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Are you feelin’ it? You don’t have to.

Hi, friends!
It’s hard to encourage others when you yourself are discouraged. That’s where I’ve been lately.
Hey, this blog is about transparency, right? 😉
One thing I’m learning—sometimes, not very well—is that discouragement comes when I expect something and then don’t get it, when I long for something and it doesn’t come about. For most of us, wanting these things isn’t necessarily bad:

  • A job
  • A husband
  • A child
  • An improvement in health
  • A publishing contract (for my fellow writers out there!)

What to do?
It’s easy to tell someone to just put their eyes on Jesus. But when your bills stack higher than Mt. Everest, your biological clock is ticking, your health slides downward, or the publishing contract loses its way in the mail, it’s hard to get your eyes on anything other than what your heart desires.
That’s why I start with my heart.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a firm believer in acknowledging and processing my feelings. That’s how we heal and grow. It’s also how we experience the range of emotions God gave us. But if I stop there—with my heart, I will stay discouraged, maybe even dip into depression.
So I move from my heart to my mind, to what I know is true—even though I might not feel it.

  • I don’t feel loved, but I know God loves me (John 3:16).
  • I don’t feel like He’s listening, but I know He leans in close (Psalm 4:3).
  • I don’t feel like I have all I need, but I know He provides for me (Philippians 4:19).
  • I don’t feel like I have good things. But I know He gives me only the best (James 1:17).
  • I don’t feel like I’m going in the right direction. But I know He leads me (Psalm 143:10).
  • I don’t feel like I have anyone who stands up for me. But I know He protects me (Psalm 121:7).

It’s not “fake it ’til you make it.” It’s an “I don’t feel it. But I don’t have to because I know it!” Why?

Because I know my God. And I believe His word.

See the difference? I’m not stuffing my feelings; I’m acknowledging them and reminding myself I don’t have to rely on them solely. I can rely on what—er, who—I know.
This is especially important for people who struggle with mental illness, especially depression, like me. Many times, I haven’t felt … anything. This is a daily thing for me. But it’s at those times, when I choose to rely on what I know about my God.
Start with your heart. And then move to your mind.
Don’t just feel it. Know it!
Come alongside… What are you not feeling lately? How can you know it? Share with us in the comments below.

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2 Responses to Are you feelin’ it? You don’t have to.

  • I think all of us hope for things that are slow in coming, and we fear that our dreams may not ever be realized at all. But I know you are right in putting your complete trust in our Lord, even though the hills and valleys He may lead us through might not be the one’s we had in mind for ourselves.
    I have to remind myself, that He tells us to put Him first and all the other things will be added to us. I just think it’s hard to really focus on Him instead of all those other things we’d like to have “added” to us!
    The word “patience’ sure comes up a lot in scripture (even in Revelation!) I must admit, it’s not one of my favorite words. But apparently, it’s something really important to Him that we learn.
    I found myself depressed after the holidays myself, and after my book was delayed (etc. etc.) The only thing good about being depressed was that after months (maybe a year or so) of being “manic” (due to excitement) now I can really rest.
    I’m now trying to find some kind of healthy balance. Being an “Indie Author” is a new territory for me. It’s easy to panic and think nothing is happening-but I’ve found that it comes in waves. I just have to believe that God put this dream in my heart to begin with. Hopefully I didn’t jump ahead of him doing my books, but it sure seems to me that He was with me each step of the way.
    As with every area of my life, I know that I’ve got to trust him. And, be patient:)

  • Sharon says:

    Our Lord, my family and church have got me through things. I was laid off from my job after 24 years. I didn’t work for almost 2 years. During that time I found out I had level 1 breast cancer. I haave been clean for a year and got a full time minium wage job with no benefits, but I know that God will put me where I need to be, even though it seems to be taking a long time to get there.

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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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