A few of you may have noticed that I’ve not posted a blog in a long while. A lot has happened since then, in particular, last November I got a new job, moved house & got engaged in the space of a week!! What with commuting to work, planning our wedding & doing normal life, I’ve been quite busy. But that was not the main reason I’d not been writing blogs. Since all this change happened in my life, I struggled a lot with my emotions, & struggled to be my true self. & the thing is, there were no particular circumstances that appeared to be causing this – in fact my life had been really good, at least on an external level. But internally I felt overwhelmed by my emotions, & was struggling to process them. I’d become afraid of my emotions, scared of being left alone to face them, & struggled to connect with God, because time alone with God forced me to face up to my emotions. The passion for God I once had seemed to have vanished, & it felt like a part of me was missing. But God kept finding ways of getting through to me, as He always does, & I slowly found strength to keep moving forward.
Mike has been an amazing support to me; always showing love to me in whatever state I’m in & always trying to work out how to support me better. He has been a safe place for me where I have freedom to just be. But I started to realise that this was too big for us to handle alone; that we needed others fighting this with us. It was difficult to open up to others, as it was hard enough trying to work out what’s going on inside me, let alone explaining that to others. But it was very useful to talk to friends about it, as it helped me stop feeling as isolated & gain some new perspectives for how to find a way through it. My friends helped me to realise that I’m not powerless against my emotions or the thoughts that drive them, but that I can change my thinking using God’s Word.
However, I was still afraid of my emotions & frustrated with myself whenever I struggled to face them. When I read the ‘I will not live in fear’ chapter in Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer, I realised that a lot of my emotional issues were to do with fear & that God was using this situation to deal with these fears. This chapter explained that ‘feeling fear is simply the temptation to run away from what we should face & confront’, but that ‘courage is not the absence of fear, it is progress in its presence’. God was challenging me to be strong & courageous in the midst of my emotions, but instead I felt weak & timid. However, I’ve had to learn that being strong & courageous is not about how I feel, but it’s a decision to refuse to live in fear. It’s about trusting God & relying on His strength so that I can face my emotions rather than run away from them.
I also kept feeling frustrated with myself that I wasn’t who I wanted to be. My heart was, and still is, to be someone who lives for God & not for myself, someone who really invests in others & seeks to make a difference in their lives, but I did not see that happening. I wanted to be hungry for God, but I would get distracted seeking after other things instead of God, as this was my coping mechanism. But God kept reminding me of who I really am – that I am strong & courageous, an overcomer, someone who lives out of love, even though it didn’t feel like it. He told me that though I felt I was not who I wanted to be, that actually I’m so much more than I can imagine. That by His grace He doesn’t see my failings, He only sees all who I could be.
One time at church I felt God saying to me that this season of emotional struggle was coming to an end, & later my parents were saying this to me too. One of the things I had found difficult was not knowing how long this season would last; there was no definite end point & I had lost hope of coming out of it. At first I struggled to believe that this season would be ending soon, & I started feeling angry with God that He could expect me to rely on Him & keep seeking Him when He was not giving me the strength I needed to do so. But in the midst of this, I still chose to keep worshipping Him and trusting Him as much as I could. The next morning, I heard UCB Word for Today on the radio, and the message was just what I needed to hear. It was comparing spiritual growth to a woman being in labour, & I realised that I was struggling so much because I was spiritually in a time of labour. I felt God was telling me through this message that this very painful time of labour was coming to an end & it will be worth it, as I am giving birth to something very special. & just like having a baby, what will come forth through this time will change everything. Once this hit home for me, it brought me so much hope & helped me to see purpose in my pain.
This revelation brought breakthrough in my life, & I felt connected to God once again & much happier for a short while. But it is still a work in progress learning to manage my emotions. When my emotions dropped again I reminded myself that I have power over my emotions & I don’t have to let them have power over me. But though I still struggle with being controlled by my emotions, it has been easier to connect with God, & I’m finding real joy in worshipping God again. One of the things I found most difficult earlier this year was that worship was often very painful to do, as for most of my life worship was often where I found my greatest joy. Worship is the main way I express myself most deeply & find my true voice. The focus of worship should be to bring glory to God, rather than for any selfish reasons, & I think God really honours when we worship Him even when we don’t feel like it & when it is painful to do. But it has been wonderful rediscovering the joys & the power of worship.
I’ve recently been desiring to find my first love for God again, & I’m starting to find it. I’m starting to worship God when I’m tired instead of getting distracted with other things some of the time. I’ve been particularly impacted by the song “So will I” by Hillsong United; it very beautifully describes God’s power & awesomeness as the Creator of the universe, how all things were created to bring Him glory & of the heart of God for all of us. It has deeply challenged me to live my life as worship to God & to have a heart like His.
Power Thoughts – Joyce Meyer: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Power-Thoughts-12-Strategies-Win-Battle-Mind/144470270X
“Keys to Spiritual Growth” – UCB Word for Today: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today-49425.html
So will I – Hillsong United: https://youtu.be/oLURTvUQoTM