I’m a high “feeler”.
For those who aren’t sure what that means, let me assure you that it doesn’t mean I go around touching everything. (Well maybe I do, but that’s besides the point).
There’s a personality test know as the Myers Briggs. It’s totally awesome and gives you great insight into how you think, perceive information, handle situations, etc. Last year when I was going through the discipleship school I was in in Waco, we all took this personality test.
There are 4 categories, each with 2 choices and at the end, you are given a 4-letter “personality type” which you most identify with.
The categories are Extroverted/Introverted, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving.
I’m an “ESFJ“.
For this particular version of the test, our scores showed us how likely we were to relate to a certain characteristic out of 30 points. So imagine a scale that on one side was a 30 Introvert and the other was a 30 Extrovert…. and you can fall anywhere along that line.
Because I’m a fairly high extrovert, I think I scored around a 20-24 on the extrovert side.
Other things were not so blatant. I’m only a 10 on the “Sensing” side.
Most people fall in the low 20’s for each category. On the rare occasion, some people score a 30 if that characteristic is extremely prominent in their life.
I scored a 29 in the “feeling” category.
I’ve always known that I’m an emotional person. Here’s a few things that have been known to set off the waterworks in me:
–Tangled, the lantern scene. I saw it in theaters and was a crying mess.
–Celine Dion singing “God Bless America.” This happened on Friday. I was driving and listening to it and became so overwhelmed with how great America is! (WHO AM I).
–Those “soldier surprises his family” videos. Don’t even get me started. I can’t.
-Those “Surprise! We’re going to Disney World!” videos. This one in particular.
-The “Wicked” soundtrack. I mean, enough said. It’s Idina Menzel.
The thing about being a high feeler is that it doesn’t only mean that I cry at things easily. It means I feel everything very strongly… including pain, disappointment, and sadness.
And when the opportunity presents itself to feel those particular things, I’d rather not.
My quiet times with God have seemed dry lately. And I’ve had this realization that I’ve subconsciously been “numbing” myself. You see, I would so much rather feel happiness, joy, and excitement than pain. Anything but pain. So my brain, in self-protection mode, has been turning off my “feeling” sensor, something that is a HUGE part of who I am, and feeding it with things that will make me temporarily feel good.
But there has been a detrimental side-effect of my self-protection.
I’ve numbed myself to feeling God.
Without realizing it, I’ve turned off one of the main ways He ministers to my heart simply because I haven’t wanted to feel the pain of certain circumstances in my life.
God speaks and relates to us in languages that are personalized to each one of us. So when I numb myself, I turn off a gateway that He uses to speak to me. Instead of feeling the pain of a situation and then feeling His abundant comfort in it, I feel nothing.
HE IS GREATER THAN MY PAIN. He is greater than my disappointment, my hurt, my anxiety. But I must FEEL them so that I can FEEL HIM. I must hold on to the truths that He is MORE, He is better, He is bigger, He is ENOUGH.
One of the most pivotal things I’ve had to learn in my relationship with God is how to not be ruled by my emotions, as a woman and as a high feeler.
Job 15:11-12 in the Message version says:
“Are God’s promises not enough for you, spoken so gently and tenderly?
Why do you let your emotions take over?”
So even though I feel things deeply, my emotions do not always express what is true. He meets me where I am at; He loves me as deeply as I am capable of feeling. But in return, I must choose to hold on to His character, His promises, and abandon my own feelings that insist that they are truth. HE is truth. My emotions aren’t. Even though what I feel is often valid, I must choose to hold on to the promises He speaks for the future and relinquish what I feel in the moment. I must release current feelings and grip hold of hope.
When I don’t feel provided for, He tells me that He is my provider.
I choose to feel that.
When I don’t feel pursued, He said He pursues my heart deeply and radically.
I choose to open my heart and feel that.
When I don’t feel beautiful, He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I choose to feel the reality of that Truth.
He will reach me in places of deepest pain. He will fight for me in places of deepest heartache.
I choose to feel.