Feelings as accessories

My organization is obsessed with the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I like to notice how long it takes for it to be brought up when a group of InterVarsity staff gather. Within the hour, it's guaranteed.

I'm an ENTP. I described to a student what being a T was like when it comes to how I handle my feelings. 

Feelings are like accessories. They're nice to have around and they may spice up life, but really, they are unnecessary.

I said this in an ENTP, devil's advocate, let's see how many feelers I can rile up way. Because no, I know that's not really how it works.

Sometimes Fs are appalled by Ts, wondering if we have a soul, wondering how we can come across as so heartless. 

Jingle bells, jingle bells...

The holidays are awesome! And by awesome I mean complicated and full of "fun" feelings. Here's how I mark the holidays. Thanksgiving: the last time I saw my mom in person. December: I was pregnant and on bedrest, so I was unable to be with my mom when she died. Christmas: I spent my first Christmas without my parents (they were both dead) or my brother (he was in Taiwan taking care of funeral arrangements). New Years: Isaac was born a preemie and my mom never got to meet him. So yeah. The holidays are AWESOME!

The reality for me is not that I don't feel. The reality is that I'm often feeling feelings that are beyond expression. If I'm paying attention to my feelings, I'm usually feeling devastation, disappointment, sadness, anger... all at the same time. It also hurts, literally.

The experience is best summed up by scripture.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
- Romans 8:25-26

There are so many times that I sit to pray about this stuff and all I can say is... No words can express what I feel...

I know people wonder and are baffled at how I went through the "Year of Suck" and remain stoic or lackadaisical about it. I get the feeling they want me to express the feelings that are supposed to come with that kind of suffering. If I expressed those feelings to the extent that I really feel them though, the people who want to see them would probably regret it. 

I'm thankful that in the past few years God has provided the space, time, and people to be there for the moments when the floodgates open. 

But for now and for the most part, I'll just be groaning.

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