I felt like I was dating again by the number of times I checked my phone to make sure it was working. Pushing the button on the side to access my home screen only to see it blank. No voicemails, no missed calls, and no text messages. My heart would sink each time and I would feel another load heap on my heart with the uncertainty of when I would hear from someone about my dad’s surgery. Waiting for the news seemed like it took hours.

All the while my feelings and my brain playing this game to see which one was going to be right.

“The surgery was supposed to be an hour and now it had been two. Why was it taking so long?”my brain would say.

Fear (the current feeling) would answer immediately, “they are probably telling your mom of the complications now and soon she will call you with the report she can’t even speak out loud.”

My brain would quickly come back to say, “calm down, this is not the end. Why do you always jump to the worst case?”

“That is all I know how to do.” Fear responded, almost surprised at the question.

That sounds like a funny conversation, but the truth of it is very real. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had some pretty BIG feelings. Surprisingly, with all of the hard things going on, the feelings are not all bad. Feelings of JOY, RELIEF, LOVE and also of LOSS, FEAR and DEFEAT. With all of the things going on in the life of my family, I am learning in a new way to cling to my faith and that has forced me to see some new things about my feelings.

There are times when my feelings are a guide and I need to explore them. There are other times, when my feelings need to be acknowledged and ultimately released knowing they are heavier than they need to be and won’t help me in the process of continuing to move forward. Then there are other times, more volatile times, my feeling are so heavy and completely overstated that they (my feelings) become the focus and not the truth. All of that to say, if I only pay attention to how I feel about something, I can be led completely astray.

I knew this idea before, but I have seen it more clearly in the past couple weeks which has allowed me to KNOW it for sure. Now, after practicing again to look at feelings and move through them, so that the time they have to take over becomes less and less. I will keep this practice up. Once the feelings arrive, I say hello, but I will not be fooled into allowing them to run the show!