Every experience or struggle has a memory and with that memory, an emotion is attached. Can you remember something that was constant with you as a child that you carried into adulthood? For myself it was fear.
I can remember from the age of four and up always holding fearful thoughts. I walked around in fear which leads to many other emotions following. I feared the people I loved would die and if they did, I questioned if they would know I loved them or not. For some reason, I always wondered how much time I had left with those I loved because I was surrounded by sickness. These are not normal thoughts for a young child to hold.
Little did I know at this young age that my fears would cause sickness of my own. I always had a stomach ache, very thin, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue and would seek affection. I was not only looking to feel better but also seeking comfort. I feared to be all alone and it consumed my every thought. I unknowingly became what I refer to as an “emotional hoarder”. (Not the hoarding of material things but of emotions.)
I learned out of survival to be quiet and to please those around me. I pushed my fears, insecurities and emotional pain down so deep that I became a “walking emotional warehouse”. (The problem was, I was not getting anywhere.) My emotions weighed me down and kept me down. I was becoming an emotional ticking time bomb. What I thought I had buried down deep, eventually began surfacing and not in a good way. Mine began surfacing in a negative way…
If you push enough negative down eventually negative will find a way back up and a way to come out. I began trying to gain control in areas I was never meant to have control in. I would pray for God to help me but when he didn’t respond as I anticipated He would, then I began resisting what He was trying to do. I had so much anger and began pointing the finger of blame. I never pointed it at myself… I also never realized I was holding myself back from moving forward. I had become my own stumbling block. I would not surrender my fears over to God. I held onto them and hoped they would disappear. They wouldn’t leave me and I couldn’t outrun them…
As much as I hated who I had become I loved what I was gaining from being this way. I gained sympathy, comfort, help with everything, attention, affection, and excuses that allowed me to continue in my wrong behavior. Then God backed me in a corner to get my full attention. He began taking away the things that brought me comfort. (People, things, finances etc.) My excuses began being ripped from me with each scripture I read. Next thing I know, I’m sitting all alone with my emotions but without comfort or excuses. The truth is, I was exhausted from carrying so much in me that only weighed me down. I had piles of emotions to sift through. It was time to clean up the mess of my life and find the root cause of my emotions.
When the Lord pressed on my heart that the root of my issues was fear, I began laying down every fear at the Lord’s feet. ( I always took back what I laid down but then to add insult to injury I would be placing labels on myself that were not true.) I placed the labels of “pathetic”, “sickly”, “needy”, “unworthy” and many more each time fears would arise in me. These were the things I heard about myself and unknowingly decided to label myself with lies. In other words, each label I placed on myself became what I believed to be truths about me.
After a while of believing these labels I placed on myself, I began getting angry by the labels themselves. I found myself defensive trying to prove to myself and to everyone that they were wrong about me. I began warring within myself. As I’m warring God begins breaking down the walls (which were piles of emotions) and began giving me truths of who I was in His eyes. He began removing the negative labels and replacing them with truthful ones.
I wasn’t pathetic, I was a child of God not surrendering. I wasn’t sickly, I was deceived by the enemy in my thinking. I wasn’t worthless, I was priceless and God gave me great value. I held purpose.
I was not only depressed but oppressed as well. To be oppressed means to be influenced. I was “marked” by the enemy to be kept down. For years the devil tried to influence my thought patterns and for a while, he succeeded. He began at a very young age and then well into adulthood. I fell for the traps set out for me. I suffered emotionally because of these traps I kept falling into. I believed my thoughts held the truth about who I was and how I was. I have been known to justify and argue my thoughts in an attempt to continue what I knew to be destructive behavior. Why? I guess the only way I know to answer is I kept playing into the hand the devil himself was dealing.
God saw differently for me. God saw a servant’s heart and a priceless woman. The emotional hoarding I was guilty of, God stepped in and removed each emotion that was weighing me down. Each fear and insecurity that had become my security blanket, he removed. He replaced each one with “the fruit of the spirit”. (He did this once I completely surrendered, but not a moment sooner. It took sixteen years for me to surrender completely.)
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control became my new labels. God intended our emotions for good but the enemy will use them against us throughout life. If you are an “emotional hoarder” as I was, then you are weighed down. You must learn self-control before execting to be in control. You must learn to give God complete control of your life so you can live rather than exist only. The enemy marks those that God wants. God wants us, loves us, and we are here for a purpose. You can’t accomplish his purpose if you are weighed down by shame, guilt, anger, despair, pain, fear or insecurities… It is time to go to God and him remove the piles of emotional hoarding you have accumulated… He is ready to take when you are ready to give.