The Truth About Feelings

I shared the following account a few years ago … and I have found that the words the Lord gave me to nourish a hurting little boys heart have been the words He has used to nourish my own.

Is it truth?anchor-for-our-soul

There are many things in our day to day living that are confusing and unsettling. We aren’t meant to run the gauntlet of emotions, leaving us battered and uncertain and ruled by the feelings of the moment. Over and over again as we have faced disappointment and trials of various sorts I am brought back to this thought. I may feel one way, but does it align with what I know to be true from God’s word?
(the following is reposted from a few years ago)

feelings-and-truth“I just feel like nobody loves me!” He screamed, and kicked his little legs hard into his mattress as if to emphasize further how he felt.

I sat, outside his room, pensive. I hadn’t yet decided how to handle the situation when he let at it again;

“I SAID,” he screamed, louder this time. “I FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T LOVE ME! DO YOU HEAR ME? I FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T LOVE ME.”

His repeated deceleration did not lead me anywhere closer to knowing what to do with him.

It’s a curious thing how, as a believer, we have full access to the throne room of God to go and ask for wisdom, for patience, for love in trying moments and yet how easy it is to forget to do that. You would think that when the peaceful haven of one’s home is unraveling with ugly words or actions that the very first reaction would be to run to the Giver of wisdom, the Creator of each unique being, the One who is Love. But it is all too often only after I have tried to make things work my way that I remember to pray. But I am thankful that on this day I remembered that He is there and He listens, and this tired, heart hurting mama prayed for wisdom and prayed for a special kind of love for a trying little boy.

And in that moment I found what I wanted to say to the boy who felt unloved.

I went and lay next to him and listened as he repeated, again, how he felt like I didn’t love him.

I gently rubbed his back.

And I asked him if he knew that to be truth.

His little eyes filled with tears and he whispered “No mama, I know it’s not true.”

“What do you know is true sweetheart?”

“I know that you love me.”

“So is what you feel true?”

“No mama.”

And I talked with him about feelings and how they can change so quickly and that they must always be filtered through that which is true. We were created to feel, and it is such a beautiful aspect of humanity. It is good to feel and this is not about discrediting feelings.

But when we are tired, we feel differently than when we are well rested.
When we eat too much sugar, we feel differently than when our diet is well balanced.
When someone praises us or when someone criticizes us, we feel differently than when we aren’t thinking about what others think.

The truth though? The thing about it is that it never changes.

And when tantrums flare because of how we feel  we need to pause for a moment and remember that which is true. Anchor ourselves with truth. Filter our feelings with truth. It is the difference between not feeling loved and knowing with absolute confidence that you are.truth

Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. – John 17:17

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Jessica Lynette

10 Comments

  1. Great reminder to ask the Lord for help, Jessica. And these tantrums based on our feelings are definitely not limited to small children! As adults we often have to pause and think about what’s true as well.

    • Yes, very true! Especially when we are dealing with children that are driving us insane – it is good to focus on what is *true* and not how they make us *feel* 🙂

  2. Such an appropriate response! Thank you for mothering my grandchildren so well! John Piper said “My feelings do not define truth. God’s word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes – many times – my feelings are out of sync with the truth.”

  3. We have had one of those weeks, too. With all the drama around here one would wonder if it’s reality TV show. 😉 So easily we kick and flail and forget to anchor ourselves in the truth and when we don’t we sink and guide ourselves according to our feelings and not what sanctifies us. Thankful He doesn’t give up on me or my children.

  4. It is so hard to teach these little people how to deal with big feelings. This has been a struggle around here too and it is not easy to explain that it is okay and normal to feel angry or frustrated or disappointed but that it is up to us to control how we react to it. Thanks for the reminder that I need to be praying constantly through these situations and to keep pointing them back to Truth.

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