Welcome Wednesday: Teach Me to Feel with Courtney Reissig

Author: Courtney Reissig

Book: Teach Me to Feel: Worshipping Through the Psalms in Every Season of Life

Genre: Devotional

About the Book: Many of us struggle to process our feelings rightly, either suppressing them or giving full control to them. In Teach Me to Feel we see how the Psalms gives us language for how we feel and process life in the joy and in the pain.

Crafting the Book

Courtney Reissig has a passion for helping women study the Bible.

“Any time I can write about the Bible and what I’m learning is a win for me,” she says.

While she usually writes in the genre of Christian Living, her latest book branched out into the Devotional genre.

“I wrote this book in large part because I love the psalms and found so much hope and healing in them,” Courtney explained. “I wanted others to experience that through God’s word as well. I love the Bible and want women to love the Bible, because in the Bible we know the living God.”

As do many authors, Courtney pulled from personal experiences to assist her in this project.

“I’ve found that in the deepest valleys God is often doing the deepest work. This is not always apparent in the moment. In fact, it rarely is apparent in the moment. But as I’ve processed the deep valleys of suffering God has brought me through, and continues to meet me in, I have found Him to be faithful and a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). All of those experiences, where I could look back and see God’s faithfulness, and even some current experiences, helped shape the book as I wrote.”

The process of writing this book made a big impact on Courtney’s life. “It was incredibly healing for me to spend so much time in the Word for a large chunk of time. We always benefit when we spend time in the Word. I found my prayers to be richer and my trust in God to be more fervent. I haven’t been able to stop reading the psalms devotionally since finishing the book.”

Many lessons are found within the book’s pages. Some of these include the following:

  • God is not surprised by our feelings because He created us. He knows our frame (Psalm 103:14).
  • Because He created us and knows us, He also knows we will have some deep feelings about life in a broken world. This isn’t how God intended it to be.
  • We live in a fallen and sin-cursed world. So He gives us the psalms, the songbook of Israel, to give us language for our feelings in joy and in pain.
  • As Israel sang of God’s faithfulness in trial, so we sing of the same faithfulness because our God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore (Hebrews 13:8).

Courtney’s prayer for this book is “that readers would come away with a deeper trust in God, a comfort in knowing he isn’t surprised by their feelings, and a familiar friend in the book of psalms.”

About the Book’s Structure: The book is structured loosely on how the psalms are structured. Courtney set-up the book with Psalms 1-2, because the psalms are introduced that way. Then she has a collection of lament and trust psalms all throughout and ends it with praise and thanksgiving.

“I wanted to give people a feel for the psalms as they read,” she said. “But I also wanted to give people the opportunity to read the chapters based on what they were dealing with in that moment, so the chapters can also be read stand alone because they deal with one psalm at a time.”

Book Blurb: Many of us suppress our feelings because we’re worried they are ungodly. Others of us are so led by our emotions that we let them dominate everything, including our faith.

In these honest, personal, and uplifting meditations on 24 selected psalms, Courtney Reissig looks at emotions we all experience, ranging from shame, anxiety, and anger through to gratitude, hope, and joy. For each, she shows how the psalms give us permission to acknowledge how we feel before God, and how they can help us to use those feelings productively and faithfully.

This psalms devotional will give women a language to cry out to God to help them process their feelings, as well as help them to grow in their faith.

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