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Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Being an Emotional Basket Case

Freshman year in my Psychology 101 class we discussed the "Big Five" personality traits. If you've ever taken a psych class you're likely familiar with the five traits that comprise personality: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

We had to complete a self-report survey on each trait and my score for neuroticism was extremely low (the fact that I completed this my hellacious freshman year is, in hindsight, hysterical). I vividly remember one of my friends having a very high score for this trait and feeling super sorry for her. forward a few years:

This is a screenshot from a survey Miles and I just had to take for a pre-marriage retreat we're going to. Guess which bar is mine and which is his.

I'm the green itty bitty bar on the right side. Hah. (To give you some perspective the lightest shade of purpleish grey means I scored in the low range.)

All that to say, in the past few years, specifically this year, I've realized how emotional I truly am. For a while I think I was in denial because as a society, even within the church, emotional control is valued. Nobody wants to be best friends with an emotional roller coaster of a person (aka a girl who pops in A Walk to Remember to let a good cry out. ...Not that I've ever done that or anything. Especially not while eating raw cookie dough.)

My friends and family are wonderful but if I were to share every emotional twist throughout my day with them, they're probs going to feel (1) emotionally drained, (2) avoid me, (3) think I'm crazy, or some combination of the three.

So, who can I confide in?

(drumrollll... *Sunday School answer*) Jesus! I know it sounds cliche, really I do, but it couldn't be more true. Why? Jesus know the fullest extent to every emotion because in some way every emotion is a reflection either of him or the need for him.

Just take the cross for example: Jesus was abandoned by his earthly followers and his heavenly Father. Jesus is the only person in the history of the world that has ever experienced loneliness in its most true and raw form. The weight of the world's sin was on him - he felt burdened to the point of sweating drops of blood. This burden was so extreme, yet so necessary in order to reconcile man back to God once and for all.

Aside from the cross, while Jesus was on earth he not only read people's minds (literally), he saw into the depths of their heart. One of the reasons Jesus' answers to people's questions are often so random is that he was looking into their soul and talking to them about the heart issues that were behind their questions.

So, real talk. What does this mean? Jesus is worthy of trusting with everything - even (and especially) our emotions. I struggle daily to trust him with everything; but, knowing he sees and is full aware of all my craziness and loves me still is unbearably wonderful - to whom and where else could I go?

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    that I may tell of all your works.
-Psalm 73-


  1. This brought tears with the reminder. We really aren't worthy of Jesus. Thank You for your transparency!

  2. Liz~Sweet!!! I cry all the time and am surrounded by men who think I'm crazy. I once found this poem entitled "Why Women Cry". Enjoy!
    Love, Linda Louie