I have recently come to the realization that I am very emotional.
I know, right? Shocking, but true.
There’s an upside as well as a downside to being a high-strung, sensitive, Type-A melancholy. The benefits are so great that I wouldn’t trade my unique make-up for my husband’s sanguinity or my daughter’s steady smile or for all the money in the world. And the reason is this:
The highs are fan-TAST-ic.
I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that those few times I’m happy or excited or thrilled, I am way beyond your best day ever. Seriously, it’s worth it, because the sky is so blue and the air is so sweet and my heart swells enormously and there is nothing like it.
It’s how I will feel for all eternity, I know it, a taste of perfect heaven for just an instant on earth. Very few people get to experience that depth of wonderful joy. I think Isaiah did, and maybe King David, and Mary the mother of our Lord, and perhaps Paul.
On the other hand is the downside — the lows. For every high must come an equally powerful low to balance it out. Usually this comes in a pendulum swing, from the HIGH to the proportionate low then back to the midpoint.
It has taken me nearly four decades of swinging this pendulum before I could understand it and even anticipate it. I’m a slow learner. But I think I’ve got it. A couple weeks ago, I had a REALLY BIG HIGH! I accomplished two things I had been planning for years but had never made a reality. Until now.
- I landed a seat as a principle in the New Life Symphony Orchestra.
- I sent a book proposal and sample chapters to a major publisher.
Those two things were scary to consider, sweaty to undertake, and thrilling to finish! I felt great! There are not words to describe how elated I was when I drove home from my audition, and then again when I hit “send” on that book proposal.
It was done, and I did it. Take that!
Those two highs lasted me a couple weeks, they were so powerful. It was weird for my family, because I smiled for several days in a row. That was eerie.
But then, like all good highs, it swung back low. Right around the one month mark, when orchestra rehearsals began and the time was drawing nigh to hear back about the book proposal.
My own inadequacy caught up with me — it is time to see the results. Yikes.
So reality comes crashing around me, along with all the fears and doubts and mistakes and flaws and humanity.
What if I can’t cut it? What if I don’t keep up? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t make a difference, or worse, I’m a burden? What if I’m wasting my time here? What if no one wants my message? What if … I fail.
I’m starting to realize that the lows aren’t so much the problem — maybe they are a good attitude adjustment themselves. Because what the lows are revealing is that sometimes (maybe far too often) the highs are focusing on the wrong thing — me.
My flesh, not my God.
Because reality is that if my performance, my art, my life, my all is about God, then my emotional response will be less tied to what I see and what I experience and more a result of my relationship with my Creator and my faith in what He is accomplishing through me and those around me.
Because faith is the opposite of fear.
He must increase, and I must decrease.
Even in my highs and lows.