Monday, November 28, 2016

All The Feels.

I logged into my blogger account just for the heck of it. I wanted to see if words would come given the opportunity. I noticed I had become eerily quiet over the past 5ish months and even more so over the past few weeks. I wondered why. I don't have any real agenda of playing hide and seek. It just sort of happened.

As I hopped over to this long neglected blog space of mine, I notice the last post I had written was titled "Moving to Stars Hollow." It seemed ironic given the fact that (probably) like you, I just finished the "Year In The Life" Gilmore Girls Revival on Netflix. The gist of what I had written back in July was an effort to discern the truth from the lies that satan feeds us. The lies that make us want to pack our bags and skip town to something quieter with less responsibility. Some place like Stars Hollow.

I was feeling disappointment and fear setting in and I was getting an itch to hop the metaphorical red eye, abandon it all in hopes for greener, softer, quieter grass. I've never been a bigger, better, flashier kind of girl. I prefer smaller and quieter. Though I never really would do it, the thought of disappearing from the radar entertained me for some time. However, in my many years of life as a Christian, I know enough to know the main way satan works is in our mind. So I dealt with all the feels and I wrote it out in that post. To remind myself and remind you that that thing that you are feeling, and I am feeling... all those feels, they might not be the best reason to abandon ship and not only that, abandon your crew. Because as we are tiptoeing through this minefield of emotion, sometimes we can lack the true discernment of the Holy Spirit if we are not careful. What we see and hear and fear and think we know may have captured our attention far more than His still small voice.

These past few weeks have had me pondering life once again as I've weighed the ups and downs of life and ministry. Where do I fit in, what should I say, when should I say it, or should I say anything at all? Am I called to speak up or just sit on the sidelines. As Christians, we do carry an incredible treasure within us, so I don't believe that quiet is ever a life long calling. In fact, the Word encourages the opposite-to speak boldly. Yet in these past weeks, between our car getting stolen and family members suddenly passing away, I kept hearing the exact words that Jess Connolly and Haley Morgan talk so much about to women. "You're too much. You're not enough."
And it seems as though it's not enough to just feel one way. Somehow the enemy gets you to believe both of them at the very same time. 
Your personality is too much for them to handle. They just don't get you and besides that you don't have what it takes to defend and honor the Word and the truth. You are too much. You are not enough.

So I was feeling a little lost, I suppose. 

What is Life?

I could hear Shakespeare louder than the Holy Spirit.
Life's but a walking shadow. A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

It's a lie. And a depressing one.
Yet these similar thoughts have fed my emotions for awhile now. And without even realizing it, I could feel myself slip quietly into the abyss.

Then I watched it. The Gilmore Girls Revival. I looked forward to it for months. The fast talking, upbeat, lighthearted dramedy full of quick wit that made me mostly giggle for seven seasons. And this past weekend, my heart sunk. Lorelai, Rory, Emily. They were all wandering. Shakespeare's dismal words were being played out before my somewhat bored and tear brimmed eyes. The Gilmore Girls- they had plans and hopes and dreams. I thought all was ok. Yet nine years later, no one was really happy.  No one was fulfilled. And to top it off, I had to sit through that awful 15 minute musical. Actually I didn't sit through it, because I fast forwarded through it and could hardly believe that 15 minutes later it was still going.

If that was what Stars Hollow was like 9 years later, I'm over it. Take me back to the city. I still love Gilmore Girls, but I felt strangely unhinged given my already misguided apprehensions as of late. I sunk a little lower. Silly, maybe. But it happened, so...

As I sat in church this past Sunday morning and peered around at the small and quiet Thanksgiving weekend congregation, that feeling crept back in. That 'what is life' feeling. Or maybe it was a 'whats the point' feeling. 
Either way, I made a decision right then and there that these momentary feelings were fleeting. But the Word of the Lord endures forever. I was determined to check out of the feelings realm and into the faith realm. Feelings do not change the word of God. The Word of God is what changes our feelings. Whether it is preached in an auditorium of thousands, taught in a congregation of a hundred or read quietly in a room of one, The Word of God is alive. And if we choose to receive and apply it, it will not only change our perspective in circumstances, but it has the power to change the circumstances.

My dad has been teaching a series on being led by God's spirit.  With lots of examples and stories that myself and most of our congregation has heard a dozen or more times. But to me, it really clicked this week. I couldn't help but think that this is one of the most important things that a Christian need to know. But not many of us really do.
So many of us are still led by our feelings. Our hurt feelings. Our sad feelings. Our offended feelings. Our bored feelings. Our inspired feelings. Our motivated feelings. Our confused feelings.

But feelings change, obviously.
And feelings lie.
Circumstances change. Culture changes. Times change. Society changes. Moods change.

But the Word of God is steadfast and strong.
His protection and provision is readily available to those who will listen to His voice. Our feelings are in our head. If Gilmore Girls can control how we feel, it may not be best to map out our lives according to them -our feelings, not Gilmore Girls... (though I wouldn't suggest mapping out your life with Gilmore Girls in mind either, especially Rory).

His Word is (should be) in our heart. And His Spirit lives within us. That is where we need to pay attention. 

And I'm ready. I'm ready to look deep. I'm ready to listen carefully. I'm ready to ask for wisdom and discernment. I'm ready to know the difference between my feelings and His spirit actually leading me. I'm ready to be obedient when he says go and stop when He says no.

That is the safest place to be. All of my trust in the Lord. Never leaning to my own understanding.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

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