I hate to be a downer, but I have to tell you that I don’t think so. I really don’t feel like it’s going to ever get warm again. If it were going to get warm it would have done so by now, after all it’s April already! When we had a few warm days in March I was hopeful, but it got so cold again. From the high 50’s down into the teens and 20’s. I’m just miserable. I hate the cold and I’m sick of all of my clothes. I hate wearing socks and all my sweaters are shot. Over the weekend the wind was blowing and it was just freezing out. I’m having trouble getting out of bed in the morning and I can’t wait to get back in bed at night.
It’s just never going to get warm again. It’s always going to be cold. I’m not even going to hope that it will get warmer as I’ve done that so many times this year and have just been disappointed. I’m just going to resign myself to the fact that I will be cold and I have to accept it. Period.
Now, I hope you realize that I’m being just a little facetious, but only a little. I really don’t feel like it will ever get warm again. And as a therapist, I believe in trusting my feelings.
That being said, I want to make a point. When we’re in the throes of a problem we can start to feel pretty down. When we pray and week after week, month after month and sometimes, year after year, and things don’t seem to improve, we start to lose hope. It feels like things will never change. But just like this brutal winter, we know that it will eventually get warm, perhaps even too warm and we’ll be complaining about the heat. We know that intellectually, but our feelings can be powerful and take us over. I literally don’t feel like it will ever warm up here in New York.
Honestly though, I’ve had that feeling many times before over the years when struggling with difficulties. As I look back to about 10 years ago, I went through a terrible time and lost 20 lbs (ok, a bonus but actually that was about 7 lbs south of healthy for me). I couldn’t imagine ever feeling normal again. 21 years ago I went through another trial- a big one. I suffered for eight years and couldn’t even talk about it without crying. Thanks be to God, I was healed and can look back at it with no particular feelings other than gratitude now.
What I’ve learned from my own experience, and the experience of many others is simply this: Do not let your feelings dictate your faith. Sure, feelings matter and need to be respected and addressed, but truth matters more. Reality matters more. It will get warm again. It always does. God’s promises of healing and restoration and mercy and forgiveness are more real than the feelings we have and the trials that try to take us down. We just celebrated Easter and it caused me to realize the agony in the Garden for Jesus must have felt like an eternity. Then the very next day, He went through the agony of dying on the cross. We all go through those times when we feel the agony is ongoing and wonder if the suffering will ever end. But three days later and the resurrection becomes THE reality. Historical fact, corroborated over and over through the centuries.
There’s a purpose in all that God allows. You may feel stuck in the garden. Remember the Resurrection. Remember His Triumph. It’s yours. It’s ours. When your feelings threaten your faith, get on your knees, give thanks to God in ALL things and make acts of faith.
After all, sometimes our feelings lie to us. Listen to The Voice of Truth…
Allison is also the Founder and President of www.CatholicTherapists.com, a nationwide network of dedicated Catholic therapists.
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