Spiritual preparation is about opening your heart, being honest with God and yourself. One way to uncover what is hidden in your heart is through guided journaling and prayer. The “Ten Questions About…” exercises are designed to guide you through your emotions, thoughts and spiritual challenges.
Emotions are real. Your body chemistry changes ever so slightly based on your emotions. This is because your body may need to be ready to respond based on your emotional state. For example, fear may be caused by an unsafe environment that requires your quick action. But emotions are still no more than reactions to what is happening around you. Here are some things to keep in mind as you work through these exercises:
Emotions are neither good nor bad. It is not a sin to be angry or sad or hurt or happy. However emotions are like windows into your heart. Strong feelings can indicate problems like sin, pride, greed or a need to forgive.
Your feelings about situations can change as you move to wholeness in Christ. Strong anger and hurt can be healed by God, but only if you let him see it. Don’t be afraid to be honest with God about where you are emotionally right now.
Enjoy the good feelings you have, there is certainly nothing wrong with joy. Pregnancy hormones don’t just leave you cranky, some of them are feel-good hormones (like oxytocin which is a love hormone).
Spend some time working through each list on your own. It is helpful to write out your answers in a journal. Either while you are writing or after a time of reflection be sure to spend time in prayer sharing what you have learned with God.
The final step is to schedule some time to share your answers with your spouse, a trusted friend or counselor. We, as Christians, can sometimes fall victim to thinking we must be perfect and not let others see where we fail. It can be frightening to bear your heart to another person, not knowing if they will reject you or love you. I urge you to break through any walls you might have built around your heart to prevent others from seeing who you are. You may find that sharing some of your fears, concerns or struggles helps to lessen the burden. If nothing else, you will certainly find that you are not alone in your fears.