My struggle with the 4-letter “F” word

I hope I’m accurately representing this and not just presenting a situation of misery loving company, but I find that most of us women struggle with this. (And I don’t just mean the potty mouthed, card shark types.) 😀

Last night, we had an impromptu date night. Generally we date later in the week, but the way this week is playing out, it became obvious it was a “do it or lose it” proposition. SO, off to date we go.

One of the things that is “standard” to date night is the question – “What is on your heart?” That allows each of us opportunity to share the heaviest thing/s we’re carrying. Last night, every few words I was using the “f” word. “I just FEEL xxxxxx.” “I FEEL yyyyy.” “I know the Lord said thus, but I FEEL ppppp.” Feel, feel feel.

Since when have my feelings EVER been solid ground? Why do I continue to go back and stand in an unsafe place, waving my arms about? (Does anyone else get a picture of King Kong here….hanging on the side of the Empire State Building…waving his arms about and growling?)

When we were first married, I remember telling Jeff how I felt about something. He, in true male form replied, “But that isn’t true.” He assumed this would end the argument. I felt one way…it wasn’t true…what more was there to discuss? My response to him rings in my ears….mostly because I need to remember what I believed back then. I said, (and I quote) “They are MY feelings….right or wrong. Since I feel them they have value and merit.”

Can you imagine? “Because I deem this to be true, you must bow to my self-inflicted lies and furthermore, you must base your responses to me off of my delusions.” Don’t people get sent to Happy Dale for less?!! (source, anyone?) My goodness, the arrogance astounds even me.

Even knowing this, it is amazing to me how insidious this little word is in my days. I find it creeping up behind me to determine how I respond to situations and people. How often are my children given a wrong response because of how I felt about what they said? (Please, children, you needn’t feel an obligation to try and count them all, ok?? This is simply a rhetorical question!!) I can’t…won’t even consider how often I’ve done that with Jeff.

Being the mother of teenagers, I need to remind myself, and them, all the time, that the feelings that they are feeling are false. They may have some truth in them, but the Lord calls us to act and speak in LOVE and TRUTH, not in FEELINGS. Our hearts are deceitful above all else. This I know. If it were not so, how would it be that this little “f” word could sneak back into my life again and again? I know to watch for it. I’ve done battle with this guy before…yet, here it is…AGAIN.

Oh, how I wish I could conquer this nasty little habit of using this 4 letter “f” word ONCE AND FOR ALL. And replace it, instead, with words of life and Truth and faith. O’ Lord, help me use my mouth as an instrument of life….not lies.

Edit: For those of you who have gotten to this point and are still stuck up at the top when I said we made a snap decision and went on a date – please know that this too will happen to you.  We are in the stages of having a teenager or two.  We now have the freedom to jump up and go on a date without spending 4 days tracking down a sitter.  Now, go back and read the rest of the blog….. 😉  

8 Responses to “My struggle with the 4-letter “F” word”
  1. Violet says:

    Your post reminded me of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book “Lies Women Believe.” One of the lies she lists is “If I feel something it must be true.” The best antidote I know to such lies is renewing my mind with the Truth. Some passages that are worth meditating on are: Phil. 4:4-8; Col. 3:1-4; and Isaiah 26:3, 4. Here is Nancy’s prayer at the end of the chapter on controlling emotions: “…I frequently allow my responses to be controlled by how I am feeling and by my circumstances, rather than by Your Word and Your Spirit. Thank You that, regardless of how I feel or what my emotions tell me, Your Truth is absolute and unchanging. Help me to trust You even in the midst of tears, pain, confusion, or loss, and to obey You, regardless of how I feel. Thank You for the peace You have promised, in the midst of any circumstance, if I will fix my heart and thoughts on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

    Will someone please remind me that I wrote this tomorrow morning when I’m succumbing to my feelings again?!!! Thanks, Dawn, for your transparency.

  2. deborah says:

    well, violet and dawn, i need this reminder today. i ‘feel’ like a loser, i ‘feel’ like an incompetent parent, i ‘feel’ like ripping my kids’ heads off, i ‘feel’ like crying the entire day….i feel, i feel, i feel. it’s so sickening, isn’t it? how feelings can (and strive!) to destroy me and my outlook on life. i *may* feel all of the above, but the TRUTH is that Jesus died for me, i am a new creation IN CHRIST, i am forgiven, and i have a saviour who loves me very much.

    i called a dear friend and cried to her this morning b/c i just knew i was going to lose it. she talked me through it and called me back a few hours later. she said, “this may sound cheesy, but when i was praying for you this morning, i felt so strongly that God wanted me to tell you that He is proud of you.” well, of course i bawled some more b/c i felt anything BUT worthy of God’s pride. even now i’m crying….satan SO wants me to believe the lie that i’m not worth anything, that i’m a failure, that i am not doing my children any good at all, that my husband would be better off without me. we’re all heard these lies, right? RIGHT? please tell me i’m not the only one!

    anyway, thank you dawn (and you too violet!) for these words of T.R.U.T.H.!!!!

    many blessings to both of you ((((()))))

  3. Dawn, I agree with you. 🙂

    But (!) How DO we communicate without saying how we feel? I think I have been taught that is where we “start” in a conversation and then work from there. If I say I “feel”, then the other person has the opportunity to say, “No, that isn’t true.” or to say, “yes, that is true,” and then you can work on it.

    I am still immature, and would value your thoughts on how I could handle this differently??? (I really do want to know!)

  4. Michelle says:

    It seems to me that feelings aren’t entirely bad things…we were created emotional by God by design. Feelings just shouldn’t be confused with truth. I think they serve the purpose of being a symptom of something else. In my life (experiential, not cold hard factual) it’s a symptom of another “f” word…FATIGUE! How are you doing on getting enough sleep?

  5. javadawn says:

    Violet, thank you for directing me to Nancy DeMoss’ book. Those Scriptures are wonderful.

    ((Deborah)) – my dear, dear friend. I’m so sorry you’re being blown about by lies. I pray (and will continue to do so) that you find a safe harbor in the midst of this storm. (You… the only one?? Surely you jest. You know we all do, right? If not, may I be the first to tell you, you ain’t anywhere NEAR alone.) 🙂

    Rev’swife – I wish I had all the answers. I do know that for me my battle is not so much in not using the word, just that when I do it’s an indication of how much I’m allowing myself to be ruled by my emotions. (That’s generally, then, when I’ll start making choices based on those emotions and for me that always leads to trouble of some kind.) 🙄

    Oh Michelle, your mother’s heart is such a joy to see…no, I’m not getting enough sleep. BUT this isn’t a matter of sleep – we just have MANY things going on right now that all hit me emotionally. Add to that that Father has asked me to take several heavy things up in prayer….HEAVY things and it’s just emotional overload. BUT, that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself….it’s just…well, it’s above. 🙂 I know when I hear “feel, feel, feel” showing up as the majority of my vocabulary, then I’m allowing my emotions to rule and reign in my life. Blech!!

    I don’t want to bash emotions, as a whole. They are part of what makes us female/human. (We know the Holy Spirit has emotions, as we’re told we can grieve Him, so I know that they are given by God….) For me, I just know that too often, if I’m not attentive, my emotions have authority in my life not intended by Father. They vie for control of my choices and if I’m not wise, I grant it to them.

  6. I hear what you are saying. Or at least, I FEEL I do. 🙂

  7. Valerie says:

    WE HAVE HAD THAT EXACT SAME CONVERSATION!!!! I’ve never heard it put the way you did – I just got annoyed at DH for dismissing my feelings out of hand, lol! Caused a big hoo ha!! I’m taking this to heart, Dawn, definated food for thought. I agree with Holly, I know I still need the ‘working out’ bit where truth is revealed in our hearts rather than just the false ‘feeling’.

    Thank you.

  8. April says:

    Dawny… Just wanted to thank you for this. One of my pet peeves is “you MAKE me feel…” The idea that we have that power over someone else or they have that power over us…ergh… drives me nuts!
    When I was little I used to have these times when I would get scared or sad or just punky for no reason. I would whine to my mom, “I feeeeeeel bad!” and mom would always say, “Well, what are you going to do to change those feelings?” Smart cookie.
    Thanks again.

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