Grateful for Growth: Filling vs. Feeling
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
My feelings cannot be trusted. One day I'm skipping along without a worry in the world; then the very next day, I might be carrying the weight of this world on my shoulders. Things that sway my emotions range from fatigue, hormones, outside circumstances, inner wrestlings, discouragement in the present, or fear of the future. If I operated from these feelings, I know I wouldn't be writing to you right now.
By God's grace and patience, He has kindly grown me in His word, and for that I am grateful. Over time, meaning years of slow maturing, He has taught me to daily rely more on the FILLING of His word rather than the FEELING of my emotions. I'm getting stronger in this practice--mainly because I've had to practice it often! I am learning to not only fill up with His truth but also to claim it AS TRUTH, no matter how I feel at the moment.
For example, I tend to deal with fear and discouragement that can easily spiral into a depressed spirit. UGH, it's like walking in thick fog sometimes; let me say UGH again! BUT, in this unpleasant place I am learning to speak promises that God has made to me in His word. The specific growth spurt I have had recently is that I am claiming these truths with more UMPH than I have in my past. God's word is true, and my feelings can be so very false. So, UMPH over UGH is my goal each time the fog sets in! "He lights my lamp; He illumines my darkness" (Psalm 18:28).
One of my life verses is this: "Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be be dismayed; for the Lord God, my God is with you; He will not fail you nor forsake you..." (1 Chronicles 28:20). To put this filling- rather-than-feeling strategy to practice, I say something like, "God I may not feel You right now, but You promise that YOU ARE WITH ME, so I trust You to be here right this second." Or I might say, "God, I feel like You have walked out of this situation. I know that You promise me that YOU WILL NOT LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME, so I trust that You are standing right here by my side. I'm leaning into Your strong support." No matter how I feel, no matter if my circumstances change or not, I'm determined, by faith, to stand steady in His strength, allowing the light of His word to fill my dark places--even if the dark stays dark in the realm of my emotions. My feelings may not change, but my mindset has been filled with His light.
I'm still in the learning process, but I'm grateful for the growth thus far. I know that I will have the opportunity to battle again and again. I need Him, and He promises to hold my hand and walk by my side in the highs and lows, and in the sunshine and in the fog of my days. I believe and rely on this truth. Filling not feeling, it's a Way of Life.
For further reading: Psalm 42:11; Ephesians 3:16-19; John 17:17
I love you with all my heart, and I know that You love me with all of Yours (because Your word promises me this!). Thank you for Your patience and Your kindness that wraps around me, always. Keep teaching me to both cling to and fight with the truth of Your word. Be the light within my soul that never goes out. In Jesus name, Amen.