Today I woke with the thoughts of how easy it would be to live on an island of emotion. There is a certain comfort and familiarity with emotions that we feel so intensely; fear, anger, sadness, isolation, un-forgiveness..... These emotions can almost seem like a "best friend".
I am not afraid of emotion. I welcome the emotions that have become such an integral part of my life in the past four weeks because they remind me that I am alive! The loss that amplified my emotions has forced me to feel more deeply than ever before. Some might be tempted to run away from these emotions, some might hold on to them much too tightly. I feel like God is teaching me to receive them, feel them and then allow Him to replace them with Himself.
I go through my day and all of a sudden an emotion grabs hold of me. The other day Luke and Tom and I were in the car and Luke was driving. (No, I'm not going to talk about the emotion, FEAR!) I was in the back seat enjoying the "normal" bantering back and forth and all of a sudden the memory of the police coming to tell us Ryan had died came rushing through my mind. It was a dart out of nowhere. I immediately teared up and started sniffling. I found myself being carried out on an island of sorrow with no warning. I closed my eyes, took it in and cried out to the Lord silently for comfort. I felt Him saying, "I'm here. I'll always be here. It is o.k. to miss Ryan....but he is right here by me. He loves you." It took me about 5 minutes to let this all wash through me. I then came back to Luke and Tom in the front seat and felt thankful for my beautiful son and strong husband. Their lives and God's comfort brought me back off the island and onto the mainland.
I'm no expert but it feels like this is a good way to handle these emotional storms that land me on an island by myself. I let them come, spend some time on the island but then allow God's healing touch and the here and now to bring me back to the mainland. Some days it might take longer than other days to get back, and that is o.k. Some days I might need my husband or family or friends to help bring me back. I am so blessed to have friends and family that allow me to experience my pain and my emotions and are there to hug me and bring me back onto the mainland when I am ready.
What I don't want to happen is to be stuck on an emotional island, not because feeling emotions are a bad and weak thing, but because when I am on an island by myself, I am on an island by myself. I am alienating all those around me. I've known others to camp out on islands of fear, anger, sadness, un-forgiveness, etc. and as they clung to their island you could see the destruction take place around them.
I don't want to be best friends with my emotions....I want to be best friends with Jesus and with the family and friends He has put in my life.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
II Corinthians 1:3-5