Emotional Self-Care for the Holidays

I love how the Lord is not afraid of our emotions. It’s ok to feel forgotten, angry, betrayed, belittled. As soon as we recognize emotions like that, we often try to stuff and hide them.

Maybe this will help you see your emotions in a new light today. Maybe those emotions are an invitation to drawing nearer to the Lord… NOT an excuse to avoid Him. As my friend Erika has taught me…

Your emotions are real, but they are not necessarily truth.

Feeling forgotten or betrayed or wronged is real. And I love how David was so honest in feeling that way. And then, I love how David models to us how he preached to himself the truth regardless of his emotions and situations. First, we need to be honest with God about it and then preach to ourselves what is true.

Our goal for healthy soul self-care is to acknowledge the reality of our emotions AND the truth of our God. (When we acknowledge the reality of our emotions, that helps us avoid self-condemning for feeling a certain way or stuffing it or ignoring it or blowing up about feeling certain emotions.)

Psalm 31 is a good example of this soul care. King David goes back and forth… I feel forgotten. You Lord don’t forget me. I feel forgotten. You don’t forget me.

David’s honest with how he feels:

Psalm 31:12

“I am forgotten as though I were dead;

I have become like broken pottery.”

And two verses later, David preaches to himself what’s truth:

Psalm 31:14-16

“But I trust in you, Lord;

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hands;

deliver me from the hands of my enemies,

from those who pursue me.

Let your face shine on your servant;

save me in your unfailing love.

This is a good model for tending to our own hearts.

Your emotions are real, but they are not necessarily truth.

Emotions Challenge:

Be honest with the Lord today about those emotions you may have been trying to avoid, hide or stuff. Just figure out how you really feel about the heavy stuff that has been going on in your life lately. Maybe you have been trying to keep busy to avoid them. How is that going to go when a family member triggers that wounded place that you haven’t dealth with yet? Just saying. When you figure out what’s really going on with you, then simply tell God about it. You’re going to feel so much better when you release that to Him. And, it’s going to set you up well for spending time with your family over the holidays because you won’t have all those extra things you haven’t really dealt with weighting you down. You’ll be free to be present instead of spending lots of your coping abilities on continuing to bottle those emotions.

Proverbs 24:26

An honest answer

    is like a kiss on the lips.

Honesty with God is intimate, sweet, and pleasant. Don’t be afraid to tell Him where you are really at. Most of my breakthroughs in healing began right there, bawling on the floor, at long last being honest with how I really felt about the situation.

Truth Challenge:

I also challenge you to follow up getting all that yuck out with a cool glass of “ginger ale.” Wash the taste out of your mouth with His Word. Seek the Lord and His Word today for what is truth.

Proverbs 16:24

Kind words are like honey—

    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Be kind to your soul today.

Speak what you feel. Get the yuck out. Enjoy that safe place of intimacy.

Then speak what’s true. Enjoy the sweet aftertaste of the Lord’s Words over you and who you are and how He sees you and how He’s caring for you.

In a few days, I’m going to follow up with you. Christmas morning seems fitting. I’ll be sharing what you need to remember when you feel forgotten. Until then, practice this first step I shared today. Your soul is worth the time you spend giving it a little TLC.

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