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Connecting What I Know to What I Feel

This has been a difficult season of life. I’ve had some defeating days lately. I struggle with getting my heart to believe what my mind knows.

Specifically, I struggle with my role as momma. I know that I am a good mother. Not perfect, but I am not neglecting them. I love them, feed them and care for them physically. I point them to Jesus and their need for Him. I pray for them. Their basic needs are met, they are loved and the gospel is readily available for them.

Yet most days I don’t feel like a good mother.

Moments come and I lose my temper. Days pass where I have wanted to be anywhere but in the trenches of discipline, diapers and dirty floors.

There have been some moments where this feeling is completely overwhelming.

“I can’t do this.”

“I am a horrible mother.”

“I want to just run away.”

Emotions seem to overtake my soul. Anger. Despair. Hopelessness. Fear.

In this season of battling my feelings with truth, Psalm 143 has been both a comfort and a source of strength. If you, like me, have been battling with negative emotions and overwhelming discouragement, will you take a moment to read this Psalm? If a truth resonates with your soul, will you stop and cry out to the living God who knows every part of your soul?

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
2 In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge!
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

Psalm 143 ESV

I’ve been memorizing these words, journaling through them and listening to them over and over again on my phone as I drive around town. I am excited to share more soon about what I am learning from how David dealt with his despair.

Do you struggle with overwhelming negative emotions? Do you struggle with the disconnect of what you know and what you feel? What have you found to be helpful as you battle these dark days?

27 replies
  1. Heather
    Heather says:

    thank you for your vulnerability and encouragement. These moments of despair often make us feel isolated but knowing you are not alone in your despair unites us. Thank you for sharing a wonderful piece of scripture.

    Reply
  2. Racheal
    Racheal says:

    As I’ve always said your realness is such a breath of fresh air. I appreciate that most about you!! I’m in the trenches right there with you. Thank you for this helpful bit of scripture!!!

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thank you, Racheal. I treasure our friendship! Praying His word brings life to your soul as it has mine!

      Reply
  3. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I’m laughing inside b/c Oh my goodness I’m there alot. My oldest two are not preschoolers anymore, but still have needs, just not the crazy constant ones like my 3 year old. I struggle with connecting my feelings to my beliefs just in general about ME. My worth, my place in friendships, my role as a wife, and so much more. I love that you shared this today. Getting this passage into my soul today.
    Amanda

    Reply
  4. Our Family for His Glory
    Our Family for His Glory says:

    Oh, Katie- you are not alone! So many days I deal with the emotions of being in the trenches, & find myself in despair- when really I just need to look to truth- to HIM. Thank-you for your wise, honest words!!
    Jessica

    Reply
  5. Audra
    Audra says:

    Amen! Since having little ones I have felt so overwhelmed that I feel very far from God many days. It is so helpful to remember that feelings do not equal truth! Thank you for your transparency.

    Reply
  6. Kris
    Kris says:

    Oh friend. I live in this space with you daily. Your honesty is beautiful and raw. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying God continues to remind you of his truths…

    Reply
  7. Barbie
    Barbie says:

    I struggle with negative thoughts daily. My heart has not yet been able to grasp what my mind knows to be true. I continue to repeat scripture back to myself. Regardless of the lack fo feeling behind it, I cling to His Word. For it is life to my soul.

    Reply
  8. Rambling Heather
    Rambling Heather says:

    What beautiful words. I find myself here too often to admit. The enemy knows how to grab and twist truth into lies. We must guard with scripture as you are doing. Your words are a blessing!

    Reply
  9. Aja
    Aja says:

    Been there too- especially trying to balance two little ones who BOTh want every.single. thing I have to give. You’re serving not only your family, but God, so faithfully by all you do for your kids. Love you lots, girl!

    Reply
  10. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    oh how I needed to hear that. It such an encouragement to know I am not alone!!! I am sorry for your struggles but how wonderful to know that we are to joy in our trials. Keep on!!! Thank you for your openess. It is a blessing to have fellowship even while at home with our sweet babies. God bless you!!! I am excited to have found this blog!

    Reply
  11. becky
    becky says:

    Katie, your words ring so true with me. Without ever realizing it, I guess I believed I was a “pretty good” person through 27 years of singleness, the first few years of marriage and the first two children. . . Then enter child #3 and my pregnancy with Baby #4, when #1 was still only 3 years old and #3 was just 8 months.
    My struggles to care for two squabbling toddlers, while nursing an eight-month-old and dealing with first trimester fatigues, revealed so much selfishness, impatience, and anger (that I had never in my life previously struggled with). I thank God for showing me the depths of my sin and my daily, “moment-by-moment” need for Him!
    But it has been a bitter battle. . . The lowest low came when I was about 8 months pregnant and had spent about a month on bedrest. I had lost my temper (again) with my 4-year-old and went to talk with her and ask her forgiveness. She asked me, “When you were a little girl, did you think that you wouldn’t be able to handle children when you grew up?” [sigh.]
    “No,” I said, “I always thought I could handle it. And that is the problem: I thought I needed Jesus sometimes. But the truth is I need Him ALL the time. Every moment.” I cannot do this in my own strength. For so long I thought I could. And the blessing in this is that He is driving me back to Himself moment by moment.
    I live in that reality now: My needy-ness. My inability to handle life on my own. Beyond that, my disgusting depravity apart from God.
    And the greater realities: His all-sufficiency. His fathomless love. His unmerited favor, His unconditional forgiveness. There is no better place to be.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thanks for sharing, Becky! I wish we didn’t have to learn these lessons this way, but of course He knows best. Thankful for grace!

      Reply
  12. martha brady
    martha brady says:

    i think there are often times that living w our frailties lead us to despair. some of us have hormonal issues that affect this, multiple pregnancies in short periods of time are hard on many people…we need to be wise and occasionally give our bodies a break. maybe our original idealistic plans of having many children very close together gets tempered by reality and we need to pause and allow our bodies and hormones to catch up.
    we get upset with ourselves for losing our temper with our children/spouses. we do need to ask, “why? what is happening here?” and answer it with a more specific question than, “b/c i am a sinner.”

    yes, we are sinners. the voice of the Accuser (satan, NOT Jesus!) will hound us with guilt, fear and despair. nothing could please him more than to put us in a situation where we are immobilized.

    Christ died for us…in our despair, in our sin, in our failure! if we are His daughters, we are dressed in His righteousness. we need to tell the truth to ourselves as the Accuser fills our minds with lies!

    Here are words of truth: My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
    I we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!
    Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…

    a book that is very practical and helpful GETTING OVER THE BLUES by Leslie Vernick. she has come to the same pont you have of the psalms ministering to her soul. she also makes some other practical and helpful comments along with assignments with each chapter to work through over time. it is a very elpful book you will be encouraged by God’s truth…and get into helpful routines that will also help you.

    sorry to be so long. brevity is not my spiritual gift. find someone (female) you can confide in who can pray with you and be honest with you. m

    Reply
  13. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Hi Katie, Thanks for connecting with me on FB. I finally had a chance to read your guest post at Inspired to Action. Unfortunately, I am right there with you. Thanks for your challenge. I just posted about how this passage has helped me this past week.

    Reply
  14. sharon lobb
    sharon lobb says:

    I remember so well those days of panic, desperation, and agonizing regret when I failed as a young mom…over and over everyday. As a mother of four grown children who love the Lord and love to come back home (my eyes are wet with wonder at God’s goodness)…I have to tell you that the best advice an older mom/mentor gave me was…”to take care of myself…look at the wounds of my past…do the journey to allow Him to heal them…” Even though I know that journey took time away from my children, it is what gave me the ability to change unhealthy patterns, keep our marriage together (33 yrs now) and change a legacy of dysfunction and pain. Healing prayer that gets to the heart of those emotions that get triggered everyday with our children saved my life and brought life to our family. It’s a hard journey…but oh it is sooo worth it. Just ask my family. The dark days are gone.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thank you, Sharon. It is comfort to me to know that others have been there, and got through it.

      Praising with you for the Lord’s provision and deliverance in your life.

      You are right, that it may take time away from my kids in order for things to get better. Hard pill for me to swallow, but we are getting there. Just have to fight the mommy-guilt of feeling that I am a bad mom for wanting to be away from my kids. But, I need it. When I come back from a few hours alone I come back ready to take on the day!

      Reply
  15. Bobbi Middleton
    Bobbi Middleton says:

    thank you for your vulnerability and encouragement. It such an encouragement to know I am not alone!!! she also makes some other practical and helpful comments along with assignments with each chapter to work through over time.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I’ve had some dark days lately. This cloud has followed me, off and on, for a few years now. While I feel as if I am just now realizing the depths of the darkness, God has been faithful to bring me hope through His Word. […]

  2. […] challenge, a link-up and a giveaway! By Katie | August 3rd, 2011 I shared last week about my struggle of connecting what I know to what I feel and as I wait for this dark cloud to […]

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