Emotions…We All Have Them

Have you ever thought about all the different emotions you can experience in one day; if not one hour or even one minute?  Emotions are sometimes like thoughts, they can jump all over the place in an atomic minute much like thoughts passing through our minds. No wonder when we feel (no pun intended!) mentally tired it seems more exhausting than when we are physically tired from a good day’s labor.  Back in 1980, Dr. James Dobson wrote a book entitled, “Emotions, Can You Trust Them?”  I was only twenty-four-years old at the time with three daughters all under the ages of five (twins and a baby daughter eighteen months younger).  With all of the energies going on within me and around me, I had cause to experience a lot of various emotions, so I jumped at the chance to read his book.  At the same time, I was also employed as a full-time medical transcriptionist, insurance clerk, and receptionist when needed. I even helped out in the back with patient care when things got backed up.  On one particular day, the doctor came to my desk and told me that he needed someone to stand in with him while he performed a pap smear on a patient.  The other two nurses were taking care of patients, and he needed someone with him in the room. So, I cheerfully accepted his invitation only to walk into the room to find an older woman, much endowed, lying on the exam table fully exposed!  I wasn’t exactly prepared for that emotional thought! The doctor didn’t cringe one bit as he simply pulled the sheet over her exposed body and began the breast examination followed by the pap smear. I stood quietly trying to look as professional and confident as possible.  As he went about the exam, the older woman started up a conversation. She told the doctor that being modest had gone out of her life many years ago after giving birth to eight children.  She continued to talk and to talk and to talk as I nodded and smiled sweetly.  Then, he asked me to give him the culture slide from off the tray.  After quickly putting on a set of exam gloves, I held the slide as he took the swab and swiped the glass slide, then I carefully placed the slide back on the sterile tray. Truthfully, I was seeing a whole lot more than I had ever intended only seeing in my life time!  Thankfully, within minutes, the exam was over and he dismissed me back to my desk. I remember walking back into the hall,taking a very deep breath, and hoping to never repeat that experience again! But, I did. Actually, over the next several years, I became quite familiar with patient care and even trained at the nearby hospital as a lab tech. My various duties in the medical field eventually landed me a great job as hospital admitting manager and emergency room registrar supervisor at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  My office was located directly across the hall from the trauma center.  Each and every day brought forth new and exciting adventures; some, however, extremly devastating. I thought I would never leave the medical field; as I loved it very much. But, life changed for me abruptly when my husband accepted his first church as Pastor. Trying to juggle being a wife, mother to three daughters, housework, a very demanding job, and the newly acquired “expected” duties of being a pastor’s wife was a tad more than I could manage. So, I eventually left the medical field, stepped way down in salary, and accepted a job as a para-pro at the high school where my daughters would be attending.  At the time, little, did I know that I would eventually go on to college to get my teaching degree. My previous roles and positions in the medical field seemed like a life-time ago as I learned to be a new pastor’s wife and a teacher’s aid; a job that was quite different from the daily life and death situations of the ER I had grown accustomed. No wonder I clung to Dr. Dobson’s book for support. I was experiencing all kinds of feelings and emotions; and truthfully, some resentments as well. After all, I had given up the job I had loved to take on a less glamorous job in order to be more available to my husband, family, and his church. I don’t believe anyone realized the sacrifices I was making at the time.  Yet, all those around me felt I should be completely joyous and happy to be serving along side of my husband. At times I was; at times I wasn’t. It was a heart thing and with a “heart” thing comes emotions. So, I wasn’t sure which emotions to trust and which ones not to trust. I believe this type of emotional roller-coaster can take on a life of its own; I know mine did.  Over the next thirty years, and three churches, two degrees, and nine grandchildren later, I still have difficulties at times dealing with feelings and emotions.  I think we all do. But, I have learned which ones I can trust and which ones I should avoid. Anger and bitterness and resentment can only cause self-inflicted pain and wounds. It’s better to turn such emotions over to God in a hurry before they take hold and create a bumper crop of other negative feelings and emotions.  It would be nice if we could all walk around with a “Mary Poppins” disposition and see all things through rose-colored glasses with cherries on top. But, I’ve learned over the years that feelings and emotions can also be a catalyst to dig deeper into our souls to find out what is really and truly bothering us; a window to the soul. Today, you might be dealing with a plethora of emotions that seem to be overwhelming to you. Stop; and take the time to listen to your soul…find time alone with God and tell him how you are feeling…tell him you are hurting, disappointed, fearful, angry, unsure, or worried. After all, He already knows what you are feeling; he’s just waiting to hear from you asking for His help, assurance, and guidance.  Also, when dealing with a lot of negative emotions, try reading, meditating, and applying Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, THINK on these things. (KJV).  Sometimes, it requries our lining our emotions, thoughts, and feelings up with the Word of God to know which emotions we can trust and which ones we can’t. Today, I hope you are experiencing the feelings of true authentic joy and happiness, but no doubt some of you may be experiencing feelings of sadness, fearfulness, or lonliness. No matter what emotions you are feeling, you can be assured that God knows and understands and is waiting to see you through. Emotions…We All Have Them… 

Remember, God Loves You

Lin T. Rollins, Author

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