God, I Feel Sad; Helping Children Bring Their Big Emotions to A Bigger God

This beautifully illustrated Children’s book has become one of my favorites. It is one of those books I would have loved to read as a child and had on my own children’s bookshelf, but it will be one I have on my grandchildren’s bookshelf when they arrive :).

Emotions. I come from a generation that did not talk about their feelings. Instead, they would avoid, ignore, or hide them. I was always that child that felt things deeply, whatever emotion it was, and I wanted to understand them, and I wanted to understand myself.

I did not fully know how to talk about these emotions with my children because I was trying to. Figure them out on my own.

I didn’t understand I could bring them to God. I thought God didn’t want that, or He would be displeased or disappointed with me because I felt that way. My legalistic and religious background set the example that if I didn’t have it together or appeared out of sorts, I was not a good Christian. I needed to walk around like I was okay and put together. God was seen as an unapproachable Father with high standards. So I never felt I could go to Him about those feelings.

Michelle Nietert and Tama Fortner have done an incredible job of talking about emotions and showing that God gave us these emotions. The illustrations throughout the book give descriptive examples of our feelings and how they are expressed in different people, on their faces, and with their words so that children can understand them better and recognize them in others around them.

I love that these two authors describe different situations where you might feel sad and show children how God uses our emotions to know something is wrong. They offer healthy and safe ways to share their sadness with others and, most importantly, God.

I love that they encourage children not to pretend they are not there but to feel what they are feeling and acknowledge their feelings. Our feelings are not bad; what we do or don’t do with them often causes problems for us and leads us to unhealthy patterns.

One of the essential pieces in this book is that children are taught that God is approachable. He loves us and is always there to listen to and help us through the things we go through and feel. He doesn’t push us away, and even if the process of working through those emotions is long, He sticks with us through that process. He does not want us to get stuck in our sadness and stay there forever because that is not good for us.

As I remember my own journey with understanding my emotions and feelings and then looking around at today’s culture, where many are stuck in these emotions and feelings, and they dictate everything, I realize there is a need for more books like this. There is a desperate need for more authors who want to help share tools for parents, teachers, counselors, and others who work with children to help them learn how to acknowledge and talk about their feelings.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has children in their lives in some way. It makes a beautiful baby shower or any other type of gift. This book is one you definitely want on the bookshelf! I will leave a link below so you can go and order one of your own.