For as long as I can remember, I’ve really been frustrated with the emotional side of who I am.
I seem to feel everything so strongly and deeply, to the point of feeling continually weak and vulnerable. I feel that I invest too intensely in the relationships in my life, allowing myself to feel hurt often. I feel childishly sensitive, and feel devastatingly immobilized by situations that cause my emotions to reach the surface. But something that has been made clear to me is that Heavenly Father answers prayers in His own time, in His own way, and with answers that are best for us. After years of feeling confused and frustrated by this part of my nature, a discussion we had in my New Testament class about this very idea answered many heartfelt pleadings. Rather than granting my requests to be alleviated from this “weakness,” He instead helped me understand why He made me this way.
In the NT, when Paul and Silas are on one of their missionary journeys, they write a letter from Corinth to the people of Thessalonica. In it we read:
“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.” –1 Thessalonians 2:8 (emphasis added).
As friends, missionaries, parents, etc., we invest ourselves in other people. And it is typically those who invest that get hurt. There is real human feeling, empathy, and love involved here. But do we realize that this is the very nature of our Godhead?
We worship a God who weeps. We do have the capacity to hurt him (see Acts 9:4) because He has invested everything in us. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered so that He would be able to emphathize with us in our very moment of need. He has felt what we feel. He has carried our griefs, our sorrows, felt our joys and triumphs. He feels. He loves us beyond any mortal comprehension.
As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite movies is a documentary called Two Brothers. I feel like I can relate closely to Sam Nelson, one of the brothers recorded over many years. My favorite part is Sam talking about this very same idea. That because we experience this abundance of emotion, because we feel, while it may mean getting hurt, it always means we are able to invest in and love other people. Just as our Savior did.