Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman

“Hiding behind fine in the midst of God and everyone is insulting to the cosmic swing God set into motion. So often I feel embarrassed or guilty over my humanness, but our emotions and experiences are all a part of that swing. They add color and dimension and life. We try to hide them behind one-dimensional masks because we believe they indicate weakness or we consider them to simply be too much trouble to dissect. Trying not to experience the whole spectrum of emotions is like trying to be inhuman. It can be especially frustrating when our emotions are the result of thinking and “feeling things we know are contrary to God’s truth. It doesn’t seem okay to swing back and forth between believing truth and believing lies.
In their book, The Rest of the Gospel, Dan Stone and Greg Smith talk about this swing. “Our soul fluctuates between thoughts and feelings we don’t like and thoughts and feelings we do like, and we don’t like those fluctuations . . . we try to stop that swing, because our soul’s fluctuations are unpleasant to us and it seems as if God wants us to stop them. We think that Christian maturity is getting that swing under control.”
They go on to explain why God put this swing into motion in the first place: “God designed us on the soul level to be capable of feeling and thinking things that are contrary to spirit reality. Why? Because that is the only way we can learn to live by faith out “of who we really are and who He really is, rather than out of appearances.”
Our fluctuating humanness is there on purpose, to remind us of our need and draw us to the One who can meet it. We don’t have to figure out the whys and the origins of every swinging emotion. But it is so important that we admit they are there. To embrace the color and fullness of our emotional, un-fine state is to open wide enough to receive compassion and grace. Only then will we be able to offer that same compassion and grace to others in honest and authentic ways.”

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