In reality from the outside, life looked great that day. Life shined through some cracks in the ceiling. But there was life, and there was definitely hope. It all came crashing down so hard. How was it even possible that so much could change in such a small amount of time? Jesus.
Life went from “happy go lucky” to “can we just curl up and die” in a matter of seconds. Truly this wasn’t depression. This was just the tragedy, that life sometimes bring, that began to sink in. Parts of me honestly doesn’t care about what people think anymore. Life can be gruesome sometimes. I can’t even begin to wonder what the little girl must feel who’s dad got beheaded by ISIS last week. Or the shooting that took place the other day in yet another school, leaving so many hearts in pieces. I can’t help feeling a piece of my heart hurt by the millions affected by deadly disease. Billions who go through crisis daily. Slowly my mind gets back from it’s rabbit-off-the-trail jumping and I realize that no matter who you are, life has tragedy and life has happy moments.
So before we continue, you probably need to know a bit of my process right now. I’m a first year ministry student at Bethel School of Ministry. I moved across the world to a little town called Redding in California just over 4 months ago. I’ve known Jesus since I was in seventh grade, I spoke to Him before that. I’ve been investing in community a lot over the last couple of months. You don’t know you’re deceived. That’s the nature of deception. What you’re about to read is a radical part of being a believer that most people never talk about.
Life sucks sometime. Sometimes betrayal is as real as the knife of a murderer. Sometimes premature death seeps in. Sometimes emotions deceive us. Sometimes friends leave or relationships get torn apart. Sometimes people die. Sometimes we don’t have answers to the very questions people are asking. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes…
How can life go from right to wrong in so little time? How could I stare death in the face while he’s murdering me?
I grew up learning emotions is bad. I used to hear “now wipe of that tears”, “go to your room until you can stop being angry”, “why are you smiling so much” quite often. The reality is that most, but not all of us grow up in this way. The complications of this is that a lot of us never learn how to manage our inner-world, our emotional being. We learn to shut it down even just to some degree, no matter if emotion is good or bad. Have you ever wondered why?
A little vulnerability here from my side might go a long way. Recently I went through a complete breakdown emotionally. I sat next to one of my interns, and as we began to interact, tears began flowing from my eyes. At first I tried so hard to hide it, until I heard the soft words “it’s okay!” I broke down in tears for probably an hour. I screamed! I probably even did that ugly snorting cry. I could feel anger and sadness rise up inside of me as I was facing the knife of lies from the murderer of life. I wasn’t sure if I was angry at him or at myself. In the next moment I felt like a baby girl being embraced by love. I won’t describe it as liquid love as some might, but I knew it was present. I just knew that I knew it.
There was a part of Jesus that I never knew.
I never knew how much He cared about my emotions. In fact I didn’t even know that it was okay to have them. In school I heard a few messages about emotions and how Jesus wants to be part of our emotional process, just as much as any other process. I thought it was really cool in theory, but I had no idea what it meant in reality. It seemed like everyone around me was getting it, but I somehow just seemed to not understand it.
He is just as interested if not more in our emotions, because He created it. He was the very one that looked at the women at the tomb of Lazarus and wept and He was deeply moved. He was the very one who felt compassion for the Samaritan women. The very one who’s sweat was blood drops, because He was an emotional being, Jesus was an emotional being. The bible is full of the Jesus I never knew and somehow I seemed to overlook it. Somehow I seemed to overlook just how much He was actually involved.
Jesus became very real in that moment. He jumped out of the pages and took me into an encounter around a campfire. He was staring right at me. I couldn’t see Him, but I knew it was Him who was sitting right across me. He said He wants my emotions. He said He wants to know me. He wants to know my heart. That was the very thing that my heart was screaming. My heart just so needed to be fully known. My heart just wanted to be securely found… It was more than just a perpetual theory in that moment. It became an emotional response to Jesus, the Jesus I never knew.