The Place of Clarity

I am a pretty emotional girl.

Just tonight, I cried pretty hard while watching Grey’s Anatomy online (my go-to show for processing/crying things out). Over the years, I have come to accept the fact that I have a lot of feelings and that I tend to feel them deeply. This means I can be a very empathetic person (at times), but it also means that I have to be wary of giving my emotions too much authority over me.

Some emotions simply need to be broken off.

When I was younger, I would get caught up in these downward spirals of emotion, whirlpools of negativity that would suck me down so fast I couldn’t breathe. It would start with a simple thought: Nobody cares about me. Or: I am a failure. But soon things would spin so far down into the darkness that I wouldn’t even be able to remember why I felt so hopeless––I would completely lose my bearings.

I recently realized that that doesn’t really happen to me anymore  I am just as emotional as I ever was––if anything, I cry more often than I used to. But even on the days when I sob so hard my stomach hurts, I don’t reach that point of despair.

It comes down to one simple foundational change: I am more established in the truth.

I know God loves me. I know He is preparing a glorious inheritance for me. I know He is with me always, no matter how I feel. I know He has beautiful plans for me on this earth. I know I am already victorious in Him. I know He is proud of me. I know He is fond of me. I know that no evil can touch me unless I let it.

There were nights in high school when I would sit up in bed long after everyone else was asleep, surrounded by fears and foes I couldn’t pinpoint, overwhelmed by sadness and frustration, and all I could do was turn to the Psalms and start reading them out loud, writing them down, underlining them, clinging to them. But now, all I have to do is call out Jesus’ name, and I immediately feel him with me.

While such blatant lies as “No one cares about me” or “I am a failure” can no longer touch me, subtler variations of them do at times. But whenever my thoughts turn dark or confusion begins to rise within me, I know now what to do. I stop and simply worship God for who He is. That is the place of clarity.

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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace. Elizabeth is currently finishing up her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary and serving on staff at a church in downtown LA.

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