Permission to be badI knew something had to change. I wanted nothing more than to live for God and bring Him glory. I prayed for His truth to dwell in my heart and let me live with the joy of the Lord.

I put great effort into my spiritual health while ignoring emotional health, not realizing the strong connection between the two. When my emotions didn’t seem spiritually correct, I refused to acknowledge them. After all, why would I feed the monster of sin?

December 31, 2014, I was reeling from financial pressure of putting my daughter through college. I was shaken to the core by situations that never seem to change at work. I was miserable, frustrated and depressed.

Typically, I set myself straight with a private sermon. Don’t grow weary in doing good. (Gal 6:9) Consider others above yourself. (Phil 2:3) Trials bring perseverance and perseverance proven character. (Rom 5:3-5) Set your mind on things above. (Col. 3:2) I can do all things through Christ. (Phil 4:13) I thought I was focusing on the right versus to become the Christian that I thought I should be. The thing was, this time the sermon wasn’t working. I was done dealing with it all. I was emotionally, completely spent.

It’s the perfect place for God to start the real work of healing.

 You see, in trying to live for Jesus and have a good Christian witness, I didn’t allow emotions that I believed were bad, specifically anger and sadness. Isn’t there something wrong with our Christian walk if we struggle with these emotions?

 I didn’t think I was angry. I knew I was sad, I just felt like my personality was reserved, not giddy like others. Besides, I could overcome it if I just had a stronger faith. In reality, they were emotions I mostly denied and labeled improper for a woman who sought after God’s heart.

 So that New Year’s Eve ,when I was completely at the end, I gave myself permission to do something that seemed horrible. I gave myself permission to be bad. I would be angry if I felt angry. I would be as sad as I wanted to be. It was one of the most healing decisions I ever made. Stay with me here, there’s more to the story.

 I was utterly shocked at the amount of anger pouring out of me. I was resentful and sad over things that it been taken from me. I was angry that people manipulated and used and then ignored me. Frankly, there were times I was scared to be around myself.

 Before you go jumping to conclusions, let me say I did not allow myself to stay there.

 Each time one of those ugly emotions showed up I talked to God, verbalizing whatever I was feeling.  God, this person just tore my work to shreds. It makes me feel terrible and I’m mad they don’t care enough about me to treat me better. God, I’m hurt and angry. And right now I am choosing to give you this anger. I am choosing to give you this hurt. Take it Lord it’s too much for me I give it to you.

 The healing miracle began

I had no idea how much I had not given to Jesus. I consistently confronted and confessed and the anger melted away. God replaced it with a tender strength that could only come from Him.

 God replaced my wounds with his identity. He removed my pain with His love.

 So throughout 2015, God and I kept at the process. As I verbalized God, I give this to you. I felt the weight lift from my soul.  My spirit began to take on life and buoyancy.

 This New Years Eve I sat alone in the quiet, the same as a year ago, but nothing was the same. Now I was filled with thankfulness for God’s journey of healing. God has shown me so much love. I have a long way to go, but, oh, how far God has brought me.

 Through giving myself permission to be bad, I see His good. He’s making me into His best.

 I want to encourage you. If you have feelings that you think are bad, God doesn’t want you to disregard them. They are tools for growth. They reveal where we need to go deeper into healing.

 God is big enough to take those bad feelings from you. He loves enough to never shame us. Telling God about them is not a surprise to him. If you’re like me though, it will be a surprise to you where it takes you.

 You have permission.

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Linda Gibbs

Linda is on a lifelong journey discovering the depths of God's delight. She is a single parent to an adult daughter who also loves to craft with words. Her heart is for the worn and overlooked. Her passion is to help women discover the individual and intimate relationship God craves with them. By night she contemplates life with her dog Maggie. By day, she works as a fourth generation leader in her family business. Linda loves deep conversation, serving with the worship music team and caramel with anything; especially coffee.

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