I recently had a colorful conversation with a friend of mine who related to me how horrible the last few years had been for him. From 2016 till present day, it had been nothing but a string of death, disappointments, financial struggles, break ups, separations, cancer battles and car accidents. He went on for a while, but at one point in the middle of the conversation, he continued, “Over the winter, you said, I got this feeling that this will be our year. We’re gonna take some serious wins and come out with the last laugh. Well, since then, my sister died, I lost my job, I’m broke and the kids are sick.” Let me clarify, when he related this information to me, he said it with humor, which made me laugh hysterically, because I do recall the conversation and me telling him I have a really good feeling about this year (2018). At the time, our life situations weren’t going quite the way we thought it would, but even though it appeared that way in the natural, spiritually it gave me the feeling of endless hope. Romans 11:1 comes to mind, when Paul said, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” With all we face on any given day, how could we not activate our faith in God to handle life’s complexities?

Our human emotions can be deceptive. When faced with any harsh situation, from being treated unfairly to death, our emotions naturally consumes us. As an emotion driven society, we are always on the look out for the next big thing that will boost our endorphins. Seeking thrills is what makes us feel alive and the desire to feel alive is what we relate to happiness. Should happiness elude us, we search for it or we choose from our limited options to canoodle with happiness. Confusion of happiness often plagued me during the height of my marriage. I was a new heir to two kids and neither came with a manual. My husband was and is a wonderful dad, but like me, he too felt lost. So, with the feelings of lost came weariness. Weariness lead to loneliness and soon, questions of happiness surfaced. I questioned my role as a step parent, whether or not the children appreciated me, whether or not my husband will love me long after the kids were grown and on their own. I lost count of times I was tempted to runaway from home, without any particular destination. It’s obvious I didn’t succumb to those feelings, which looking back, were deceptive. The feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and isolation tested all my relationships, manifesting itself in different ways. Inadequacy left me becoming a people pleaser and the “yes girl”. Loneliness left me regressing back to old boyfriends because they desired me. In times of solitude, I berated myself  questioning my role as a wife and mother. In hindsight, all were lies the enemy whispered to me every second.

I’ve seen how the deception of our human emotions get the best of my loved ones. There really aren’t much we can do when the ones we love and care for fall victim to it. Father God “gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 Therefore, if our God gave us such power and self control, why do we not use it? Imagine how many relationships could’ve been saved if only we had the will power and self control to not be lured by such feelings? How many times have we said words that destroyed meaningful relationships because of anger? How many times have we made rash decisions because what we thought was right and true turned out to be further from the truth? If I’d acted on my feelings each and every time someone said or did something hurtful to me, I’d be in the state penn. Believe me, retaliating against all who’d persecuted me crossed my mind more than I could count, but it’s not my place to initiate revenge on anyone. Father God promised, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God for it is said, I will take revenge. I will them back, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 I’m pretty cool with that. His wrath is far greater than anything I could do myself. Believe that! My job is to keep cool and be aware of every deceptive feeling that creeps up. When feelings become too much to bear, I know my ONLY JOB is to seek God’s counsel and trust Him with everything. It’s truly liberating to run to Father God when the overwhelming feelings of anger and frustration is too much to bear. I see it as a safe haven because it’s saved me from destroying any of my relationships on my own. Responding to someone else’s anger and reprehensible actions by seeking God’s counsel was the best way to handle all my life’s pit falls. The last verse in Romans 12:21 says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Allowing our feelings and emotions to ignite our destructive ways triumphs the very same tactic the devil used in the Garden of Eden: deception. However, the One in the Garden of Gethsemane took on every painful feeling of mankind and did so with love and not hate. Even through persecution and torture, He kept it together and gave love to all before He died a criminal's death. He showed us TO THINK BEFORE WE ACT AND NOT TO SUCCUMB TO EMOTION. So, tell me why can’t you?


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