Holley Gerth

Embracing Emotions

Something that I’ve learned about myself over the past year is that I am an emotional person. I feel and experience things very deeply. While I sometimes wish I didn’t cry while watching commercials, I am thankful that I experience the full range of human emotion.

I’m currently reading the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth and gaining a lot of insight into how God has made everyone exactly as they are for a reason.

Life Growth Guide

While it’s easy for me to feel like I’m weak because I’m sensitive, I am learning to view this trait as an asset to serving God. Being sensitive often means that I pick up on small details. When I talk with a friend, I try to pay attention to their body language and listen to hear how they’re really doing. I cherish deep one-on-one conversations, and I feel amazing when I can lend a listening ear to someone who just needs to talk.

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Understanding that no emotion is “wrong” or “bad” has made a huge difference in my life. I can vividly remember crying in my elementary school library as a child because I forgot to return a library book. It felt like a big deal to me at the time because I had never once forgotten to return a library book. While I know the librarian had the intention to soothe me by saying “Don’t cry! It’s okay!” I also know that she sent a message to my younger self that crying and feeling upset = not okay.

What the LifeGrowth Guide is teaching me is that all emotions are a gift from God that help us process everything we go through in life. When I’m feeling stressed out, I can stop and think what is this emotion telling me? Do I need rest? Connection? Something else? Negative emotions also prompt me to question whether or not I am believing a lie from Satan.

When I start to believe I’m not good enough or I can’t do something, I am learning to stop and ask myself what scripture says about these thoughts. I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14) and God loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Knowing that I have the Bible as a tool to confront the lies that are all too easy to believe is incredibly life-giving and works to strengthen my faith as I learn more about who God is and how he cares for me.

LifeGrowth-Guide-Share-the-Love-1

Doubt and lies absolutely thrive in isolation and darkness. When we keep things to ourselves, we feel alone. I know that when I bring my cares and concerns into the light of loving relationships–whether it’s in person, through a quick text message, or an email–that connection with someone who loves me and can speak the truth against the lies makes all the difference. Opening up about things that are more than surface-level prompts others to do the same and deepens relationships. This is the embodiment of Ephesians 4:15:

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

We may know what is true, but don’t always feel it. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with us. It simply means that we’re human and are working on being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). God understands this because He’s the one who made us and doesn’t demand us to feel a certain way, but rather asks that we keep believing, growing, and obeying.

Here’s to growing in Christ every day and learning to trust and enjoy the process!

Growth

I’m currently re-reading You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth. It’s a wonderful book about how God gives everyone on earth a purpose and dream(s) for their life that glorify Him. It also discusses how working towards dreams that God has placed in your heart can bring more joy, purpose, and connection with the One who gave them to you.

One concept in the book that really struck me was about growth during the journey to achieving dream. The author, Holley Gerth, shared this quote by William Butler Yeats.

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.”
— William Butler Yeats

Yeats Quote

When we have a goal in mind, it’s incredibly easy to focus on the end result, but often the growth that happens during the process of achieving something brings happiness in and of itself. This reminds me to celebrate and take in the joy of life along the way to my dreams. It also reminds me to reflect on how far I’ve come since I’ve started and how God has worked in me.

I really loved what Holley said at the end of the section on growth and celebrating it:

“…let prayer be like stones you place in the path along the way to remind you of where you’ve been, where you’re going, and who is walking with you.”

What do you think about growth? Do you believe it what brings happiness, and do you remember to celebrate how far you’ve come along the journey to achieving your dreams?