When I moved from Wilmington to Columbia a couple of years ago, I felt sad and empty—I sorely missed our home and people. Being in a new place full of unknowns was scary. God brought us to this city for my husband’s job, but, other than being a supportive wife, what would God have me to do? I decided to say yes to opportunities that came my way. I constantly sought Him in prayer and I knew from Scripture that He, figuratively, wouldn’t give me a stone when I asked for bread. (Matthew 7:9)
It wasn’t natural to say yes.
It wasn’t my tendency to say yes. I’m an introvert; I enjoy alone time, especially when it involves dark chocolate, black coffee and a good book.
I joined a group of passionate Jesus-seeking women young enough to be my daughters. At first I felt funny being the granny of the group. Then I realized it’s actually okay to be friends with younger people. I spoke at their group’s first annual conference. Then I was asked to speak at our church’s Sisterhood gathering, and I said yes. I’ve said yes to new friendships and mentoring relationships. Tom and I have hosted lots of people in our home for meals and fellowship.
Saying yes felt like a risk I had to take.
It was risky saying yes to strangers, but I knew I had to boss my feelings.
Recently, a long-time friend lost his father very unexpectedly in Virginia. Tom thought we should drive five hours to attend the funeral. My-faithful-to-a-fault hubby wanted to support his high school buddy, Neal.
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t feeling it. I’d just returned from a fun busy time helping with grandkids in Wilmington, and I was looking forward to being home with Tom for the weekend.
My feelings told me I shouldn’t go on the trip; that I should just do whatever I felt like doing.
Instead of letting those feelings make the decision, I decided to be the boss of them. I asked Tom to make the plans and fill me in on our schedule.
Tom surprised me.
To sweeten the deal, Tom arranged for us to visit our oldest son and his wife who happened to be staying near where we’d be. That was the cherry on top.
When I awoke at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday and for several hours after, my feelings didn’t change. Silently, I spoke to the Lord and again surrendered to him. I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me everything I could possibly learn from our time away. I knew we’d reached the best decision even though I still wasn’t excited.
God is always faithful to teach us when our hearts and spirits are open. I’ve learned that it’s often best to allow his Holy Spirit to override my feelings. Here are just a few of the good things that happened during our two full days:
- Valuable time together chatting and catching up. Laughing at Tom’s corny jokes.
- A beautiful sunlit church and incredible camaraderie among church members, young and old.
- Honoring a very good man. Aspiring to invest in deep meaningful relationships after hearing about his life. Being teary-eyed during his sons’ tributes.
- A warm welcome with big hugs from the family. A thrilled Neal upon seeing his buddy, Tom.
- Church ladies serving lunch. True good ole’ southern hospitality.
- A lovely brisk cold walk through a historic Lynchburg neighborhood.
- Five wonderful hours with our son and his wife. Realizing I could have missed this gift; thus the reason for this post.
- A morning walk in another Virginia town after a night’s stay.
- A lightbulb moment: Text our dear friends in Winston-Salem about a possible spontaneous get-together. A positive reply. A gracious welcome, with big hugs, into their pretty home. Delicious Mexican soup for lunch. Non-stop talking for three hours. Finally pulling ourselves away to leave and head home.
I would have missed out if I had listened to my feelings.
I’m so grateful I went on the trip. Just look at the gifts I would have missed if I’d let my feelings boss me.
I’d love to hear about times you’ve bossed your feelings! Maybe you want to stay in bed, but instead you say yes to your job. You’re aspiring to better health so you say no to the creamy chocolate cheesecake. You step out in faith to do some crazy thing God has clearly directed you to do even while you’re scared to death.
As we read in Galatians 5:16, we’re called to follow the Holy Spirit and not let our feelings boss us. We can be the bosses of our feelings!
You can never fulfill your calling in your comfort zone.
Be the Boss of Your Feelings and Live Your Best Life