Living on Feelings and Finding Truth – Guest Post – Jessi Schafer

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Ever since I can remember, every thing I did stemmed from my feelings. I quit a job because I felt overwhelmed. I changed my major because I didn’t feel inspired. I said things I shouldn’t because that’s how I felt. I left relationships because I didn’t “feel” anymore. I let my feelings guide me everywhere. Although I wouldn’t change my path or how it all happened, I was a tangled mess.

Feelings can be destructive when you are unable to decipher them from what’s true. I didn’t realize it at the time. I thought I was just taking all the wrong paths on my journey to self-discovery–I was selfish. I never stopped wanting something else… living for this ache inside me that there was something more that I needed or deserved. I wanted to prove something to myself, but I kept failing at everything I did.

I was lost, but God found me.

I’d love to say that after my first son I changed, but that’ s not true. I knew I was destined to be a mom, but I underestimated what that actually meant. It meant complete sacrifice of self. It was no longer about how I felt.

I was afraid I was going to fail at this–at being a mom. I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t a failure. So, I knew (or thought I did) how I was going to prove that to myself. I was going to finish school, drive an hour three times a week, take 17 credits to get it done fast so I could “feel” good about myself… so I could feel like a good mom… and prove to everyone that I was. As I focused on impressing others and proving something to myself, I just keep feeling worse.

Why was I sad? I had the most beautiful, sweet little boy that loved me and that I loved more than anything I could have ever imagined. Our love is unconditional. He loved me just because I was his mom… not because of how I looked or what I had accomplished.

I loved him so much that it terrified me. Eventually, my downward spiral of living off feelings drove me crazy–panic attacks, battling postpartum depression, and anxiety that made me feel so lonely.

But the thing is, I was and will never be alone. On January 5, 2017, I attended a funeral of someone that my husband grew up with but someone I had never met. When his wife spoke on stage, nothing but endless tears fell from my eyes. Her strength was beautiful. She got her strength was from the Lord, and it was undeniable. I thought about how much of a mess I was and how I barely had the strength to get up in the morning.

It’s funny that I remember actually saying that I didn’t believe in God because I never had a feeling in my heart that He was real. In that moment, God used the weakest part of me, and He made me feel something so overpowering.

He made me feel something for the first time in months through these people that I didn’t even know.

Although it has been a journey and still is, I’ve chosen to search for the truth and be grounded in knowing the truth. I still struggle daily to separate the two, but God used me at my absolute worst–when I felt so broken–and He showed me what my heart was aching for this whole time. I will never be able to deny that truth. He was there.

He knew the whole time that I was going to be okay, and for the first time in forever, I had hope that it would be.

He used motherhood and does on a daily basis to change my heart and desires. I gave up everything that I thought I needed or wanted, and I feel confident knowing my role as a mother is not a job but a calling. I thank God everyday for giving me my purpose. I will never stop fighting for the truth and the glory of God.

Sometimes, to find the true desires of your heart, you have to let go of whatever is holding you captive. Or you have to sacrifice all the things you thought you once wanted.

God does not give us fear or pain, but God can use our fears and pain to transform who we are.

It is so easy to believe that what we need or want is what society tells us we want–“to be the best, you have to want and work for it all” kind of mentality.

But the thing is, God has already given us what we need. So, instead of trying to have it all, maybe we need to let go of it all so we can unearth the truth hidden by our society’s social norms.

Do you ever feel like you just want to escape somewhere in nature with nothing but peace and get away from the pressure of our world? That’s because all we really need is God. And if we had nothing but a quiet place away from all of the things we think we want, it would be a lot easier to focus on the truth. Look around you, really look. Block our your obsession for more, and see that you have and will always have what you need:

An unchanging God

Children who look at you as if you’re all they will ever need

A husband or wife who is still there despite hardships

A friend who has never left you no matter how much you’ve changed

A sister or brother you can relate to more than anyone else

Someone who has never given up on you

A desire in your heart for purpose

But those who trust the Lord will find new strength.

Isaiah 40:31

The pain that you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.

Paraphrase of Romans 8:18

He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:18b

But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.

2 Timothy 4:17a

God is within her, she will not fall.

Psalm 46:5a

He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3b

The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.

Exodus 14:14

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

-Jessi

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lori Hudgens says:

    Jessi I am blown away! Meeting the Fedewa’s has been such a blessing to me. I’m so proud of how you have embraced this. Thanks for wearing your heart on your sleeve. It was encouragement I needed. Keep pressing on lady. You are such a beautiful princes, because your Heavenly Father is the king!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Todd Ehman says:

    Feelings are very uncertain and you did a beautiful job building on that platform. God is so good to continue to work when we are so unstable. Keep letting God work in you then through you and you will always have a story to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

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