For When You’re Feeling Sad

For When You’re Feeling Sad

I always feel a little sad at the holidays. You too? I wish I didn’t. I get up and feel joy in my heart and I am grateful for this life and the blessings I have… and yet… this time of year makes me a little sad.

My dad died around this time of year and I think of him, and his tragic life. My family isn’t the same gathering as I had when I was a kid. I have relationships that I desire peace for and situations I wish were different… and I have memories that pull me back, toward the darker days of my life.


Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11


And yet, if you met me, if you knew me, you’d see that I have joy in my heart. You’d know it, even as I shared my tears with you. I don’t say that to brag but to tell that you that the reason for this is God. He has pulled me through some very dark times and into a bright and beautiful life.

He put


He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

Psalm 40:3


When I got brave enough to share my feelings of sadness, some people would say, “You shouldn’t feel sad. You’ve got a lot to be thankful for!” I used to feel very ashamed for feeling sad during the holidays. How dare I feel it? And then, because I’d try to pretend I wasn’t sad, I’d feel even more of the sadness that seemed to last longer than it should. So what’s a girl to do? I took it to God. I take all my ugly moods and negative thoughts to Him and ask for help. I know they are bigger than me and something I can’t just get through on my own.

And He listens.


John 14: 27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”


He doesn’t want us to feel afraid or troubled or even sad. But he knows we do feel these things sometimes. He became one of us! He knows what it is like, and he wants to bring us comfort.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8


Don’t be afraid to bring feelings of sadness to God in any form. We’re not always the best at saying how he feel, even to God. Sometimes we’re angry. Even angry at him for the way we feel. Sometimes we’re frustrated. And sometimes we feel like there is no hope. But God has shown me that there is hope. There is life and a future with him, and when I feel sad now I know that it will be short-lived. I know that He will pull me through.



Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.


  1. Thank you, Cherie. I needed this message. We have some division in our family that weaves a thread of sadness through every celebration. When I’m tempted to focus on what’s wrong instead of all that’s right, I need to “think about such things.”

    • Family struggles are hard, especially at the holidays. I could relate to your comment on another post about trying to be a peacemaker. I fear I push too hard just wanting people to get along and when they’re not ready (or when it isn’t in God’s plan or timing) I just end up making a bigger mess and then I feel even worse.

  2. Tina Dorward Tina Dorward says:

    Great post, Cherie, and thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. There are 6 kids in my family and we hardly ever get together for the holidays even though 3 of them live only 2 hours away. That, too, leaves me feeling sad. My mom died 2 years ago this coming Wednesday and now the holidays just don’t hold the same joy. My mom is who I called every year several times during holiday season to ask how to make this or that. I miss her all the time but it definitely leaves me feeling more sad. So know there are many that although there is the joy of God and His love for us in our hearts, there’s also some sadness. Together hopefully sharing some of it helps to ease our burdens.

  3. This speaks volumes to me in this season of joy. I have an underlying sadness this year due to many different things. I just wrote a devotion on my blog about keeping the joy in my heart. Thanks for sharing this, Cherie.

    • It’s amazing how many people I’ve talked to now that feel this way, Penny. I think we try and force ourselves to be happy because it is a happy event, a happy time of year… and yet, as you said, there is often underlying feelings of sadness.

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