I dare not say a word, because I know if I try to speak, I will cry. The lump in my throat chokes me and it is a battle to hold back tears. All I can think of are the precious hearts I’m leaving behind.
I take each sweet little face of my grandchildren into my hands and hold them close as I give my brain time to burn every minutiae of detail into my memory. I kiss them and tell them I will see them again very soon and I mean it; that is the only thing that keeps the pain at bay.
It is so hard to leave. But staying is not possible. I must get back to my life in Texas. I wish I could stay, but I cannot; and in all reality, I’m just as anxious to get home as I am torn that I am leaving because as I say goodbye to one family I am saying hello to the other.
It is interesting how I can be equally both heartbroken and elated. In one event, within one heart, I cry because I am leaving a part of my life in England; and yet in the same event, with the same heart, I am elated to be reunited with a part of my life in Texas. The love for two wonderful families fills my heart.
God made us with emotions and it is not a bad thing to experience them. It is not typically wise to let emotions lead us, but when they come upon us, we must acknowledge them, and then deal with them. Emotions are a part of who we are.
Emotions enhance our lives – oh my, how awful would it be if we did not have the heights of euphoria that accompanies the birth of a child, a wedding, a graduation, or a reunion and the joys of celebrating birthdays and milestones.
And what about the depths of grief, the sadness of saying goodbye, the heartache of broken dreams and the despair that often accompanies the dark night of the soul. These are important to experience also because they teach us to rely upon God completely.
We need emotions, however, we also need to be wise. When our emotions make us feel better about someone or something, we often think that whatever it is we are feeling must be God’s best for all of us. If we feel bad about someone or something, we might think that whatever we are feeling must not be God’s best for us. How do we know the difference?
For example: To stay in England might have prevented the heartache of goodbye that we all felt, and it might have felt good in the moment to say, “Changed my mind! I’m staying!” However, that choice does not align with God’s Word. God calls a man to leave his mother and father and unite with his wife, and that means mom has to go home.
We must let the Word of God lead us in all situations. Moreover, any pain and suffering that we feel as we follow God’s Word is pain and suffering that God is using. Heartache is not a bad thing.
The Apostle Paul teaches us that we glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:3-5a NIV).
The more we choose to let God’s Word leads us the more we learn which emotions to indulge and which to hold at bay. It is God’s word that is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105) not what we might happen to be feeling in the moment.
We may have conflicting emotions, but God’s Word always guides us to what is good and helps us sort through what we are feeling. His Word leads us to level ground while our emotions often lead us onto rocky paths. His Word leads us by still waters rather than the tumultuous waves into which our emotions lure us.
I personally know that when I follow my emotions they will often lead me away from God. One of my favorite hymns says it clearly, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
It is always a feeling (an emotion) that makes us want to wander away from God. We feel like we deserve something. We feel like we know what is best for us. We feel unloved. We feel underappreciated. And then we don’t wait for God to lead us – we choose our own paths.
We also know what it is like when our emotions have deceived us and we’ve made decisions based on what we felt rather than on what we knew, and ended up in a very bad place. However, when we return to God’s Word, we cry out with the hymnist here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
Where are you following your emotions? Where are they leading you? Are they leading you closer to God or further away from him? Is your heart sealed with God?
Yes, I left part of my heart in England; but I know my sweet grandchildren love their Yaya as much as she loves them! And if home is where the heart is, I am right there with them.
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