For as long as I can remember, I have been a very sensitive person. And as long as I can remember I always phrased that sentence by saying: “I am too sensitive.” But recently, I’ve discovered that by saying I am TOO sensitive its implying that God made a mistake when He made me which is a lie that the world has been telling me for years. When I was in elementary school, there was a boy who got made fun of a lot. One day during lunch, some boys were mocking him and teasing him and I overheard it and started to cry. A teacher asked me why I was crying, I told her what I had seen. And I remember her saying “Don’t feel sad.” As if an emotional response to an injustice was a shameful thing. Don’t feel. Then, through junior high and highschool, time and time again someone would say something to me and it would hurt my feelings. “Don’t feel that way,” they’d say. I was too sensitive. The worlds a tough place no doubt, and it’ll tear us sensitive folks up if we let it. But I think there’s a distinction between letting the world get to us, and letting ourselves feel how we feel. (also, side rant, why is it the sensitive person’s fault in a conflict? why can’t it be the person who was insensitive? Why can’t they own up to that? I’ve started so many conversations with “Im probably being too sensitive…” but have never ever heard the words “I was probably too insensitive…” from someone.)
Anyways, I’ve discovered that this sensitivity is not just for sad things. It’s also a sensitivity to great things. I find a lot of joy in the small things. A cute dog? YES. A fluffy cloud? awesome! free samples at target? OH BOY! But on this end of the spectrum there’s negative nancy’s as well, “Calm down,” they say. “Over-reaction, much?” they’ll retort. “It’s JUST a cat, marlie.” So the world has had me on this teeter-totter, balancing act, *other circus metaphor here* with my emotions. Don’t feel too sad, don’t feel too happy. And its translated into a life long battle for me of accepting my own emotions: allowing myself to grieve, allowing myself to feel sad, allowing myself to get way too excited about the little stuff. Even worse, it’s been a life long performance for God. Trying to find that emotional sweet spot, where I feel sad about things but not too sad because Christians have joy, right? I didn’t realize I was doing this until yesterday. Whenever I do start to feel sad, depressed, upset, frustrated, my inner pharisee kicks in with phrases like. It’s your own fault you feel bad. You are being selfish only thinking of yourself. Is God not enough for you?
Oh and it works the other way too. Something good happens and I get really excited about it. And in comes Ms Pharisee again, calm down marlie, you’re putting too much emphasis on this. You should care more about God than this. If you did care about God more, than this wouldn’t make you so happy.
It’s a cycle. And writing those thoughts down and seeing them makes me realize what total crap and lies the Enemy has been feeding me for so long. Yesterday, in my car, I was stuck in this cycle again. And my thoughts essentially centered around the idea that God loved me more when I had everything put together emotionally. In the midst of the chaos there was a soft, soft whisper,
“Marlie, I’d love you even if you hated me.”
And like water bursting through a dam, I allowed myself to feel whatever I felt at that time. And rested in the fact that God’s love is unconditional, meaning, it’s not based on whatever condition I’m in. He doesn’t love me more when I’m all put together, and He doesn’t see me as a burden or love me less when I’m an emotional wreck. He just sees me. His Child.
And He sees you. No matter where you are at today, in this moment. Listen to the truth: it is okay. If you feel too much, you are loved by a God who made you and created you. He loved you before you were born, you are not a mistake, you are not “too much” of anything. The world might tell you otherwise, but rest and find freedom in the safe arms of Christ.
Isaiah 40:11 says “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;”