It’s here again–the part where I worry about everything I could possibly worry about. Most of what I do on here is write about worry, and how I seem to learn the same dang lesson over and over again. So here we go again:)
I happen to be quite happy tonight, quite content, and excited for Christmas. I’ve just performed in my college’s Festival of Christmas, and–tonight, anyway–my smiles were genuine. It felt great. And I went home and had hot chocolate with my family, and it was lovely because the night before I’d had a nightmare about losing them, and I was so happy to have woken up this morning. There was a gigantic cat lying across my lap, getting long black hair on my choir dress, and my dad had built a fire in the fireplace, and all was cozy and lovely and purr-fect.
I thought of how wonderful a life I have.
However, if you had asked me anytime earlier this week how my life was going–that is, how I was feeling—I would have said awful. Terrible. Hard and frustrating and inconvenient. It was just a bad week, and at one point, I found myself searching, in vain, for a redeemable moment. (I did eventually find one).
Oh, so dramatic, Jo.
I’m not exactly denying the stress fullness of this time of year, but I confess I drew that out for everything it was worth, when talking to people. To some people, I would hide my worry with a smile and a “I’m great, I’m fine,” while others heard the full, mournful declaration that “this week is awful. I’m doing awfully.” At one point, I made a list of all that I was doing in order to keep the week being bad. 1. Don’t ask for anyone’s help–keep it all in and struggle through on your own. 2. Make people understand how much you have to do and make them feel as if they are not doing half as much as you are. 3. Sit and cry to yourself that you have no friends who really understand you.
In other words, let your emotions dictate–or really, distort–reality. My emotions were everywhere this week, and I let them determine how I thought and acted. It was not the smartest thing I’ve done this semester.
Good thing I don’t do that normally, with other more important things than school. Good thing I don’t let my emotions determine how I view other people, or relationships, or God.
Actually I do. A lot.
I’m indecisive, perhaps because there’s always the gnawing thought of “will I be the happiest with this choice? or this one? What if I get this wrong? Will my life be ruined?”
I regret some things I probably don’t have to regret, because sometimes memories will play through my mind, and it’s like I have this filter on them that colors them sad, because what if it had turned out differently?
I wonder if I’m doing enough to prove to God that yes, I really do believe in Him, even though I’m not diligent about a quiet time and even though I’m really not great at spiritual-sounding language. It makes me uncomfortable, mostly.
Maybe because it’s easy for me to just say words, without meaning anything by them. I could say “the Spirit led me to (insert something worthwhile here)” and I might have no real feeling that anything or anyone out-of-the-ordinary had inspired my action. For me, more often than not, they’re just words; an acceptable introduction to what I’m actually about to say. It takes up space in a paragraph or a conversation.
I am not attempting to say anything about when other people use phrases similar to or having to do with the Holy Spirit’s leading. That is part of their story and I’m not going to write about that. This is about me, Jo, and how I’d like to know the difference between my emotions/feelings, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t really trust my instincts, in part because I know that I have had some silly ideas in the past that seemed absolutely fine at the time, but ended up as some of those previously-mentioned regrets. I know that emotions are fickle things, and I think I can say that I have been both in love and out of love with a person in the space of two weeks. I’m ridiculous.
There are times, of course (like last week), when I do rely on my emotions and feel either euphorically happy (which is fantastic) or glum and despairing and not-at-all-fun-to-be-around.
NOT THAT IT IS BAD TO FEEL SAD.
I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I told y’all these were ramblings.
What on earth was my point?
I think I was going to mention my more logical friends, who are rational and reasonable and whom I hate when I happen to be on the brighter side of things, because they’re too realistic for me then. They’re refreshing though, when I happen to be dying a little on the inside with every little inconvenience, because they remind me that some things are not really worth worrying over.
I think I was trying to say that I’m glad Christianity is a historical faith, with parts that require reason and logic. And I’m glad my God is a God who reasons with us, and does not require me to always feel happy or hopeful or confident in everything. I’m glad that, even if I cannot always sound like whatever it is I think sounds “spiritual,” God hears me–better yet, He knows my heart, and knows what it is I really meant.
These ramblings, for example, are quite weird, and still I think He knows what I mean.