“How are you?” When was the last time somebody asked you this question? Do you remember your response? If you are like me, your immediate response is usually, “I’m fine”. Yet, the real question for us all is, are we really just fine?
This year that question, roamed my thoughts heatedly. I needed answers. Curious about what I could observe about myself, I began to pinpoint my reactions to different situations which included sudden outburst to people who genuinely cared for me, anxiety attacks and the feeling of failure. It was clear I was not really okay. However, despite being aware of my reactions, I let religion take control. I tried to deny my emotions and my frustrations because that’s what I assumed Christians were supposed to do.
Paul in the book of Ephesians tells us we are to put on the whole armour of God. James even reiterates in his own epistle by saying “count it ALL joy when we go through various trials because it will provide us with patience…”. So, to keep the peace, I walked with a mask of happiness, but inside I was feeling hollow. My heart was heavy, and I was unsure how to release my emotions. I felt as if I would rain down anyone’s parade if I shared with them my feelings. So, I glossed over them, in hopes that no one would notice exactly how I was feeling.
In March, my best friend invited me to a counseling session. Not at all fazed by the invitation, I was prepared to decline her offer. However, all that changed when she informed me the session would be held at church. Counseling outside of traditional marriage counseling at church?? No way! So, I decided to give it a chance and boy I was glad I did.
Although the session involved other people, it felt good to go into a room and not be looked upon as if something was wrong with me. Now, I am able to release my current emotions, what I’m feeling and receive strategies on how to cope with my emotions outside of the famous line, “Just pray about it.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, prayer is essential just as denouncing the lies the enemy attempts to feed to you. However, God wants us not only to be open and honest with Him, but to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
This month, I’ve been hearing the word “counseling” consistently. As I think about it, I believe it is God’s special way of nudging me to re-evaluate my immediate response of “I’m fine”. Even with the current group counseling sessions I attend, I believe God is calling me to dig deeper into my roots and pull out what is hiding inside of me. This time though, I don’t believe He wants me to do it alone.
If you’re reading this message, maybe God is asking you to dig deeper into your roots and release them as well. However, He doesn’t want you to release them alone. Do know that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to share your feelings with others and if necessary, call for help outside of the four walls of your church. It’s time to release and let go.
What are some techniques you use to release your feelings? Do you attend counseling sessions? Jot them down in your journal? Draw? Share below!