How We Feel

One of the great tools I've learned over the years when talking with loved ones about conflict, is to use the phrase, "I feel like..." This is extremely helpful when walking through hard conversations, because it removes the edge of accusation that can at times be interpreted when talking through hard circumstances. A statement like, "you don't care how this affects me." Changes to "I feel like you aren't showing care for me in this situation." It doesn't take away conflict, but it sure makes it easier to handle. 

The reason why this works so well, is when we talk, we are talking about how we feel about a situation. We aren't claiming to have total authority or insight on a matter, we are simply saying we saw, what we thought, and what we feel. These are all important and valuable perspectives, but we can all admit, that doesn't make them absolute truth. 

That's the thing about feelings though, they aren't true or false factually, they are simply real. We should never ignore or dismiss our feelings, nor anyone else's. That being said, we also should not be ruled or led by them alone.

Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

I know that passage is in the context of some bigger things, and it's not one that should be plucked out lightly, but the essence of this is so true. I like to think of myself as someone who tries to see farther than my own circumstance, and considers others in addition to myself; but when I'm upset or when I feel cornered, some unkind things can well up inside me. 

Why do I say all this? This week, you and I are going to face ups and downs, whether in feeling or in circumstance, and we have a choice as to how we respond and move forward through them. My encouragement to you is, face them head on, don't dismiss them, but allow truth, particularly the truth of God's Word to be louder than the feelings in the moment.

You feel dismissed or insignificant to someone? Matthew 10:29-31 says that God's heart and mind is on every person, and nothing happens outside His gaze. 

You feel lonely? John 14:18-21 says that God sent His Spirit to us, so that we would never ever be alone, He is with you always.

Your feelings matter, and they are worthy of being listened to; and your God loves you more than you could know, and He is able to sustain you through any circumstance.