Have you ever felt separated from God’s love? All of us will experience seasons when we feel distant from God…when it feels as though his presence is far from us. In this episode of Soul Talks, Bill & Kristi share the story of Darren. A pastor who Bill had the privilege of walking with as he navigated such a season. Listen to Darren’s story and the hope and freedom he encountered.
“I’m fine,” we say. Men especially do this to be “strong” — much to the disappointment of family and friends (especially women!) who want more connection. Burying emotions is actually a weakness that disrupts life and ministry. Bill Gaultiere and John Loppnow, fellow pastors and counselors, share how they connect with their emotions and with God. John introduces “Immanuel Journaling” as a tool for self-awareness and prayer.
Emotion is an big part of who we are and how we relate to God and one another. Making the connection between ourself, our experiences our hurts today and those we encountered as a child is critical. Our willingness to recognize those connections can be life changing. Bill & Kristi share the power recognizing the impact of emotional trauma has in bringing wholeness and healing.
We all deal with conflict in our close relationships. Surprisingly, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they’ll be called children of God.” Most people misunderstand this beatitude and look for the blessing in making peace rather than in being a loved child of God. Bill and Kristi share their stress and pain from a conflict and show how the Prince of Peace helped them repair it.
Dumping on people it’s not helpful! Effective listening enables people to feel cared for and to take personal personal responsibility — it doesn’t “fragilize” them. We discuss an example in parenting. Bill’s Bible study and reflective meditation from Habakkuk helps us be strengthened in faith through venting emotion wisely.
A pastor shares, “I thought it was wrong to vent emotions. I didn’t want to name negative emotions and make them more real so I just kept them inside.” Repressing emotions puts them in your body and diminishes your capacity to love and lead well. Kristi helps Bill process his feelings about Brennan Manning’s memoir confessions of ongoing alcoholism and deceit during his ministry.
What’s God doing when hurricane’s hit? How do we deal with hardships? We go to Jesus together. We validate the emotions and offer empathy. We may need to re-think our perspective and faith and do some training to learn how to live and react to trials from within the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God.
Like some ministry leaders today Nicodemus was stuck in his head and emotionally reluctant. Jesus offers masterful empathy to help him re-think — and re-feel! — his life to be “born from above” in the Kingdom of God. Here’s an insightful Bible study on John 3:1-17 put into the format of a refreshing empathy-based conversation.