What is it about emotions? I understand that everyone has them, from the time we’re young and defiant, until the time we are aging and on our way out of this world; we are in a constant battle with our emotions. The grasp that emotions can have on us is quite honestly one of the scariest things I can think of.
Lately it seems this world is spinning out of control, running on 100% emotion. And trust me when I say this: I am right there in step with the rest of the world. I am finding it harder and harder to respond rather than react. In moments when life just seems too much and so many things are tugging me in a million different directions; I react in my full emotion more often than I care to admit. Usually in some ridiculous outburst that if we closed our eyes we would think my 2 year old was the one reacting this way, and not a full grown adult.
There is something strange that happens to you when you’re constantly in the thick of barreling through the emotions of a full time attached 7 month old, strong willed 2 year old, a eager to learn 4 year old and also a very independent 6 year old. It seems I am constantly telling someone that the way they reacted was not kind, good, or life giving. Some days it just seems like I am a referee in an emotional battle that I can’t even see around me. It’s so thick and heavy, like a fog surrounding every aspect of my day, and no matter what I do I can’t seem to drag my children out of it, or especially myself.
It’s amazing really, how God can use the most mundane thing, like watching a dog mother her babies to bring you back to reality. I sit and I watch, not in emotion, not in anything but awe, as I sit still and I watch my Indi mother her babies. Here she sits, with 5 newborns and lets be honest to any human being with 5 newborns we would have emotionally combusted at the amount of due diligence it would take to keep those 5 babies alive and happy. But not my Indi. I’ve watched Indi mother 9 newborns at one time and I’ve watched her with less. Each time when I sit still and just watch her, I realize that my life doesn’t need to be on the brink of emotional combustion the way that the world examples to me.
You see, Indi isn’t affected by how many people know she’s just become a momma again. She isn’t affected that there are people literally dancing because she is an amazing mom raising her babies to hopefully join their own home one day. She isn’t affected by how many likes she gets whenever I post about her. She isn’t affected by anything that doesn’t involve what has been set before her to tend to.
Currently Indi’s life has changed quite drastically from her normal romps around the yard and walks with mom. But it hasn’t changed for the worst. Her life has simply changed course of what she’s called to do for the moment, because God has blessed her with 5 beautiful babies to nurture and grow.
So when I sit still and I just watch, I watch Indi head tilt at her newborn babies and look at me with what I swear are literal tears in her eyes filled with joy; I know that it’s my own joy I’m choosing to see through her eyes. For her, she simply has a new task at hand. Feed the babies, clean the babies, make sure the babies stay warm and safe. It really is that simple for her. But I sit here, and I make it so much more complex and complicated simply because I am filled with emotions.
How often do I look at my life, and the tasks God has laid before me and I over complicated and “over emotion” them if you will. I can’t even begin to tell you, because as much as I want to be that person who isn’t affected by emotion, I am not. I have to work daily. And I truly mean daily, to keep God in the forefront of my life and my emotions in the background. I’m in a constant battle to let Christ lead my life and not my emotions. Everyday I am called to slay my flesh for the sake of others, sadly most days I’m a lot more like my 2 year old in constant outbursts than I’d like to admit. When I sit still and I watch Indi simply thrive at what is set before her, I can’t help but be inspired when I read Galatians and what I’m called to do daily:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
So often my emotions stop me from moving forward. So often I react and not respond. So often I fail to crucify my flesh when I am hurt or rejected. When I see someone who I assume needs my help, I move forward in the direction of helping and in return receive a resounding “STOP.” “STOP.” When all I am simply trying to do is help, in my heart the rejection of not wanting my help, the rejection and the loud way that I am able to read in that persons eyes “You’re not welcome here.” Causes me to react in emotional hurt. Instead of respond by choosing to see the situation as something I simply need to back away from and not be hurt. Sometimes serving looks like giving someone much needed space.
If only I didn’t overcomplicate life. If only I could see life in black and white and take the battles of emotions off the table. If only I was able to view my life as Indi views hers. If only. Because when I do, then I can truly live. So I will continue to fight and strive to live a life that is not lead by my emotions; regardless of how hard that is some days.
When I view my life as simply as Indi does, when I don’t overcomplicate what’s set before me or over “emotionalize” it. Live to give and not receive, to serve and not be served, then I am truly living a Christ filled life.