by: Taylor Steen, Summer Staff 2015
If you've ever seen that girl who has cried over Taco Bell being out of Baja Blast, it's probably been me. Sorry if that made your drive-thru wait a little longer.
Despite being very expressive with my emotions, I've always been quick to dismiss my feelings and problems based on feeling like an inconvenience. While I've never had a problem with being open and sharing my feelings, I tend to immediately feel guilty, like the person I'm speaking with didn't care to hear the full story of why I ended up crying at the end of a frustrating day. I deemed myself as being "too sensitive," or I was letting things get to me more than I should have. Partnering this insecurity with harsh anxiety issues from a young age quickly adds up to a heavy burden.
Nobody wants to be the friend that always has something to complain about. This semester, as my worries grew over potentially becoming that person, so did my frustration with myself. I began to cycle through an emotional circle beginning with a feeling of sadness, feeling of guilt for expressing that sadness, and then feeling frustrated with myself for not being able to "handle" my emotions. It felt like I was trapped in my own head: Certainly Jesus wanted me to lay these burdens at his feet, but how do you do that when the burden is your own heart?
I think often hitting rock bottom is one of the biggest blessings we as Christians can experience. Reaching a point of absolute inability to handle situations puts into perspective how we are not meant to handle this world alone. As the stresses of classes, leadership involvement, and my relationships began to overwhelm me this semester I found myself crying out to the Lord for help, and then immediately feeling upset that I wasn't "strong enough" or didn't "trust God enough" to remedy my hurting heart. It took an evening on the bathroom floor and desperate prayers to slowly realize that feelings are not a sin, and that the Lord comforts all.
I've seen a story floating around on the internet of an illustration of a rose being thrown on the ground, stepped on, and crushed as a metaphor for sin, and how those that allow sin to torment them are changed. The story then states that the speaker asked "Now who would want this flower? Nobody!" all while the listener is crying out internally “No! Jesus wants that rose!”
Jesus wants our issues. He wants us in all our imperfections and our frustrations, even our frustrations with ourselves. He wants me to bring my intense emotions to his feet and to "cast all my anxiety on him" (1 Peter 5:7). Definitely easier said than done, but thankfully we serve a God willing to show us each step of the way as we move on.
I don't always consider it joy to experience suffering. More often than not, I'm sulking in the corner and eating queso as comfort food rather than singing praises. But Jesus calls us to act beyond what our immediate responses and emotions prompt us to do and turn to him for comfort in all things.
And sometimes, that means being ok with being the girl tearing up in the drive-thru. As long as they don't run out of tacos.
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About the Author:
Taylor is a rising Junior at Mercer studying English, Spanish and secondary education. She hopes to one day teach High School English. We are excited she will be working this summer on our summer camp staff for the first time after being a camper for 5 years.
Follow her on social media as @taylor_steen at check out her personal blog yourbreathmybones.wordpress.com