Bonnie asks us how we experience emotional rest.
I grew up knowing I was loved by my parents, two older brothers, and extended family members. Our family was about as normal as anyone could ask for, no divorce, alcohol/drug abuse or domestic violence. Ours was a "happy home". The ultimate goal my parents had for each of us is that we would be "happy".
Therein began my dilemma.
If happiness was the target, then anything that fell short of that mark was wrong, somehow unacceptable. Expression of emotions outside of the “happy realm” seemed to cause distress to my parents.
“What exactly is happy and how do I get there and stay there” I’d wonder and condemn myself for feelings of fear, hurt, loneliness, pain or any other less than “happy” emotion. Not only did I learn to keep these black sheep emotions in the closet, I also concluded that there was something defective about me for experiencing them at all.
“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just be happy?” I was asked whenever a stray emotion wandered out into the light.
“Why can’t you just be happy” echoed the voice of mother for years, and years, and years.
During times of emotional overload the voice grew louder.
One day the Lord revealed what had been hidden to me. He had emotions. All different kinds of emotions. As well as feeling great joy, He felt pain. He felt anger. He trembled with compassion. And... He created me in His image. All at once I was validated as an emotional being, and by His design.
For me, the best way to experience emotional rest is to find a quiet place to be alone with God to express and release all that I've been feeling. In His presence and His unconditional love, I am accepted, with each and every flaw.
In that, there is rest and peace beyond measure.
Come on over to the Faith Barista and jam with us as we continue sharing on rest.