Messy Kitchen, Messy Heart - Encouragement for Today - September 19, 2022

Evan and Jenny OwensSeptember 19, 2022

Messy Kitchen, Messy Heart
EVAN AND JENNY OWENS 

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV) 

Evan and I had finally reached the stage of life when it made sense for us to host family gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It was just too chaotic to travel with all the kids, so having everyone come to our house seemed like the easier option.

But hosting had its downside.

If you’ve ever cooked for a family gathering, you know how big a mess can be created in a very short time. Mixing bowls, silverware, dirty dishes, pots and pans — no surface is left uncovered.

While everyone was seemingly having a nice time, I was freaking out a little. The enormity of the mess that had overtaken my kitchen pushed me to the brink of wondering, Is this all worth it? I mean, maybe we could just order pizza. Something had to be easier than this mess.

But as I sat down for the meal, surrounded by loved ones, and took that first bite, I found the mess was worth it. You see, a messy kitchen is a sign that a feast is coming.

Emotions are the same way. As you face past trauma or hidden wounds, engaging your true feelings may leave you feeling like an absolute, snot-bubble mess. But despite what seems like disorder and chaos, something good is coming. As you begin to move forward, surrounded by people who care deeply about you and a God who loves you, you’ll find the mess will be worth it.

When it comes to processing and managing our feelings, it’s important to remember a few facts:

1. God can handle our strong emotions. Feeling strong emotions isn’t indicative of a lack of faith or trust in God. Recall that Jesus felt strong emotions, and no one would doubt His faith or trust! (John 11:35; Matthew 26:38; Mark 3:5) God can take it when we feel desperate, furious, terrified or overwhelmed. He wants us to bring the emotions to Him and let His Holy Spirit point us to the source of the emotions so that they can be healed. (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:5b-7)

2. Emotions become more stable as we spiritually mature. A newly planted tree bends and sways in even the slightest breeze. But as a tree grows, it becomes less affected by the elements — more stable. The same is true with our emotions and our faith. Re-engaging our feelings for the first time in a while can leave us feeling vulnerable — like a tender sapling about to be completely uprooted. However, as we grow and survive the storms of life, our resilience and stability grow right along with us. As we continue feeling and healing, our confidence that we can feel without falling apart increases.

3. Emotions are not indicative of the presence of God in our situation. Sometimes when we’re happy, we say that we feel God’s presence. Other times, we feel His presence when we weep. But our lives consist of more than just mountaintops and valleys. And we can be sure of God’s presence even when we can’t feel Him. That’s because God’s presence isn’t a feeling; it’s a fact. Whether or not you feel close to God right now, He’s close to you. He longs for you to experience His uninterrupted presence. Jesus spoke of this gift to His followers on the eve of His death:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

A counselor, a teacher, one who brings peace — doesn’t this sound like someone we need when we are overwhelmed by strong emotions? Our feelings can be messy, but we are never alone in them. And we can trust that, one day, the mess will yield something beautiful.

Father, help me bring my strong emotions to You. It may be messy and even painful, but I trust You can heal my hidden wounds and give me peace. I pray my story will be a beacon of hope in a hurting world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

For a step-by-step guide to overcoming trauma, grab a copy of Evan and Jenny's book Healing What's Hidden: Practical Steps to Overcoming Trauma.

Visit REBOOT Recovery online to learn more about healing your trauma and helping others heal theirs with peer-led trauma counseling.

ENGAGE

Connect with Evan and Jenny on social media by searching @EvanandJennyOwens or @REBOOTRecovery.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Healing What’s Hidden by Evan and Jenny Owens. To celebrate this book, Evan and Jenny’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, September 26, 2022.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

1 Peter 5:5b-7, “… ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (NIV)

What messy emotions do you need to bring to God today?

© 2022 by Evan and Jenny Owens. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
www.Proverbs31.org

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