Have you ever been told by a well-meaning pastor or Christian friend that you just need to trust God more? That you need to show the fruits of the spirit more? That you have nothing to be sad about or depressed or anxious?
Well there is truth in the fact that if we know Jesus this world is not our home, so we have an everlasting joy that we know who wins in the end. We know that there will be a time where there will be no more crying, no more pain, no more tears, no more sadness, and yet we have these human feelings in relation to our experiences.
First of all, we need to keep in mind that there can be chemical imbalances based on things we placed in our body or encountered in the environment, or the way we are created, that can cause us to feel anxious and depressed.
Second, there are things we experience that can cause us to feel anxious or depressed or other feelings we were not intended to feel.
Many of the experiences I discuss here are related to trauma, but it could be other experiences of loss or grief or struggles that you’ve encountered.
I cannot tell you exactly what is going to work for you when you have feelings of sadness, grief, depression, anxiety, but I can share the truth I’ve come to understand and how I deal with it.
The first thing I do when I begin to feel less joyful than I “think“ that I should feel, is to notice what my body is telling me. Am I just overly tired from lots of stress and work? Am I feeling something in my body that’s related to an underlying trauma I have not dealt with? Are my feelings out of proportion to the situation currently? If so, what do I need to deal with in counseling to overcome those feelings? What have I eaten lately that may have added to my feelings currently? Did I splurge on excessive sugary foods or carbohydrates?
Whatever the answer is to any of the above, I want you to know that it’s OK to have feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, grief, and God understands your feelings. He created us, so He knows our emotions and feelings better than we do, and He has no judgment or condemnation about them.
He doesn’t want you to stay there in them, and He wants you to find healing, but He knows that we live in a sinful world. Because we live in a sinful world, we will experience sadness, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, tears…. Those are all the results of sin. Not necessarily sin we’ve committed, but it could be from sin done against us.
I always have a joy, which is a peace, that this world is not my home and one day things will all pass away and will be made new, but I still have days where I am depressed and anxious and struggling to deal with my feelings. What I understand now, is that is OK. It does not make me “not a good Christian”, and it doesn’t mean I’m not “trusting God enough”, it just means I’m human.
We don’t want to stay stuck in these feelings, but just because they are with you for an extended period of time doesn’t mean you’re stuck. If you’re seeking counseling and healing in some avenue to work through those feelings you are not stuck. If you’re not making progress or working on them, then you possibly may be stuck, but your feelings are valid, and OK.
Allow yourself to feel them, take them to God, and fill your mind with truth from the Scriptures. Truth about the hope we have of heaven and the glory that awaits us there.
I pray over you, similar to Isaiah 61, that God would bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. That you will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
In Jesus name
Hang in there my friends, with God’s strength you can do this! You are in my prayers!
© 2022 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.