I'm feeling all out of sorts today. Maybe it was the funeral and the sadness that looms and the quiet sobs that carry beyond those walls. Perhaps it's the rain and the overcast fall sky. Or the fact that my original blog got trashed and unable to be recovered unless you're more tech-savvy than myself.
But here I am, all of it combined and feeling off-kilter and not knowing what I need at this moment.
If there is anything that life and my experiences have taught me, it's this: Feelings are both our most loyal friend and our greatest enemy. Or as a friend of mine says, great passengers and terrible drivers.
I am grateful for those tricky emotions that we have. Grateful to be able to experience the gift of loving and being loved. Is there anything better? Grateful for the ability to feel empathy and compassion towards others who are hurting. Grateful for the thrill that joy brings in those moments when the world feels exactly as it should be, even if they seem far and few between. And I've learned to be grateful for sorrow and heartbreak because, without it, my heart would be dwarfed somehow and lacking the balm that brings healing to another.
My feelings have been a good friend to me. They are a signal worth paying attention to and pausing long enough for consideration. They have helped me avert danger on more than one occasion, alerting me when something feels off. They have exposed areas in my heart that need healing, like a teacher pointing to the chalkboard towards an equation I might have missed.
They are also my greatest enemy at times. There have been too many times they have lied to me and wasted energy. How many times have I avoided a conversation because I just knew it would not end well? Only for all of my "just knowing" to be proved entirely wrong and being handed humility instead. How many times have I allowed fear to consume me over things that never actually happened?
There was a girl in high school that I used to watch from afar. Not in a creepy stalker kind of way. I admired her. I thought she was beautiful and had perfect curls and good taste in fashion and carried herself so well. And I always felt as though I paled in comparison. She was prettier and smarter and way cooler than me, sitting two rows over in a long season of bad bangs.
We grew up and graduated and embraced all the adulting things, and there came a day when I found out that she was looking at me and thinking the same thing.
There are times when I fall silent because my feelings have told me I don't have important things to say and that my voice is not needed, only to get a message from someone who tells me that my letters during one of my darkest times have been a lifeline to her.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Guard your heart, my friend. Examine those feelings when you have them. Take them to the One who knows everything you are thinking and feeling and loves you anyway. Ask for direction and wisdom. Whatever you do, don't believe every thought that you think and every feeling it produces. Worth considering, yes. Not always worth believing.
You are worth it. Your children who are learning to navigate the world by watching you are worth it. And there's a waiting world that needs the good that can flow from you.