So I’m digging into a new book called, “The Feeler” by James Goll…
I remember when I heard him mention working on the book— something jumped inside of me regarding this topic of “sensitivity” and “feelings” —and how they relate to our relationship with God, and how He designed us in His image.
I found myself in a time of realizing some things about the way He designed me to be, in this area of sensitivity—but I knew that I needed to learn more, I knew that I wanted to understand more of how to give this area of myself to God, instead of attempting to keep it “safely contained”… instead of seeing sensitivity in such a negative light, I wanted to be able to see it in God’s light.
I’m still only in chapter 2, because I’m taking my time and reading it slowly, but I can already see the beautiful, biblically grounded picture this book is painting, a ‘picture’ of what it means to be “wired” as a highly sensitive person in God’s eyes, from the way He designed us to be in His heart.
This book is not only painting a picture, but it’s truly is giving language, as it answers the questions of,
“How does God want to use this in me? How can I be more free in this area? How can I not be afraid of expressing these intense emotions? What do I do with them? How do I not allow these feelings to take me into a negative, out of control ‘overwhelm’ or into an ’emotional explosion’ in a negative way, but instead, how do I sort this out with my Heavenly Father and learn to allow Him to use this high level of sensitivity in me, how does God want to use this thing that He designed into me?”
Lately I’ve been seeing this memory of when I was a child in elementary school…
Somehow from around the time of going into Kindergarten and into the 1st grade, I went from being a lively, highly imaginative, highly sensitive little girl—full of creative, uninhibited, expressive emotions that were bursting out of me… but by the time I got to the 1st grade, something in me decided that I was “too much to handle” because my over-the-top, out-of-control emotions only got me into trouble in school.
I didn’t know what to do with them, and my teachers didn’t know what to do either. And I don’t blame them, I’m sure they only did what they knew to do. I’m sure they only did what they thought was best.
But right from the start, time and time again, I’d end up in time-out because of crying, or not being able to control my emotions. I soon became terrified of getting into trouble in school because it hurt deeply, and it was embarrassing, and it wasn’t giving me a “good image” before my peers… and so I decided that the ‘safest’ thing I could do was to just shut myself down completely.
“I must be ‘too much‘—they don’t like me. And so, I’ll just take care of that, so I’ll not be such a burden, and so I don’t get into trouble over my feelings and emotions all of the time…”
And somehow, by the 1st grade, that’s exactly what I did.
I got inside of my safe little box,
I put my protective lid on,
and I vowed never to speak in school.
But I didn’t just “shut down my emotions”… I shut “the whole thing down”…
I stopped raising my hand,
I quit putting myself out there,
I quit participating,
I stopped talking to the other kids in class,
I separated myself,
no words at lunchtime…
And for many years, I’d go all day at school, and not say a single word to anyone.
If someone were to speak to me, I would write a note and hand it to them in response, even in the times we were encouraged to talk with each other in groups.
And you guessed it… before long the kids labeled me with, “Oh, she’s the strange, non-talking girl… she doesn’t speak. What’s wrong with her?”
My little ‘vow’ to shut myself down—an idea that I thought would keep me safe and help the situation, only backfired…and began to hinder me in ways I never would have imagined…
So my high sensitivity as a child, my overwhelming emotions…. they only got me into trouble, they only caused problems in my world, they only caused my teachers to become irritated and frustrated with me. I didn’t know what to do with them. And so I tried to hide them, I tried to shut myself away, I tried to see if I could just be numb…without “all of the annoying emotions.”
That didn’t fix the anything, except for… keeping me out of trouble.
I have another memory from the last part of Kindergarten… we were supposed to make these “Clown Hats” for ourselves. We had to come up with a “Clown Name” that would express something about ourselves, our personality… most kids choose names like “Sunny” or “Silly” or “Happy” or “Rowdy” —things of that nature… Well, I remember having trouble coming up with a name for mine, I had forgotten who I was, and my teacher told me that a good name for me would be “Cloudy“….
I guess you could say that name would have described my personality at the time… by that point in school, I was a miserable, depressed, fearful, cranky little child who was beginning to shut down.
And that’s not who I really was.
… but I didn’t know who I was anymore…
By that time, all I knew, was I just wanted to shut “whoever I was”… utterly and completely down.
My emotions and feelings felt like such a burden to me, oh I hated dealing with them for so long, on so many levels.
But over time, little by little, God has been helping me to realize, that “You know… He might have created me to be ‘highly sensitive’… on purpose.”
And over the last few years, God has been taking me through a process, a slow journey of “undoing” and “unraveling” …and He’s been surfacing the wounds and all of the pain that has come from the wounds, and He’s been clearing up, all of the things I’ve thought inaccurately about myself over the years.
And how freeing it is…
…that God has feelings and emotions too.
He feels deeply.
And His feelings and emotions are perfect.
And He wants to take us through a process—a journey—where He brings healing to our feelings and emotions, and He redeems our feelings and emotions, as He teaches us how… to allow Him to redeem and use this part of who we are for His Kingdom, and for His purpose.
Through discovering who He is, He teaches us about the way He designed these things to function in us—and we can begin to see, His intention—His heart for our emotions… a beautiful part of who we’ve been created to be!
He teaches us how… to not be so afraid of our feelings and emotions.
Because He designed our feelings and emotions into us—in His image—for a purpose, and for GOOD use!
As we learn from Him… He’s teaching us how to “feel” in the way that He feels, how to see the way that He sees, and how to love in the way that He loves…
Thank You for bringing me out of my ways, Father. Thank You for “unraveling” all of the messes that I’ve made for myself. Thank You for taking me into a journey of leading me into Your life-giving ways. How You redeem me… 💖
“He reaches deep into the pit to deliver you from death.
He crowns you with unfailing love and compassion like a king.
5 When your soul is famished and withering,
He fills you with good and beautiful things, satisfying you as long as you live.
He makes you strong like an eagle, restoring your youth.
6 When people are crushed, wronged, enslaved, raped, murdered,
the Eternal is just;
He makes the wrongs right.“—Psalm 103:4-6 TPT