And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:39-46
Brene Brown, a leading researcher of human emotions, claims “you either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness. The most difficult part of our stories is often what we bring to them – what we make up about who we are and how we are perceived by others. Owning our stories means acknowledging our feelings and wrestling with the hard emotions – our fear, anger, aggression, shame, and blame. This isn’t easy, but the alternative – denying our stories and disengaging from emotion – means choosing to live our lives in the dark. It means no accountability, no learning, no growth.”
When Jesus walked into the garden of Gethsemane, he was owning his own story. He often met there to commune in prayer with his Father God. Luke 22:39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. Jesus knew his mission, his reason for being born a man. He acknowledged his humanness by sharing his emotions with his disciples. Matthew 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me. Then he poured out his heart to his Father. Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” It wasn’t easy. He was given help for what was about to happen. Luke 22:43-44 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. His betrayer came and Jesus chose to die so we could live free from sin.
We are all human; we all have emotions. We will either bury them, lash out with them, or let them slowly leak out. Jesus prayed his emotions out in his safe place with his Father God. Each of us has a story in God’s family. Each of us has a safe listener in God. We are of infinite value to him.
Where are you in the journey of owning your story? Take time to share your feelings with a trusted person. If you are having difficulty with some emotions, it’s okay to ask for help.
By Donna Burns