My precious creek is swollen today. So is my heart. And in neither case is this a cause for alarm.
I was reminded when talking to other women in ministry today that our emotions are a part of this work, an integral and inextricable part. They tell us things. They make us pay attention to the people and places around us. And STILL we hear way too often that hearing from these tools of God is not to be trusted. That when we act and react in the world we are TOO much.
But these emotions are a way God still works. The emotions come. And then they go. And they bring good information with them. They indicate a loosening of what’s been frozen, they indicate a new season, and they bring relief and life. And we do not need to be afraid.
We know swollen rivers can be dangerous. But they are usually only dangerous when they've been improperly blocked somewhere, or when impractical buildings and structures have been imposed on their banks.But the truth is that the banks can handle it. The Creator can handle it. We can handle it. Maybe some people around us can’t. But that has never stopped these emotions from coming and doing their work, telling us what to pay attention to, revealing the scope of our lives to us.
In the history of emotions, telling someone to stop feeling has never succeeded in getting them to stop. But letting these emotions speak WILL let them out into more open spaces, run their course, bring life all along the river ways.
The river is swollen and my heart is too. And God is right here. Even here.
Jacqui Mignault, commissioned pastor of The Road Church in Calgary, AB, shared these thoughts, as well as the prayer below, with the Women’s Ministry Cluster in July. The cluster consisted of a group of 6 to 8 women gathered online to share with and encourage each other in ministry. The group acknowledged and embraced their God-given emotions and discussed how they impact ministry and personal life. Jacqui led the group through the “Welcoming Prayer” below.
- Read a list of core emotions. Encourage participants to choose one or two named emotions that you have experienced recently. Try not to judge the emotion, simple acknowledge it. Include in the list emotions such as disappointment, anger, happy, surprise, etc.
- Welcome the Spirit of Jesus into the emotion. Consent to God’s action in your ‘real’ life.
- Show me: Is there a deeper need I have?
- Letting go: God says, It’s mine, too. “I let go of my need to control this emotion and I welcome you into this emotion in all of my humanness and all of your grace.”
This was a meaningful time for those who experienced it. If you’d like to know more about the Women’s Ministry Clusters, check out the Women's Ministry website, email us at [email protected], or leave a comment below.
If you’d like to sign up to be part of a cluster group, fill out this form.