Friday, February 16, 2007

A Collage of Anna...

Emotions Allowed

I was driving down the turnpike toward Wal-Mart yesterday listening to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack when calm finally washed over me and I turned around to apologize to my 13 month old daughter… I had been upset because it was my day off and I was really looking forward to a nap, but Norah wouldn’t sleep. She woke up crying every hour most of the night before this and so surely she would sleep now… I laid her down for the nap and she cried. I changed her and laid her down again and she cried. I gave her some juice and she cried some more. I gave her some time, but she just kept on crying, so I grabbed her and the short shopping list we had and huffed and puffed all the way to the car. I know it was childish and petty, but I didn’t look at her face the whole time I was getting her in the car. I was just so frustrated and upset…

I fumed and fussed under my breath as we drove and Norah was finally stone silent. I knew I was a mess and getting messier with every second, so I decided I better try and pray… but how could I? How could I go before the Lord in all His majesty and holiness with a boiling heart full of irritation directed at a tiny little baby? I don’t really know how to answer that question except to say, I just did; I just prayed to Him. And here’s the thing… He gave me peace. He calmed my stupid, aggravated heart right down. I stopped at a red light, listened as the piano played the most beautiful melody, repented of my anger and turned around to tell Norah I was sorry. I looked into those gigantic blue eyes and asked the forgiveness of a 1 year-old… She smiled at me.

I really believe that because of the amazing truths of the Gospel (what we have in light of what we deserve) we should be full of joy all the time. I believe that because we have been freely forgiven and declared righteous in the sight of God that the only emotion we have a right to is gratitude… I believe that, and yet I know that I’m not always joyful and grateful. You know, I think we sometimes feel that if we are not living up to the full potential of our new lives in Christ that He doesn’t want to have anything to do with us… we become filled with guilt for not being everything we can be, and we feel that we can’t go to Him and we can’t be who we truly are. But if we can’t bring our anger, frustration, loneliness, anguish and hurt before the Lord, where can we bring it?

Psalm 25:16-18 says, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and distress and take away all my sins.” Sure, we should be joyful all the time, but when we’re not, He still wants to know. Your emotions are welcome on His doorstep. You are allowed to be yourself in prayer. Maybe you’re not always who you should be, but you’re still His… Take your anger, take your troubles and take your sin to Him… there’s no better place to take it.

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