Kara’s Collection: Living Beyond Feelings

from an article originally posted July 20, 2014...

I have a dear friend and I often wake to her texts that remind me she’s praying for me. It’s a lovely way to wake. She often will follow up with a question of how I’m feeling, and that text often makes me a little sad. I want to lie, but she is a friend that wants to hear the truth.

You see, I want to feel good. I want to say I’m great. I want to not feel like I feel today. So yesterday I braved a challenge to my dear friend. I asked her to begin to ask me how I’m living. I asked her to ask me how I’m capturing joy, embracing each moment, living—even when I feel like death. And certainly check in on how I’m feeling. That is loving. So loving. But for a mama that has loved her health, it’s hard to embrace this as my new story.

Jason often asks me before we are leaving to an event how I’m feeling. I simply look at him and say, Let’s go. I’m sure there are the whispers of, She’s looking badly, she’s quiet, she’s getting thin. But I know they love me, and their concern is from love. I know my friends are happy to capture me at a party, even if I’m not feeling the best.

Last night, after a long day of going and capturing what we could of the day, I turned to Jason and quietly asked him if I could stop these pills. He is so much my champion; he gently told me how proud he was of me for going, moving, showing up when he uniquely knows how terrible I feel. So this has caused me to think often on limitations. How often did the littlest fraction of pain or discomfort keep me from living well, embracing life, moving even when I felt like stopping. I regret to say probably more than I can even imagine.

I grieve opportunities missed. Even in the night after we have put the kids to bed, and they come asking for one more snuggle, one more story, one more moment together. I often refuse to move past the comfort of my own bed. But when the grace shows up to get me out of my comfort and into the comfort of my children, I am always met with sweetness. Last night I went to Lake’s bed and we talked about his future wife, his future job. He gave me a giant list of jobs and asked which on made the most money. Ski instructor, trash truck driver, pastor—Oh, my soul, I could have missed that happy conversation. And truly, I have missed many of those conversations when I refused to press on past how I was feeling.

So please don’t take this post and think I never want to be asked how I’m feeling. No, I love care from others. But I think truly I want to be asked how I’m living even when I’m not feeling well. This learning to move past how I feel is tough learning. But each day I’m getting better at it. When you notice me at a party, I’m sure you can’t help but notice that I’m less vibrant. I just am. But please also know I’m fighting, fighting, fighting to live well—live well past how I feel.

So, how how how do we move past how we feel and press into what Jesus has for us today? How do we meet love, extend love, embrace another in grace even when we don’t feel like it? Tired, sick, weary—how do we move past those feelings and embrace the living Jesus has for us today? How do we enter the life of another even when we are wanting to enter the cave of ourself? I don’t want to become a faker and act like I’m great when I’m feeling crap. No, I want to embrace today even when I don’t feel like it. I want to find life beyond how I feel. I believe Jesus will meet me in that place.

Today I get to move past how I feel and see children I love baptized. I get to host a lunch with the leadership of our church. I get to worship this morning. I get to hold the hands of my children, embrace rest, embrace love. I get to swallow the pills that make me feel less but I also get to move past that less and see life from a new vantage point-=a broken beautiful perspective of today.

I’ll leave you with this song Broken Beautiful by Ellie Holcomb. I simply love this song, He took my shame and He walked out of the grave. Isn’t that stunning? When I open my hands to my story, the brokenness of my own life can become beautiful.