“I love you no matter how you feel,” I tell her as she backs herself against the wall, panic in her eyes as her emotions overwhelm her. I’m familiar with that panicky feeling— not only because I’m currently walking alongside my second highly sensitive daughter through toddlerhood, but also because my toddler’s emotions mimic my own more often than I care to admit (however usually hidden more under the surface).
It’s something I’ve realized my daughters probably need to hear from me, mostly because it’s something I’ve realized I often need to hear from my Heavenly Parent.
Occasionally, I’ll have one of those days when I just feel grumpy down to my bones, you know the ones? When you don’t want to be short with your loved ones but some perfect storm inside your body, mind and spirit just makes everything rub the wrong way?
Or, sometimes it’s more than just the occasional grumpy day. We have seasons of depression, heightened anxiety, discouragement from illness or diagnoses, stress from transition, or any number of things that feel as though they completely hijack our feelings and our physiologies.
We feel helpless to control how we feel, we don’t love the way the feel and, frankly, we don’t feel very lovable.
Insult is added to injury and we heap shame on ourselves for the way we feel.
Part of my recovery from anxiety and distorted thoughts is to stop this vicious cycle before the “shame storm” completely takes me out.
“God loves me even when I’m grumpy,” I’ve started to remind myself on those days.
God loves me even when every cell is my body is restless with worry and wondering how a surgery is progressing, or when my stomach’s in knots for months over the future, or when I need to cancel my plans to recover from the marathon-of-fits that took place in my home throughout the morning (or the week).
I am learning that how I feel doesn’t need to induce the panic of the overwhelm, wondering am I okay? God loves me no matter how I feel. I am okay.
Is there a time or a season or a situation or a feeling for which you need to be reminded that God loves you?
You are safe with the Parent that loves you, no matter what. No tantrum you could throw, no fit you could pitch, no scowl you could wear, or amount of tears you could cry would scare Him off, disgust Him, or make Him abandon you to just figure it out.
He is with you,
He delights in you,
He can quiet you with His love
He sings over you with gladness (Zephaniah 3:17) no matter how you feel.