Feel, if you will
I stood reflective of how my day went and choked on my smile. I wanted to laugh, but I had gotten so habituated to pain that when joy found me, the reality of my past made it impossible to appreciate what my future would become.
Why couldn’t I just be happy? This was an answered prayer. I had to repeat it to myself and allow the thrill of laughter to rush from my belly and out of my lips. I laughed, I laughed loudly and shouted praises.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt like you did not deserve something, even though you had prayed for it? You know what God says in His Word.You knew that because you prayed and believed according to Mark chapter 11, verse 24. Yet, when it did, there you were; stuck in the dark cloud of disappointment because you were too afraid to let the sun hit your skin.
I thought about something I had seen re-posted and shared on social media where one preacher sought to explain God’s providence. The part that resonated with me the most from the message was when she said “God’s providence goes before you. It is seen when he speaks your name in a room of opportunity you were too afraid to step in... He’s already whispered your name to an employer for a job you didn't even know you needed.”
What I did not know was that my husband had been praying for both of us to get new jobs. Imagine my surprise when a recruiter reached out to me asking if I would consider a job in a company, I was too afraid to apply to.
Fast forward to two weeks later, I was sitting in an interview. The manager asked me why I applied, I gathered myself and responded “I did not. I merely spoke about the job, and someone reached out to me about it. It’s like when you say you feel for pizza and then all these ads keep popping up on social media with all the best pizzas in town.” She laughed.
Two weeks after that meeting I was offered a position. The same one I never knew I could ever get. And I could hear the aforementioned preachersay,“God’s providence is Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Time and season
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verses 1 to 8 breaks it down for us clearly. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”
While we often hear words like “it’s okay not to be okay” or “cry if you must” we seldom hear anyone telling another person“Laugh if you feel like it; scream if you must.” It could be that we would never fathom someone could want to conceal joy.
Yet, there were.
“And hope maketh not ashamed;” (Romans chapter 5 verse 5a). But if we can be honest with ourselves, many a times it seemed like it made more sense to cripple the idea of miniscule hope than to set ourselves up for disappointment.
Isn’t that what the Shunammite woman did in 2 Kings chapter 4 verse 16? It was not that she doubted Elisha.In her finite wisdom, she sought to protect herself from heartbreak. What if she got her hopes up, believed, then next year came and there was no son? “Please, man of God,”she retorted, “don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.”
What if we made our bed with pain, and agony for so long, bounded by familiarity, we now reject joy?What if we did not know how to respond to gentleness because all we’ve ever known was “tough love”?
Feel what you feel, but don’t let it control you. I reckon that Jesus must have allowed Himself to smile, if only at how ludicrous it was to know that the same Peter who loved him so much that he cut off Malchus’ ear, would later deny him. Nothing was wrong with Peter being angry or afraid, it just got the better of him.
And didn't Jesus also cry? John chapter 11 verse 35. Crying does not negate strength. But in the flesh, Jesus felt.
I dare you to break free from emotional bondage and be liberated in emotional intelligence. Give yourself grace and feel what you feel. If your heart is breaking, there is no prize to the one who holds the pain in best. In the same way, if you experience some victory, celebrate your wins, however small you may think they are.
Perhaps this life’s journey is not so much about becoming anything. Maybe it is about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place and feel what you really feel.
Tamieka Pennant Dussard is a poet and writer, who has served in youth ministries mentoring young people both in Canada (current home) and Jamaica. She is the Director of “Young Wives Uncensored” a social organization which seeks to provide support and accountability to young, married women. She hopes to continue to use her gifts and experiences to motivate young people and share God with the world. She also enjoys cooking and sharing flexi-vegan recipes (IG: ltdkitchen)