There is a lot of downplaying in the Christian community I believe about the validity of emotions. “Emotions Can You Trust Them” by Dr. James Dobson is a popular book written by my former boss. The more and more that I explore the world of emotions and how they affect us, here are some truths I’ve come up with about emotions.
1). Emotions tell our story. Now we may not be able to trust what the enemy is trying to tell us about our story, but the real emotions we feel about our experience in the story do not lie. In other words, emotions don’t lie about how your particular trauma affected your heart.
2). Emotions validate that something wounding happened to our hearts. In other words, there are no negative emotions in my life pertaining to events that didn’t hurt me. So why wouldn’t things logically go the other way: the events that did wound me, I have negative emotions about.
3). Emotions mask God’s Truth and hinder our ability to trust God. Emotions get in the way of us believing God’s truth about who we are.
4). Emotions can potentially change our belief system to convince us we are on our own. This is the fundamentally wrong belief system we take on…choosing to believe that God is not for us and that we are left on our own.
When a person experiences trauma, especially at a young age, they can’t express or even label the emotions tied to the event. It feels like a good plan to stuff the emotions down. Trouble is they will come out in different ways over the course of our lives.
Emotion regulation is a tough journey for so many. I offer so much encouragement to individuals needing to relearn emotion labeling. It is not only possible, it is worth it!