More than feelings

A few months ago I was speaking at a banquet where I met a precious girl in her early twenties.  She sheepishly made her way over to me with tears welling up in her eyes.  She looked around before she whispered, “I don’t feel saved.  I have asked Jesus to be my Savior more times than I can count but I just don’t feel anything.  What am I doing wrong?”

She wasn’t doing anything wrong.

She was just looking in the wrong direction.  She was looking for some magical feeling to swoop across the broken places of her life and instantly make everything feel different.  That’s not the way it works. 

We can’t look to our feelings to determine truth.  We must look to truth to reign in our feelings.

Feelings are fickle.  Feelings change on a whim.  Feelings are paper thin and incapable of remaining untainted, unbiased, and unchanging.  Faith can’t be built on what we do or do not feel. 

Truth, on the other hand, is stable, solid, and certain. 

So, in the kindest way, I bossed her feelings with some truth.  “You said you believe Jesus is the Savior and you’ve confessed that with your mouth.  You’ve asked Him to be the Lord of your life and for forgiveness of your sins.  Right?’

She nodded, her eyes glistening with sincerity.

“Then park your mind, your heart, and your feelings on that truth and by the power of Jesus reject any lie that comes against that truth.  You are saved.  You are a child of God.  You are eternally secure.  Now, walk in that truth.”

A wave of relief swept over her face.  She threw her arms around me and buried her face in my jacket.  I knew she was getting a little snot on my shoulder and I could have cared less. 

I was too busy letting my own little sermonette make its way to my heart.  I hadn’t been doubting my salvation but I had been doubting something else.  I had been feeling afraid about releasing the message of Made to Crave.

After all, you can mess with a lot in a woman’s life but if you start messing with her food- that’s grounds for serious irritation.

What if people didn’t feel like embracing the message?  What if people didn’t feel like changing?  What if it was just my issue and no one else really needed this message?  What if people read it and remained unaffected and unchanged?  What if I started backsliding in this area and made God look bad?

We can’t look to our feelings to determine truth.  We must look to truth to reign in our feelings.

I whispered these words over and over and over until they reached those raw places of insecurity deep in my soul. 

Even if every single one of those feelings came to pass- people rejected the message and I gained my weight back- it wouldn’t change or negate the absolute truths in the message.  And it certainly wouldn’t make God look bad.  God doesn’t build the stability of His identity on the fragile choices of His children.  He just keeps placing the truth in front of us and offers to lead us to His best- over and over and over.

“Search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and LEAD ME in the way everlasting,”  (Psalm 139:  23-24.)

So, like that sweet girl, I let the snot run down into my pillow that night and mentally let the truth go toe to toe with my every doubt.  And it was good.  So, so good. 

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,” (John 8:31-32).

Two quick little end notes…

1.  It was stinkin hard to pick a Haiku Honey y’all.  Seriously, you all made me laugh, ponder, and wonder how I’m so lucky to have attracted people crazy like me over here at the blog.  I love you girls.  So, I couldn’t pick a winner.  I made someone else do it.  ‘Cause I wanted everyone to win!  Anyhow, the winner is: Deloris! Congrats!  Email Holly@Proverbs31.org  to claim your prize.

2.  Tomorrow, I’m going to send you a link to a post I’ve been asked to write for CNN.  Yes, that CNN.  What they want with little ol’ me is quite the mystery.  I mean they usually have world leaders and big shots writing for them. 

So, I want to show them that little Christian women need to have a voice and you can help me do that.  When I post the link to my article tomorrow, will you hop over there and blow them away with comments.  That would be totally swell.  I will love you forever and try not to wipe snot on your shoulder when we get to meet in person.


  1. merlie says

    Lysa I sincerely love u in christ I am and been inspired by your writings and I am currently reading one of your books which I’ll comment on later, . I have to say that in pains/bothers my heart though everytime I hear about praying jesus in to my heart as the only and main requirement for salvation and unfortunately that’s mainstream christianity. I was there but by God’s grace my eyes,heart understanding have been open I believe completely in God’s word and in his word jesus himself tells nicodemus John3:5 we enter through water and the spirit, in Acts 2:38 peter addresses salvation, there needs to be repentance,baptism and then the gift of holy spirit is recieved, also in 1 peter 3:21 he also mentions water symbolizes baptism that now saves us also. and there are so many including the great commission matthew 28-18-20 which were words jesus said before we ascended into heaven. I am writing because I believe God wants me too ,my prayer is that all of us who sincerely love God come into the full truth like he says in John 8:30-32 it only begins with faith but must not end there, we need to study and apply all his requirements.I know and I’m learning almost doesn’t count, please don’t be offended by me I mean to speak up so many can be saved, I use to struggle if I was saved but now I know what that truly means .I thank God for bringing me to part of his body that studies out the word,walk with me and make it clear what that means,what it will take and they ask if I’m willing so it’s my decision before I take that step to baptism,kind like marriage counseling,anyways I digress ,my love to you and I pray you study out baptism and get baptised if you are not. I extend invitation to visit my church I’m sure they meet in your area it’s international ,contact me for more info or look up international church of christ, place whatever city u live in front exaple Los angeles church of christ for LA and we are disciples of christ.

  2. says

    It’s so amazing how powerful our emotions can be and what a battle it is to make them line up with the truth. “Then park your mind, your heart, and your feelings on that truth and by the power of Jesus reject any lie that comes against that truth. You are saved. You are a child of God. You are eternally secure. Now, walk in that truth.” This nutshell-sized sermonette is the answer to so many emotional quagmires we can find ourselves in! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and for the encouragement we all gain in reading it and applying it to our own personal stuck places.

  3. says

    Great post and so very true. It has nothing to do with feeling saved. If I based it on feeling than 2 days ago I didn’t feel very saved and today I do. SO Thankful my salvation is based on who God is and not my fickle feelings. I am excited to check out your book. It sounds like good advice will be in it no matter what struggle (stronghold) we might be trying to overcome.

  4. Angie S. says

    Thank you so much for your words – Just this morning when I was reading 2 Peter 1:9 from the life application Bible (after reading your devo at P31), I was struck by the commentary that says “A person who claims to be saved while remaining unchanged does not understand faith or what God has done for him or her” that really hit home with some of the things I have been struggling with. I was feeling like I had no real grasp on what God has done for me — and then I read your blog and have the reassurance that salvation is much more than feelings. Praise the Lord! I will repeat the truths I know and allow them to saturate my heart.
    On a side note, last night I read the part in “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” about deep grief. It ministered so much to me and then I shared it with my husband, who felt the same way – your words are an answer to prayer. Don’t ever doubt that God uses you! thank you!

  5. Nolette says

    THANK YOU!!! Lysa you are AWESOME, you touch SO MANY lives in ways you will not comprehend that it becomes so over whelming. You said YES to God, like the Blessed Mary yes, to be the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. I just felt so compelled to write this to you. Your devotions that you write, the blog you so faithfully share speaks L O U D L Y!!! We grow stronger and persevere by reading your writings. How awesome that others can hear TRUTH by expanding your writing to the CNN organization. You are a great example of what and when a servent says “Yes, Lord, use me as You will.” Lysa you warm my heart by God’s Grace. <3, :~}

  6. says

    I read this post yesterday. And I have thought and pondered and thought and pondered. But I just was not sure what to say. Your book WILL impact lives. It will change hearts and usher some women into a sweeter relationship with the Lord than they could have ever imagined. But you are right, some gals, it is gonna make them madder than a cat in a bathtub. (The first cat my parents had was the last cat my parents had…and all because of the wounds they received from trying to give that cat a bath. 🙂 ) I am sure you are probably going to get scratched some in this process. The full armor of God will definitely be very necessary.

    The verse that is sticking out to me today is this one…
    “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” 2 Chron. 16:9. Your heart is loyal. It so is. And I know He is going to show Himself strong on your behalf.

    Praying His sweet salve over the places where some have already been a little “catty.” Praying His continued peace over you as you put yourself out there. Thanking Him for the example I get to see in you here at your blog and in your books. And so sorry for any of the times I may have scratched a little from being splashed with the truth.

    Love you,

  7. kathryn howard says

    Golly, girlfriend, I just love you (and your amazing writing…) Sometimes, as my spiritual Mama, Joyce Meyer, puts it, sometimes a good mama has to suffocate spinach or mashed peas in peaches or bananas to get her baby to swallow it. Knowing you, you’ve smothered these truths in love, humor and humility .The message God gave you to share WILL get through. He will make sure of that. He will honor your obedience as His messenger. Another Joycism is “Do it afraid.” if you have to. Sounds like courage to me. We all love you,sweet gal. Keep on truckin’ sister! Love, Kathryn

  8. Teresa says

    I love that you were able to share on cnn.com. I just went and read your blog, it was wonderful. I hope you will be encouraged by only the positive comments that were posted for you there (who knew so many folks liked to use cnn to get out their crankiness! I know there is something in proverbs about not wasting your time arguing with fools…sigh…) I decided that by commenting here, you would definitely hear the loving, positive, encouraging words that your heart deserves to hear! Well done, sweet sister-in-Christ! Every morning, while I drink my coffee and begin the busy day, Proverbs 31 and your blog give me the encouragement (and sometimes humor) I need to gird myself for the day, and try to be the best wife, mother and woman God wants me to be! Thank you!!!!!!

  9. says

    Does anyone else out there ever wonder why women look so much to their feelings? what if God could come and meet us in the deep places of our hearts? If He is the Lord of all, then what would it look like for His truth to encounter my emotions? I think we crave this emotional connection because we were made to know Him in every aspect of our being. I believe church-ianity often links our feelings with our flesh and makes them “all bad.” Yes I know they can lead us astray and at times we should “put them to bed.” But does anyone ever think to ask God to allow you to “feel” Him? Somehow it seems like we should be able to feel the most overwhelming love in the universe. Ask Him to come-who knows He might just show up.

  10. Laura says

    Lysa! I have to let you know…I am so excited about the Made to Crave adventure starting in January…AND I posted your in the loop request on my facebook and my dear friend (who also happens to be my brother’s girlfriend…though she was my friend long before she was my brother’s gf) who is not a Christian has expressed interest in doing the study with me. I have been praying for her heart to soften towards Jesus for awhile now and I am so glad that your study may be the one to open that door for her. Prayers for the both of us while doing the study would be much appreciated, that I would have the right words to say and that her heart continues to be softened by the Lord so that she can experience the freedom of being a Jesus girl and hopefully open some doors for my brother as well. Lysa, thanks again for being you and writing with such an open honest heart.

  11. Emily Wilson says

    (The comment below is the one I left on your CNN blog. I just wanted to make sure you got it. I am so sorry that people have been so mean to you there. I realized last night how shelterd I am because I COULD NOT believe the ugliness there in those comments. So last night, after reading your blog and many of the hateful comments, I just could not go to sleep. My husband finally had to remind me that they are just lost. And I know that, but still…I lost sleep for you. So I prayed for you, that God would somehow use all those hateful comments to spur you on in your work. That He would encourage you and not let you feel one bit of hurt over all those ugly words. That maybe you would even feel happy about it in some way. And we know our God can do anything. We love you. You are changing lives. 🙂

    You’re an inspiration, not only because you have lost weight and kept it off, but because you love Jesus and aren’t afraid to tell the world – even in hostile places like this. I hope that your feelings aren’t too hurt by the comments here, although I’m sure that you are used to criticism in your line of work.
    I have already read your Crave book, and want you to know that it is changing my life. I too love Jesus and have really struggled with food’s control, and reading your book has helped me understand just what was going on spiritually. When ANYTHING has more control in my life, or takes up more of my mental/physical time and energy, than my relationship with Christ, it’s become an idol. For some it’s alcohol, others drugs or relationships or money – my idol: food. You have helped me realize HOW to make the necessary changes in my life, so THANK YOU. And at the end of my life, when I stand face-to-face with my Creator, I want Him to know that I placed NOTHING above Him. No addiction will define me, only a love for Christ – and I most definitely want my actions to show that. So I have started my journey to rid my life of this idol, thanks to you.
    I hope you know that God is using you in women’s lives to help them break free from this (undercover) addiction. I’m just sorry you’ve taken a beating here in the process. (But we know that we are here to please God, not men, so whatev.)

  12. Annie says

    Hi Lysa,

    I’m a little behind cos I’ve had a virus attack my computer and have been offline for a few days, but my goodness, I couldn’t resist writing to you when I read this post, I hope you still get to read it cos I want to encourage you just as you have encouraged me. Let me tell you just how important your ‘Made To Crave’ is going to be. And it looks like this!

    Just as you were having doubts about releasing the MTC message, what if others didn’t embrace it etc etc etc….several years ago and I’m talking a decade here, I sat feeding my baby one early hour of the morning watching a Christian TV program…when the Lord said for me to get up and touch the TV screen and receive the blessing He had for me while the evangalist prayed. At first I doubted that it could work for me. But the Lord insisted. So I did. I held my hand on that screen and cried and literally poured my heart out to Jesus over my weight problem that I had carried all my life. I felt a physical line drawn across the top of my stomach. Following that He led me on what I call a ‘merry memory dance’ (I say that with sarcastic tone in my voice dear friend because they were anything but merry memories) they revealed ‘stuff’ from my childhood and other significant moments in my life that He wanted me to face.

    On another occasion He said for me to walk with Him. He meant walk with Him in faith but also, walk with Him physically everyday. From the time I took that step towards the TV to the time I began to walk with Him everyday, in and around my neighbourhood…there were a couple of years between (I’m a slow learner) but I got there….I lost 35kilos, but with much more to still lose (most of that has now gone back on). I had stepped out in faith twice in this time, trying to believe and trying to follow my Jesus to receive what I thought He was going to bless me with. I shared it on both occasions with many who loved me and supported me, but you know what, each time I failed. it only lasted so long and then something would happen and everything would change again. It has left me feeling embarrassed and doubting again if I will ever be free from this burden.

    When I read what you said about your new book ‘not being a diet book’ I got a longing in my heart to get a hold of it and read and read and read, cos what you were talking about, sounded more like my Jesus who told me to get up and walk across the room once, and take the JOY He had for me, right there waiting on the window sill. He knows us so well, He knows all those emotions that can take over in our lives. He wants us to be ready get up and go, ready to move, ready to go tell the people….we’ve all got our own thing to go and tell, and this is yours sweetheart, He has called you to this time, for all of us, for you, for Him.

    Be encouraged, this book, this message is going to change the world…I’m here in Australia and I left a message on the (in)courage site hoping to win the book for me and one for a friend cos I would love to surprise my friend Tracey with your book….but today, I got an email from another friend Michelle and she said that she has just recently joined and got a daily email from Proverbs 31 the other day with this girl called Lysa Terkeurts and her book…..she asked me if I knew anything about her and the book of course, cos Michelle is thinking of buying it….my heart jumped with joy….uh huh….she wants to get your message, so that’s three of us ready to get up and go.

    My heart is feeling alive today and I can’t wait to get into this new year with your new book and get my body, heart and mind in line with the word of God and let Him bless my life….I’ve been procrastinating my dear friend and you’ve just woken me up! I don’t care how many times I’ve proclaimed it and how many times I’ve failed it, I’m getting up again and I’m ready to go. Thank you, thank you, thank you beautiful girl of God.

    Love & blessings to you,

  13. J says


    Yesterday was New Years Day. I had to work yesterday and on my way in to the office I felt the Lord speaking to my heart. He told me that there would be a lot of new years resolutions made, as is our tradition. Resolutions such as weight loss, financial stability, stronger relationships etc. Of all the resolutions, he asked me to make only one. He asked me to resolve myself to start a journey that would allow me to better know my Creator. He promised me that if I would seek him all of the other things would fall in line. I have been a believer for a long time but he’s calling us to go deeper.

    Your article on CNN this morning confirmed my conversation with him.

    I appreciate you. Thank you for speaking out and telling your story. It’s a beautiful blessing of truth.

    God is good and he’s coming back soon! Amen!

    Be blessed,

  14. Dee says

    I’m a little behind but I love these lines you wrote and need to post on my mirror.

    And it certainly wouldn’t make God look bad. God doesn’t build the stability of His identity on the fragile choices of His children. He just keeps placing the truth in front of us and offers to lead us to His best- over and over and over.

    Thank you.