showed God my happy side and my positive emotions alone, then that would fool Him into actually being there for me. Case solved, right? Sadly, that was not the case. I realized it was in my breaking that I reached true intimacy with God.
There was a time when I was suffering emotionally, and He spoke to me through one of my best friends, Ann. It was in a seemingly mundane moment as we were spending time together that God reminded me through her that it is okay not to be okay. I was reassured that He is always there, that He understands, and that He comforts. After out discussion, I felt peace in my heart. Even though my circumstances hadn’t changed, and I still felt sad, for the first time ever, I understood what having joy meant. It’s hard to explain, but I was feeling joy beyond my circumstances, and even my emotions. This new feeling in my heart began breaking through a lot of mindsets that I had. Suddenly, I came to a point where I was giving God the mask I wore in His presence in exchange for His grace and my authenticity. That night, things began to shift in my relationship with the Lord.
“Not Okay” is Okay
When I gave God my mask, He told me to be completely honest with Him. It’s quite funny to me now because, when you think about it, what doesn’t He know? It was in the moment when I became willing to admit the things I had once kept hidden to Him that He told me, “My daughter, I know what you’re feeling. I am here. Never will I leave you nor forsake you.” Despite my negative experiences with other people, His love and His care for me made me trust again.
I love verses in the Bible that remind us of the truth that God cares. 1 Peter 5:7 says to “[cast] all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” I love how we are encouraged, not only to tell Him about our anxieties, but to cast them to Him, because, girl, I know I can be quite the anxious woman. Knowing that I can give my worries to God is really changing the way I look at my feelings and my relationship with the Lord.
I also admire that we aren’t called to cast our anxieties to Him because “it’s His job,” but because He cares for us. Personally, I find this to be mind-blowing. God really cares how I feel? How could that be true after all the times I’d tell people how I felt, only to be met with judgement, pain, and rejection? But with God, the maker and ruler of all things, I’d not only be met with care, but the encouragement to give my troubles to Him? I mean, wow. God is amazing. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for His love for me.
But how do we cast our anxieties to Him? The answer comes just one verse before, in 1 Peter 5:6, when Peter says to “humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.”
Humility is the Key
Humility reminds us that we are unable to take solve our problems alone. We wouldn’t have the desire to cast our cares unto God if we felt like we could handle things apart from Him. It is in the confession of our own weakness that God gives us strength. It is in our humility that we can cast our anxieties to the Lord for Him to carry on our behalf.
If there is one thing that my emotional nature has taught me, it’s been to be real with the Lord. As I became more authentic with Him, my intimacy with Him also increased. As I’ve humbled myself before Him and told Him how I feel , God has built a level of trust between us that I’ve never had before.
You see, having negative emotions does not necessarily mean you are losing faith. Sometimes, it is God’s way of encouraging you to be more intimate with Him. So today, no matter what you feel, I invite you to come to God. Tell Him how you feel. Let Him know where it hurts and what your anxieties are. After doing so, listen to His truth and see how His healing power changes your heart. Do not be afraid; He is here for you. Never will He leave you, nor forsake you. You are welcome in His presence - even if you are not okay -because the truth remains the same: He cares for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shekinah is a creator for the Creator. She is in the constant pursuit of living up to her name, by bringing glory to God in whatever she does.