Making Room for Emotions

I drank the Kool-Aid. 8 Emotions. 8 Impairments. 8 Gifts. Chip Dodd-isms have made their way into our home and into our mind frame via Dodd's chief disciple and our pastor, Dhati Lewis. At the aid of the body of Christ I've become aware that my emotionally stunted past produced an emotionally anemic present.

After a recent fight, my wife and I were sitting in the living room of the Sherwoods seeking help to work out our feelings. Chris and Adrienne set the ground rules for the night, then asked Kahra to kick things off by describing why we were there. After this, Adrienne turned to me and asked me how I felt about what Kahra just said. So, I rattled off my answer. Then Chris and Adrienne informed me that I had only recited facts. I had not conveyed any feelings or emotions.

As I redirected my heart to focus on my feelings I temporarily hit a wall. I was forced to confront a bundle of thoughts, but I was not sure how to untangle them. Chris handed me Chip Dodd's emotions chart and I began to realize I felt fear. I did not, however, feel safe to express my emotions. Then it dawned on me that stoicism has been my default practice. Instead of engaging my emotions to see where they might lead me, I have denied them and shoved them down, creating a greater sense of volcanic pressure in my soul.

After acknowledging the emotion of fear, I discovered that I also felt guilt and sadness. Part of the reason we were at this impasse was due to a lack of consideration and spiritual leadership on my part towards my wife. I felt guilty that in five years of marriage I intentionally invested in the faith of other men, but had not spent as much time investing in my wife’s faith. When you intentionally invest in people relationship is developed. Because I had not spent as much time investing in my wife, I began to feel sad about the spiritual disconnect I felt in our relationship.

As I began naming and accepting my emotions with my wife and the Sherwoods, I sensed some misty material about my eyes accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and chest. What was this this foreign liquid and these odd feelings? The byproduct of this meeting was healing and a sense of courage to continue showing up emotionally. This facilitated the road to reconciliation for us. Our new beginning was made possible by engaging my emotions and verbally expressing them. Further, this expression was facilitated by the aid of the Body of Christ. I felt freedom in naming and accepting my emotions. I also felt a sense of liberation by being received by members of Christ's family who created space for such an outcome and new beginning to take place. Engaging my emotions facilitated by Christ's family is a wholesome formula!

Morgan Nix serves as the Executive Pastor of Blueprint Church. He was raised in Gainesville and attended Georgia State University where he played golf and earned his degree in finance. After graduation, he moved to China where he worked in sales in the golf industry. During his time in Hong Kong, he experienced a church embrace and love him as one of their own. This sparked Morgan’s love for the local church. After returning from China, Morgan met his wife. They have been married for five years and currently have two dogs, Blue and Fitzwilliam.