When Emotions Overwhelm You

by Amber Lia January 19, 2022
“but test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)
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I just wanted peace and quiet.

It was Friday night, and after a long week of homeschooling, running my business and keeping up with household demands, I felt drained and fragile.

The couch called my name, and I gladly sank into its folds to rest and scroll on social media. I caught a glimpse of friends who spent a fun-filled afternoon together — without inviting me. In the next moment, I found myself staring into the freezer, searching for my favorite chocolate ice cream, then scooping out a generous portion.

I swirled my spoon around the bowl, and with each soothing bite, the swirling thoughts in my brain took a temporary hiatus. The burdens lifted as I savored my reward for surviving the busy week. Relief! A quick, easy fix for my frustrated heart.

But guess what? As soon as my spoon began to scrape the bottom of the bowl, those same old feelings came flooding back — along with the added feelings of guilt for indulging in a sugary treat.

Why did you eat that, Amber? I chided myself. You said you were going to eat healthier, and now you’ve blown it!

This cycle of feeling overwhelmed, yielding to my emotions and then using food to self-soothe was harming my health. But more worrisome was the root issue of my unhealthy pattern. I kept turning to empty things to satisfy me, but only God could meet my needs.

First Thessalonians 5:21 says, “but test everything; hold fast what is good.” In that moment on the couch, I didn’t test my emotions. I just ate them. Nor did I shift my mindset to dwell on the good things in my life, holding fast to God’s promise for me that He is my Comforter. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Maybe you can relate. Has the weight of the world pressed in on your heart, causing anger, a shopping addiction, or other unhealthy habits and feelings of hopelessness?

Our earthly experience is not to avoid emotions. It’s to view them in the light of heavenly promises! God is love, and He loves you. Perfectly. Let that feeling be the one that reaches your heart and satisfies your deepest longings.

The day I woke up and had enough of my unhealthy lifestyle was the day I gave my emotions to the Lord. It was the day I traded my fears for His love.

It turns out that experiencing my emotions — the good, the bad and the ugly — has enriched my life and made me a better person. Satan would love to use our emotions against us and against our own bodies to manipulate and destroy us. I grew tired of letting him use me against myself.

When I made the choice to eat mindfully, not emotionally, I became more thoughtful, compassionate and equipped to handle problems in a way that solves issues instead of exacerbating them.

There are many good ways to process our emotions. Feel what you feel and don’t numb it with a meal! (Or a credit card, for that matter.) These days, I have learned to stop and say a quick prayer for help when feelings threaten my stability. I intentionally don’t stock ice cream in my freezer, and I’ve made practical changes like writing down my thoughts as prayers in a journal on a regular basis — especially in seasons that are emotionally difficult for me.

Your emotions are not more influential than your God. Don’t be afraid of experiencing the force of your feelings. Emotional hunger originates in our hearts, so overfeeding our stomachs or using other methods of emotional mismanagement will always leave us empty.

Today can be your turning point! Prayerfully exchange unhealthy patterns for the comfort and peace of God. Let’s let go of any habit that is not serving us and make room within our grasp to hold on to all the good things God has in store for us.

Lord, I turn to You in this moment as my feelings flood my heart. Take my anxiety, fear and sadness, and replace them with Your Holy Spirit’s comfort. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Do you struggle with emotional eating or other health-related issues? Check out Amber Lia’s newest book, Food Triggers: Exchanging Unhealthy Patterns for God-Honoring Habits. Pick up a copy here!


Connect with Amber on her website and fill out a free Wellness Discovery Form for a chance to win a copy of Food Triggers.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Food Triggers by Amber Lia. To celebrate this book, Amber’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, January 24, 2022.}


2 Corinthians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort …” (NIV)

What’s one thing you can praise God for today? In what area of your life do you need to surrender your emotions to the God of all comfort?

© 2022 by Amber Lia. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Bethany House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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