Dear Ginger,

I go to church and know that I should probably feel happy all the time, but I actually feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.  I don’t feel good about myself.  How do I fix my feelings… how do I make them change?

Thanks – F.

Dear F,

Thanks for such a great question that we can ALL identify with.  It sounds like you are in a tough place to be right now.  I am so sorry that things have been hard for you.  I know what it’s like to feel ineffective, depressed, lonely, and like I can’t measure up.  I’ve totally been there.

The crazy thing about feelings is that they are temporary. What we are feeling for a chunk of time (unless depression is involved) tends to change throughout the day.  That means I can be on cloud nine in the morning because I get an encouraging text… but I can also quickly become upset and angered if my phone company accidentally charges me an additional $200 on my bill.  Our emotions change so many times in a single day.  Because emotions are internal you have to change your mindset to change your emotion and this process doesn’t come naturally.  Bummer.

My feelings will change all the time.  (Wait, they just did again. Awesome.)  Just like you I have periods of doubt, frustration, or fear and I can honestly tell you that the only thing that has been able to see me through is the TRUTH of God’s Word. The devil really loves to feed you negative words, guilt, and lies so that your thoughts control you… rather than you controlling your thoughts.

The GREAT news is that regardless of how we are feeling about ourselves or our situations – God still thinks wonderful thoughts about us!

“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!” 
Psalm 139:17 (NLT)

Not only does God have precious thoughts about you, but this verse also says that those thoughts cannot be numbered!

Self-esteem would have me working hard to feel better, but I now know that my self-esteem is going to fluctuate on a crazy cycle until I get it centered on God.  Ever seen your washing machine get off center?  It sounds like my whole house is coming down… until it gets balanced and centered.

Our center of gravity should be God’s Word!  My recommendation would be that you start filling up on GOOD stuff.  Replace those negative feelings with Truth.  It’s not going to be like an instant caffeine hit.  You will still have days when you do feel not up to par – but remember 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NCV) and fight like you mean it!

“We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.”

Be encouraged – you are not in this alone!


*A Retro Post that previously appeared on March 16, 2011.