Permission to Feel Your Feelings - Girlfriends in God - May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016
Permission to Feel Your Feelings
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

There is a time for everything … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)

Friend to Friend

Last month my dad had his first birthday in heaven. He would’ve been 71. {I’m happy for him. Sad for me.}

In a few weeks my son will don a high school cap and gown and will leave our home late this summer for a grand new adventure in college. {I’m happy for him. Sad for me.}

One of my closest and dearest friends in all the world will soon post a sign in her yard, pack up her Carolina living, and move to another state because her husband accepted a great job offer.  {I’m happy for them. Sad for me.}

Goodbyes can wallop quite a sting. Like a sucker punch to the jawline. An upper cut to the gut.

My feelings of sorrow are real. Raw. Strong. {I wonder if perhaps they are even a bit selfish.}

For a long time, I used to just take deep breaths and move on. I built invisible walls. Constructed high places emotionally to keep the pain away from my heart. Confident, if not comfortable, that this is what strong Christian women do. We pray, strap on courage, and move forward. Chin up. God’s got this. Right?

In the past I’d glance toward sorrow, but would rarely invite her to walk beside me as I processed pain.

Not anymore.

Because I’ve come to realize that sometimes I just need to cry.

God wired us with emotions and I am learning to allow them to accompany me on the road of life instead of pretending they don’t exist or really matter.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote about the gamut of minutes, months, and murk that all of humanity must navigate. 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

His Word provides the bounce of perspective I need. It picks me up. Takes my hand and urges me forward. Leads me to His presence. Gives me permission to feel, to be sad. His grace gives the strength I need to handle the hard emotions. His compassion calmly covers my aches as I go to Him in prayer.

The Bible tells us to give thanks in everything. And that God has treasures hidden in dark places that can be found when we search for them. I consider this and choose to thank God in the midst of my grieving. There’s a power in praise that doesn’t negate sorrow, but does soothe and soften it. {TWEET this}

As I lift my weary heart to His, I am held by a loving Comforter who catches tears and willingly shares in sadness. And the prayer of my heart becomes…

Lord, Thank you for allowing me to know and love my father for 45 years. Thank you for the love we shared as a family. Thank you for the hope I have in Christ that he is in Your presence even now. And thank you for my son Preston. Thank you for allowing me to be his mama. Thank you for the ability You have given him to think, reason and dream. Thank You for the amazing plan You have for his life. Help him to walk on the path You are paving for him. Thank you for my precious bestie. Thank You for the depth and joy she adds to my life. Thank You for providing her husband a job and for the opportunity she will have to make new friends and bless a new community with the brightness You fashioned within her. You give and take away. I bless Your great name, trust Your heart, and give you praise today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are compassionate and loving. You know the details of my life and the burdens of my heart. I bring them to You now and give You thanks. (Fill in the following blanks with personal responses related to your biggest struggles.) Thank you for _________________ and for  ___________________ and for _________________. I choose to trust You in the good and the bad.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

If you took one of your current sorrows or stressors and gave thanks to God in the midst of it, what would you say? Write your answer on my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

offerI Want It ALLis now available! This new book by Gwen Smith will help narrow the gap between average ordinary living and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word. We are meant to be women of impact who expect great things and move in the power and grace of Jesus. That’s the message of I Want It ALL. Order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.comor your favorite retailer.

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Originally published Thursday, 19 May 2016.