Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

This is what you need to know if the darkness never lifts

I sat at a stoplight, trembling with anxiety’s rattle and hum. The sky was bleak with charcoal clouds seemed to mirror my soul. The familiar fog of depression had rolled in and I was weary of the struggle.

It was exhausting: wrestling to be whole, never shaking the bone-deep loneliness. The fog formed a dense wall, hedging me into isolation. Most days, it seemed nobody, not even God, can break through.

There’s an excruciating physicality to mental illness that’s rarely acknowledged. But this pain was nothing new. I couldn’t remember a time before depression’s waves rolled through me. I’d grown accustomed to smiling, saying I was just tired, doing my best to show up for my commitments while my chest burned and my body felt like lead.

Still, the worst part was the way secret questions carved out my insides. God, are you there? Why can’t I be different? Why won’t you fix me? I know you can.

It wasn’t just the questions, but the story I believed underneath them: God doesn’t want this mess and neither does anyone else. I knew that if I didn’t smile and act okay, I would lose my people…and even God.

“Just choose joy.”

When I tried to share glimpses of the darkness, well-meaning Christians said things they didn’t understand. You have control over your emotions. This is a choice. Choose joy, they told me, as though it were a switch to flip.

Depression is so self-focused. How can you be sad with all God has done for you? You just need to serve others.

God answers prayers given in faith. Just speak life. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, even about yourself.

Those words left my skin flushed hot and nausea rising in my throat. I’d tried, so hard, to make myself better. I just kept failing.

Countless begging prayers with all the faith I could muster hadn’t changed the ache inside. Years of spending every free moment in ministry, serving and caring without rest, hadn’t filled the gaping void. Instead, I felt even more strangled by the unforgiving pace.

And, in my mind, choose joy sounded an awful lot like snap out of it. I couldn’t force that, no matter what I did. So I kept the ache to myself, hiding questions and unkempt prayers until I could let out the mess.

I found that place in my old Taurus, a messy sanctuary in all my here-to-theres. Empty paper cups rolled on the floorboards. Clothes were strewn over boxes of books and trinkets – I was always moving in those days. Despite the clutter, that old car was my safe place. There was no need to smile, no show to put on. Nobody to hear or judge.

I was running ministry errands that day, grateful for a reprieve from interaction in the offices. My heart raced with a sinking question: What if I never get better? Shame seared my flushed skin. Nobody wants this. How do I live like this forever?

There at the stoplight, my body trembled as the gray and weight and cloud pressed in. My thoughts spiraled and buzzed. The bony hand of anxiety started to close around my throat.

Then clear, sweet words whispered in my heart,

“The darkness may always be there, but I will always be there in the darkness.”

My mouth gaped open, eyes wide with suddenly welling tears. But it wasn’t sorrow. It was hope, bittersweet, shocking hope.

To some, it might have sounded like a death sentence. But not to me. It was a first-time promise of life. That whisper in my heart, “The darkness may always be there,” told me to stop fighting to fix myself.

Stop burying the pain.

Stop hiding.

The darkness exists. It’s okay that it’s there and it’s okay that it’s so hard. It’s okay to face bravely into it, to let go of denial and learn to live with it.

The second half of that whisper was sweeter still. “I will always be there in the darkness.” It shook my soul like tectonic plates shifting, foundations rearranged. I reeled from the shock of realization.

God isn’t disappointed in me.

He’s not tapping his foot and looking at his watch, impatient for me to get it together. He sits with me in the darkness. The rattle & hum quieted, vibrations and tension slowly fading. I remembered a favorite verse from Psalm 139: if I make my bed in hell, you’re there. The heaviness in my chest lifted as I drew a deep breath.

Those words released so much guilt and fear. They pledged that I’m not so profoundly screwed up that the God of the universe would ever back away. He isn’t afraid of my depression. He doesn’t shrink from the darkness.

God doesn’t lose patience with my pain.

He isn’t uncomfortable when I share dark thoughts, telling me to snap out of it. Nothing I can do, nowhere I can go will ever push Him to abandon me. Instead, God welcomes honesty. He runs toward my pain and questions.

In a messy, old Taurus, my tearful voice shook in hopeful response. “Okay. If you promise to never leave, I can walk through anything with you.”

Sometimes God doesn’t heal, and it’s not anyone’s fault. Sometimes sickness is just the ugly reality of living in a broken world. My hope can’t rest solely on the actions of God, on the miraculous or a mystery I can’t comprehend. I don’t have to be healed to trust Him. My hope rests on His character, who He’s proven Himself to be time and again.

It takes more faith to believe he’s good and kind and present when he walks through darkness with us instead of plucking us from it.

I’ve learned to cling to the Lord come hell or high water, and they both surely will rush in. I know to press my face into His clothes and breathe in deep. When I’m terrified or my chest is filled with the burn of depression, I lean into Him and listen.

“It’s okay. I’m still here, even in the darkness.”

And, much as I would love Him to wave His magic wand and put my soul back together without cracks and scars, I am grateful. I know the Comforter because I have been comforted. I know a God who sees me and is present with me. He’s proven it by showing up in my car when I needed Him most.

Maybe today, you’re wondering if God is present in your pain. It may not be depression or anxiety. It could be loss, failure, illness, or injustice; at one point or another, we all come face-to-face with these big questions. Are you here? Are you with me?

In the midst of anguish and ache, God doesn’t condemn you. He is not disappointed or impatient with you. And, though he often doesn’t bring a sudden change of circumstance, he’s sitting with you in your pain.

God is with us. He isn’t leaving. He isn’t giving up.

If the darkness will always be here, so will God. He’ll sit in its midst with us, holding our sometimes-desperate, flailing hearts. We won’t be alone. Maybe that’s all we need to know to get through.

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

286 Replies

  1. Babes, this is soo damn good! I’m soo proud of you and adore you.
    Way to go BE!
    ~WB

    P.S. You’ve got me and Jesus, I’m not going anywhere either 😉

    1. Matt

      Thank you for this

    2. Paul

      So nice that God came through for you. It doesnt happen for everyone and it didnt happen for me. God just vanished as depression got a grip on me through years of sexual abuse. And then my rotten church (you know, the one based in Rome with all the art treasures) made it worse by claiming I am in some sort of mortal sin for giving in. Jesus H fucking Christ, this religion shit really rots your soul, doesnt it? Anyway, I am at a crossroads now, and it could go either way. I have wept alone many times. No still small voice for me. Absolutely nothing. But I guess thats my fault too.

      1. Many millions of innocent children are sexually abused based upon the agenda of the top pedophile, Satan. It is sad, tragic, & terrible far beyond description. Often this awful tragedy is magnified by the fact of the perpetrator being someone the precious child is supposed to be able to trust in protecting them – not harming them.
        The religions of man are certainly no substitute for an intimate personal fellowship with God that is 100% Relationship Based & 0% religion based. Religions like politicians do occasionally get something right, but oh the great path of harm & destruction in order to achieve an occasional right.
        A personal relationship with God only comes By being Born-Again By God’s Power Through Faith In & Acceptance Of Jesus Christ As Personal Lord & Savior. The “Still Small Voice” you mentioned arrives once The Spirit Of God, The Holy Spirit, actually takes up residence in the heart & life of each Born-Again Follower Of Jesus Christ. This Rebirth In Christ Jesus is not the end, it is actually the beginning, the foundation upon which everything rests.
        Does rebirth erase the horrible things that were done to you? No not at all. What it does do though – it provides opportunity, invitation, & encouragement to draw near to God & He Will Draw Near To You. In so doing you know that whatever has happened, or whatever does happen, The Living God Himself, Who Loves, Cherishes, & Adores You Is both With You & In You.
        To See For Yourself Check Out: https://godsplan.us

        1. Ginger

          I’ve had hands laid on me twice to receive the Holy Spirit and did,but I rarely if ever heard that “small still voice” that I know of.

          1. Anonymous

            Not everyone hears or feels god in the same way! It’s ok take your time

          2. Just because someone lays hands on you doesn’t mean you will receive the Holy Spirit. I’m not saying that it can’t happen that way, it can, but there’s more to it than that most of the time. If you want to receive the Holt Spirit, you have to invite the Holy Spirit into your heart. You need to confess the truth to God that you are a sinner and that you need and want His forgiveness so you can be made right, pure, holy, and blameless before God. Once you do that you must also put your faith in believing that Jesus is the son of God, the Messiah, the chosen One, our savior and that only through His blood are we made right with God. Once you have confessed the truth to God, repented of the wrong things you have done, and put your faith in Jesus will you be able to receive the Holy Spirit into your heart.

          3. Anonymous

            Sorry ginger trust me he is not on your time what have you learn from this change people places and thnimng that is holding you back be not transform by this world it only temporary god and Jesus is entered love peaches and joy be anxiety for temporary fits wait wait ask for patience wait

        2. Today I was bullied and I am only 10. I know that god holds me but sometimes anger comes. And I cant hold it in. It is like the devil consumes me. So we went to the gym and this is where it started and some girls I know were mocking me and acting like me and calling me mean things like i was Joe Biden. I know I´m not the nicest person but sometimes I am kind and want to help people. I didn´t know that one girl that was bullying me was conferred with depression. I didnt know that and so she took her anger out on me. And the other girl talked about me behind my back. She got everyone else a ring and not me.

          1. Maria

            Dear Lily,
            I am sorry for the pain you have suffered due to the bullying and harshness from that girl. Sadly, we carry with us many scars, some will act out their anger on the innocent bystanders not caring for the outcome of their actions. We are all thirsty for acceptance, inclusion, compassion and love, what a paradise we would live in if only we thrived to care for each other….Lily, I was bullied a lot when I was younger, it did affect me on many levels and wish I had at the time someone who would have lifted me up, take me out of that darkness, gave me encouragement to learn to surpass and walk away from those people. I am here to tell you I understand, it is not your fault and never say you are not a nice person…tell yourself everyday you matter, speak only positive words of yourself, surround yourself with people who will lift you up, who deeply care for you, but most of all, learn to love yourself for all that you are…you are unique and special. I read the Psalms a lot, it always speaks to my heart! I know the Devil is strong but he will never win, God is near, ask Him to guide you and show you the way. No matter what, keep shining dear one! Hugs and blessings to you!

          2. READ WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS AND CLAIM IT AS YOUR OWN BECAUSE GOD LOVES YOU! “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and the one who rescues me; my God, my rock and strength in whom I trust and take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:2-3 AMP) https://godsplan.us

          3. LIZ LIADIS

            Please let your parents, a teacher or guidance counselor know about their bullying towards you. If they know they will be held accountable, maybe it will stop.

        3. Paul

          THERES NO FUCKING GOD. END OF.
          God only works as a concept when life is good. The cunt disappears when youre having it really hard. That says everything to me about the nonsense of God-bothering.

          1. “It is the fool who says their is no God.” I know Him Personally. https://godsplan.us

          2. Kenneth Gray

            Paul,

            Just follow the logic. Science has proven that a void has absolutely no matter of any kind. Science also states that you need two ingredients to cause an explosion. With these two principles in mind, the Big Bang could not have happened. All that existed then was a void. That leaves the question: Who or what put the necessary materials in place to explode? That was God. So as you see you can’t deny the existence of God. Whether you believe in evolution or devine intervention, God has to exist. You may want to believe and say that God doesn’t exist. You will have to take that up with God now or on Judgement Day. Your choice. May God bless you, in Jesus name, Amen

          3. Yulya Sevelova

            Hi, Paul. I was just reading about your ordeal at the hands of those Catholic priests, and there really is legal recourse against every one of them if you want to retaliate. Since that so- called church loves 💰 money more than anything else, I hope you document everything and hit them hard. It would certainly help to heal one mentally and even physically, to see justice done. You know, residential schools for indoctrination, run by the priests and others, was used to break and brainwash Native kids in the U.S. and Canada. Many of them died the churches once they were grown. It remains an option for their victim’s. Please don’t bother with forgiving them, until you sue. Get them jailed also !! Don’t let anyone tell you to forgive and let them off the hook. That’s just enabling evil. I hope this helps.

      2. Elizabeth Akram

        I’m lost too.

        1. The Spirit Of God, The Holy Spirit, actually takes up residence in the heart & life of each Born-Again Follower Of Jesus Christ. This Rebirth In Christ Jesus is not the end, it is actually the beginning, the foundation upon which everything rests.
          Does rebirth erase the horrible things that were done to you? No not at all. What it does do though – it provides opportunity, invitation, & encouragement to draw near to God & He Will Draw Near To You. In so doing you know that whatever has happened, or whatever does happen, The Living God Himself, Who Loves, Cherishes, & Adores You Is both With You & In You.
          To See For Yourself Check Out: https://godsplan.us

          1. Diogenes Little

            I use to believe in God o use to pY my tithe go to church treat ppl like i wanted to be treat i helped when i could barley help myself understanding or knowing what it’s like to have & not have.I had a restaurant, bar & Home Development company.i was helping others giving jobs & things turn for the worst i made some bad business decisions some things in my control some not i lost everything my businesses my car credit damn near homeless. I prayed & prayed things get better to no prevail.I cursed God friends i helped didnt help me cause i was the only one helping my family is broke & mom on drugs.I feel i got stuck with the family or sin of the father been to jail for selling drugs no matter how good i would do not to do wrong things the devil or evil followed.I feel like my life is cursed from birth even tho iv had some good moments in life.when i lost everything i prayed & prayed god never answered its been 3 years since i lost everything & i tried to make some money to even pay bills cause i didnt have light or gas i was going to the Salvation army to shower make a long story short i got back in the streets to try to get out of debt & get my heat & gas on i couldn’t help my daughters & caught a case i haven’t been in trouble in 20 years no im on my way to federal jail ahain & didnt get caught with drugs all ovet wire taps now iv lost my freedom iv cured God hated God & iv tried to ask for forgiveness that hasn’t worked iv thought about suicide i dont know what to do i got to jail in jan.hopless soul they send me to meetings now for the court but that doesn’t helpcausr reality still im going to jail any for a wire tap conspiracy im facing a mandatory 10 years because of federal guidelines & the corrupt system im hopeless.

          2. Paul

            There is no God, and deep down, you know that, but its a door you dare not open for fear you wont be able to close it again. So you learn Christian phrases parrot-fashion, to keep the wolf from the door. I realised there was no God when I understood I had to do ALL the work myself to make God seem real. (Dont you find it worrying for your beliefs that God disappears when depression arrives? Doesnt it tell you something? That its all in your mind?) Once I realised I was deluding myself, I had to stop doing it. But it didnt happen overnight, because I didnt want to let it go. But no matter how I tried, I couldnt separate God from the almighty mess he’s left behind, and so in the end I gave up.

        2. Denuta Diddeldorf

          I think I saw you.

        3. EV

          You are not lost in His eyes. He knows right where you are and where you will go. Seek Him and you will find Him. He loves you.

      3. Kelly

        Hey,
        If you have Facebook add me.

        1. Kelly

          I have Changed cookies as my background photo.

          Kelly Vela

          1. Anonymous

            Christmas cookies

      4. Coco

        I can’t believe she wrote this. I automatically gave up on God reading this. Who in their right mind could live like this. What is the point of God sitting in pure turmoil with someone that’s super sad, and begging and begging for help. Just a little peace of mind. And you sit with me? My goodness, this story really breaks my heart.

        1. Hey Coco, thanks for taking time to reply. I know it seems crazy to be grateful for somebody to just be with us in the pain instead of fixing it for us. For me, that’s where the peace of mind comes from – from knowing I’m loved and not alone, no matter how hard life gets. The sad thing is that life is guaranteed to get hard, to some extent or another, for everybody. It makes all the difference in the world to me that I’m not alone when it’s hard and sad, and that gives me strength and peace. Thanks again for stopping by!
          -Sarah

          1. Anonymous

            Sarah, thanks much for your post. I’ve been suffering from depression over a year since my mother passed. I’ve tried everything evenly unconventional stuff and nothing has much help. The medication keeps it at bay at best.. I’ve often wondered whether or not I would live with this for the rest of my life. I’m having a tough time holding out to my job. I understand if what Jesus wants I should walk with him. People have distance themselves because they don’t understand. Even close Christian friends. I don’t know what else to do. I am very desperate. I would like to hear something from God like you. I like the suggestion below to tell Jesus that I love him as well. Please share something of your heart.
            Jim

          2. Clockwork Angel

            I’m glad God spoke to you and made you feel better through it all. But in a way, it also hurts hearing yet another story of how God spoke to someone. I don’t hear anything. Never have. But I want to so desperately. The last year and a half has been a living hell of mental illness. My brain has felt icky in a way that is hard to describe. Traumatic thoughts came up like popup ads. Close one and 10 more pop up. I couldn’t even escape with sleep for the longest time. Insomnia galore. I begged God to help me, to comfort me, to speak to me. Why does He speak to some and not others? Why am I left out? It hurts. I know the Bible says God doesn’t have favorites, but it’s hard to see that sometimes.

          3. Jim

            Clockwork Angel please don’t despair. I hate to address the obvious, but I’m wondering whether or not you have received Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal savior. I logged on here this morning and am suffering and tears as well. Thankfully my mentor called and pray with me a short while ago and I’m starting to feel a little bit better. Faith medication and therapy are all part of mental health well-being. I’m convinced of this. Don’t let anybody else tell you anything different. I encourage you to try the medication and therapy to see if this helps. I am noticing in this season of sequestering because of the virus, I have been suffering a little bit more without The intimacy of the body of Christ. I was attending service and a midweek Bible study on Wednesday. Monday and Friday nights were slated for the celebrate recovery program.
            I encourage you to inquire about celebrate recovery in your area. Some of them are still meeting via zoom. In the evening when I lay down to sleep I welcome the Lord into the room by telling him that I know that he desires sweet sleep for his children and ask him to give me that slumber. Try having a conversation with him just before you lay down. My heart is 110% with people like you out here that are suffering the same. Please don’t despair. We need each other. Reach out to others in person when you can in spite of the sequestering. there is an incredible healing quality in the body of Christ that we all need as part of the family.

            Heavenly Father. I pray for clockwork Angel and the others out here who are suffering the same. We know that you love all of us equally, but what we do with that love is up to us. I pray that as these words are being read. You would reveal to her and others in an undeniable and convincing way that you are sovereign over every detail of their lives knowing that nothing comes a surprise to you. We know that you could heal any one of us at any moment, but sometimes allow us to suffer for your glory through us in the lives of others. Help us to remember that one day there will be a place that will be void of suffering sorrow tears pain disappointment and temptation. In the meantime, we are reminded that to live is Christ and to die is gain. Cause us to ask what you have for us today and live one day at a time.
            1 Peter 5:10

          4. Sherry Hernandez

            I do understand what you are saying, however, what kind of friend has total ability to help and just sits by you and does nothing. If you are starving and your friend has a sandwich in her bag and says ‘well I’ll sit with you’, but gives you nothing to eat, what kind of friend is that? I’ve lived 10 years of hell on earth and have begged God to lighten the load even just a little, but instead it just continues to pile on me to the point I’m now broke, about to be homeless and friends and family are too busy with their own lives to even look up. I need God to do something other than sit.

          5. Andrea

            I’m not a fan of this post either But that’s between her and god…. Jesus himself says it over and over have faith and you will be healed. He says don’t you believe I am who I say I am have faith and it will happen you have to trust with your heart your soul and meditate your mind to understand what Jesus truly wants from you surrender yourself everyday persevere it’s hard really hard but he can do it he said it and it is so. This is your life given to you by god fight for it! Every time you hear that voice that has fear and panic and anxiety tell it to go away with the words written in red! Praise god he is real and he is ready for you!!! It’s yours he said it !!! Have authority over your mind and body for Jesus himself knows there would be fear and there would be panic and he says do not be afraid bc he knows!!! Submit those thoughts every single time no matter how hard and trust those thoughts will diminish in the name of Jesus!!!

          6. Alia Berry

            This story is an experiential witnessing of Truth. It’s not about liking or not liking your condition, being able to control it or not, fix it or not. This is far beyond just focusing on others and denying the self, this is about witnessing the Truth that is already beyond your immediate experience and perception. It just won’t make sense to the logical mind that frames God as a nice guy or a mean guy.

          7. Tony Camillo

            Maybe YOU are Loved. Maybe you aren’t alone. Maybe God has helped YOU… But there’s plenty of us poor, god tortured souls who are dead… just our bodies don’t know it. I just love all these bible bashers who quote scripture, pat themselves on the back, and think that words on a page will actually help ?! I challenge any and all of them to live my pathetic excuse for a life for six months, and then quote scripture. It’s not a real or fair test because at the end of the six months they get their lives back. And for those who would say that I screwed up my life, I DIDN’T. I curse the day i was born. I wish Kruschev and Kennedy pressed the buttons in 62 so I would not have lived. And you know something else…life isn’t hard for everyone. Take a look around….

          8. Invisible

            I personally find this article of yours abhorrent. As others have pointed out, it is completely unacceptable and inhumane for a God who supposedly is all powerful to only be with us in our darkest moments…and even then doesn’t make his presence clear. What kind of God just sits by while we suffer and doesn’t intervene to provide relief despite our cries of agony. Especially if we would be so grateful an appreciative, never taking it for granted. And especially if all we are asking for is something of noble and good intent If a parent of a child just sat by while the child was in intense pain from an injury, but offered no aid, or comfort, or solution, we would say that is one horrible parent. Well if God is our Heavenly Father, but only sits by while we are tormented and bleeding out, what kind of father is this anyway? A neglectful, abusive father. And why do some people feel that God has made himself known to him, though others cry out for God and sit waiting for him to appear, but there is zero communication. This is like a parent favoring one child over another. It’s abusive. The truth is I absolutely hate God’s guts if he even exists.

        2. Tiffany Mascoll

          Perfectly right.This nonsensical world 🌎 that we never asked to be brought into,in the first place.The question is.
          Why are we dying to live,when we’re just living to die.

          1. Annoymus

            I agree, no one gets out of here alive, why do we live with such pain and suffering?

          2. Anonymous

            Bc when Jesus died on the cross it was to save us in his blood. Don’t you get it’s the devils world and we are on the outside as Christians. That’s why you feel the fear and depression and like nothing is right bc it’s the devils world keep Jesus for healing god for love and the Holy Spirit lives in you. God loves you so much all you have to do is talk to him. That’s it!

          3. Scott J.

            You are not dying to live. You are dying to be united with life. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. What we want now is something that was lost in the fall of man — union with the Father. Jesus came to bring us back together with God. So how can we come to know Jesus and put our life in His hands? We need to read God’s word and learn of who Jesus is. Once we see the grace, wisdom, power and perfection of who He is, we can come to Him and submit — give our heart, trust in and love who He is. We can then talk with Him, find direction for our lives and cling to the promises He offers because we see He is trustworthy and faithful. Pray to Him for His mercy, wisdom and faith and let Him know you will give your life over if he will give you purpose. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

          4. Invisible

            We get this one life to live and God, if he even exists, makes it miserable. Now, I can accept some heartache which builds character…and I can even accept more than a fair share because that is all the more impressive and admirable. But, if it comes to a point where the agony is so intense, and one can’t take anymore because that’s all they have gotten in their life is pain, then it has gone too far, and if God exists, he needs to give that person a break and let them have some happiness and their heart’s desire…especially if that desire they long for is of honorable intent. But even when someone just wants to be honorable and would so appreciate God granting a certain wish, God still torments certain people. He is one mean bastard.

        3. Agree because in Christ we are new creatures we put off the old and put on the new ! Christ gives us His power by abiding in us , to overcome everything , God did not create anything bad , bad is a result of our sinful nature , Wilt though be whole ? If we say “ I’ll work with this “ we deny the very power of Jesus transforming grace in our lives. Sanctification is this power at work…..Christ takes us as He finds us…..but He doesn’t want us to stay that way…….❤️

          1. Sylvia

            Yes, yes…all this we know if we are born again Christians. But if we know the pain and shame of depression in our souls, and a darkness that will not lift, no matter how hard we try, then we undeestand the pain that Sarah is talking about. Even IF we are born again Christians who love God, depression can afflict and be excruciatingly painful. I live with it every single day. A sense of guilt. Shame. Unworthiness. Loneliness. Deficiency. Desolation. As a result of an unwise decision, I experienced terrible remorse and guilt and regret…over 30 years ago. I struggled deeply from then, but kind of dealt with it and managed to push it away. I’m now 63 and the pain and horror of it has come back with a vengeance. Has anyone else experienced this? You think a decades old struggle is gone, but then suddenly, its back! Its like the same thing happened and my mind spins in turmoil as I try to push back the dark feelings, but they don’t stop. A loop of difficult emotions go round and round in my head. Like a gut punch, over and over. The smallest things trigger a thought and then the guilt and pain. Its just like Sarah says, why can’t I get over this? Why can’t I just see how much God loves and forgives me? Why can’t I be strong? What is wrong with me? Deep seated insecurities have been a part of my life since I was a tiny little girl, due to being left alone many hours of every day. Being beaten daily by my eldest brother for not being perfectly tidy at the age of 3. I felt abandoned and how could I process that as a child? I couldn’t except grow up with a messed up mind and a sense that I was not okay. I was defective. And I had to fix myself. So I accepted Christ at the age of 25, after a suicide attempt. He spoke to me not audibly, but in my head. He warned me that i could not take my life….He asked me a question..”do you know where you are going if you take your life?” I was shaken to the core of my being by His words. I felt broken and deeply humbled. I promised God that I would change, no matter what. When I completely broke, thats when I felt Him..
            But now, it feels like all is lost and I cannot find Him. I cannot see Him. I cannot feel Him. All I feel is pain and heartache in my soul…
            Sarah’s words though, have given me a little glimmer of hope. I’m so exhausted from feeling dreadful and hopeless FOR feeling depressed!! Like pouring salt on a wound…
            Yes, I do believe that if we can muster up the strength to accept that God sits with us right there in our darkness, we can make it somehow, even just a day at a time.

          2. Paul

            But Jesus created this world in the first place, and its turned into a shithole. So what was it? Incompetence? Ignorance? Weakness in the face of evil? Evil itself, perhaps? Sorry, I was talking about God, not humans. How fucking dare you be so pathetic as to absolve God OF ANY BLAME WHATSOEVER!!! If we have a ‘sinful nature’, then God must share some responsibility for it. Or is he the ultimate celestial politician?

          3. Pj

            To Sylvia from aug 5 944pm. There was no way to reply to ur reply but I know how you feel. Such hopelessness that leads to physical illness. pjkeener10@gmail.com if you ever need to talk

          1. Anonymous

            Hebrews 11:1
            Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

          2. Yulya Sevelova

            Hello, Sylvia, I sure do hope you’re doing alright ! I feel for you, Paul, and Invisible. After reading about your angry, hateful brother mistreating you, and where on Earth were your parents(?!) I feel that you should know that you have untreated PTSD, and you will need to find a specialist in that field. And I know there’s support groups for abuse survivors, and if you feel alone, it’s often because people who haven’t suffered abuse will never ” get ” you. The churches will often throw the survivors under the bus, while supporting the abusers, actually ! As well as telling them they must forgive and let these abusers back into their lives. This has caused so much despair for survivors and blocks recovery and healing. Reconciliation and forgiveness are NOT the same thing ! Has anyone tried to force such things on you over your painful childhood ? Please start putting up boundaries up between you and your abusive relatives today. Nouthethic counseling, so popular in churches these days, is what that forced relating is all about, like with beaten wives, abused babies and kids. Outside of dealing with spiritual things, you’ve been gravely wounded since early childhood, up to the present, so my hope is, you will get away from those people ,and start getting real care and compassion. As for forgiveness, that will come later. Go no contact with the relatives, if this is what you want, surround yourself with those who love and support you and validate your right to peace and safety. Gentle online hugs.

        4. Thomas Nezi

          Phillipians 4 helped me !
          I hope it helps you
          Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.6 Do not be anxious about anything,but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

          8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

          1. Funny, when I’m in the flush with cash my advice, prayers etc. is identical to y’all’s, strange when I dive in head deep doing “Gods Will” or his work I’m defrauded by someone in a bible study I lead “claiming the Holy Spirit” to get in my circle of influence using Christ.!

            ha,
            He’s sitting in his $6.2Million home nice and comfy right now, while 8 other victims all short a few hundred thousand are not, and he got away Scott free with my life savings too!

            I lost my 15 year career another 100K and left with hundreds of thousands in debt, a brain tumor and now a shitty resume. 2 years later I’m convinced all those years ( 8 ) or so I’ve led In ministry, seminary I just lied to myself based on the influence of other Christian friends that I “heard from God” honestly I didn’t hear anything (EVER) I love god and Christ and all that jazz. I’ve just realized after a couple decades I’ve never actually heard from him once. Not a whisper not a sliver not a hint, idk, maybe its far fetched to expect the alpha omega, Omni-present God to actually speak to me, why do we humans in this century so readily tell one another you’ll hear from God, instead of atleast saying it may be your concious of good thought,
            I don’t get a feeling a nudge an urge a flutter of anything that I can pin to God. just something between him and me not for public like Pharisees etc. Nada…. ever unless you count reading the word in which case He talks to me every day! Just not the reciprocal feeling I get from humans which is great so I can image how great it’d be to hear feel or be graced by God.

            Don’t you think if we ever heard from God we’d remember or atleast at minimum know it!!!!?
            If I have to choose between helping a lady change her tire and robbing her was it God who spoke to me since I just changed her tire and didn’t rob her..???? Point being why do we Christians say God told us or God told me to tell you when it’s just a good vs bad decision wtf. I wonder how many lives are ruined daily from wise counsel telling others God told me to tell you…. every single person I’ve met I have asked have you ever had God speak to you…? They all have said NO (no not really it’s a silent whisper blah blah it’s another person, it’s it’s it’s it’s thier all mainly pastors, of course saved too.

            Never once not a single soul ultimately admits to hearing from God in an audible way… hell if that’s the measurement the Bible tells us to use then how will anyone especially young immature believers ever expect to hear. . ah I wish we would be raw about it..when poo hits the fan, I’m faithful and still raise a hallelujah but after a few years it gets a little tougher to sing that song.

            Honestly I’d just like to hear Christ one fucking time even though it may scare me, I’d then atleast on some level feel like I had a QUOTE “personal” unquote relationship, which is a bad description since he’s like a brick wall for a conversationalist…… I feel like it’s more genuine to just start saying he (Jesus) will never ever talk to you, but if you believe in him he’ll give you faith, (perfector of faith) so just trust it’s from him and the father and bam when your dead you’ll head to heaven, and finally get to have that personal relationship and conversation you’ve always heard about.

            I don’t feel it’s genuine to bullshit anyone and tell them they’ll have a friendly caring relationship with him, again I’d love for him to prove it i just think he’s silent till we get to heaven.

            If I’m not accurate and someone on this thread has actually definetly heard from God without reading thier bible or visiting a prayer group and hearing from a fellow member saying they heard that god said he wanted them to tell you he told them to tell you,

            My Point, he’s God, mysterious true, personal…… nah. Amazing big holy yes!! So if he spoke or even felt you would know I would we would.
            So Personal: no

            I’m curious what I’m doing wrong I’ve read the word endlessly I pray 12-100 times daily, missions and spread the good news every chance I get. Just not gonna fib about a personal relationship cause it ain’t ever been that way, that’s deceiving, I do have those with many people but not God, and I love worship and church and prayer and people and all that jazz, but at the end of the day Usjng personals relationship is a very bad description…….it’s more of a one way convo with me doing all the talking. And reading to do some learning but yep not even a human type or even angelic type communication of any type from him…. wonder if he ever will grace me with his presence in a way another human doesn’t have to tell me, after all he is God why the Fk would I not know it’s God and have to ask someone or guess was that God ? I mean if my son wanted to connect with me in even a small way I’d atleast let him know he’s on the right path and give him some sort of hint I his father live him wtf.
            Come on, he’s God surely if he did visit or communicate in code or any other manner outside even voice or audible I’d know, cause well…………….:.He’s God!

            Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

            Love to hear some original reply oppose to mainstream gut feelings or typical response (cause I’m the king of encouragement when life’s going my way, I’m extra careful to be humble grateful and thankful never to take advantage of blessed life,… knowing hardship will come and god will deliver me (only this tune he’s forcing his hand closing all the doors he used to sling open, poo pile over poo pile then more poo right after another pile of poo!!! If God controls the good then he’s atleast allowing the bad which pisses me off (at him ) I still love the big guy though. Just ready for break thru and that father son relationship I’ve heard so much about and gave sought my entire life… eh. All the best.

      5. Shy

        How are you feeling now?

        1. Yulya Sevelova

          Hi, Anonymous. I just read your post, and where you mentioned this person sitting in his $6 million dollar house, that reminds me of what was done to my best friend almost 20 years ago. He was defrauded out of his childhood home by mortgage brokers who are deeply involved in the religious communities. Ultimately, he was killed by them, in a very clever way. This was nearly 15 years ago. I told him not to trust them with his property. And to get legal advice from real estate lawyers before doing any signing, but I was too late. There are so many predatory people in the churches, especially the American ones. Money, bling, image, take priority over love and honorable conduct. This is the main reason people are leaving the church. It’s understandable. I’d never tell someone to Chuck the faith. You CAN protect yourself from these evil financial scammers, that’s for sure. There’s ways to deal with these guys you describe in your post. You don’t say what field these characters are in, so I’ll just say that since they are a threat in the criminal sense, it’s fine to report them to the FTC, Consumer Trade Commission, D.A., the state,etc. You’ll be saving people if you do this. Pastors usually defend such people as these shysters, so keep mum, except with your fellow scam victims and the authorities. Don’t let on you’re seeking justice until you build and start a case. It helps the church, if anything, to purge these people right out the door. As for God speaking audibly, I often went through similar things, and looking back, it was just my mind and believing too many anecdotes and sermons. Keep th faith, and drop the jerks,you will be better off. Please let us know how it went, if you go after those con artists.

      6. Denise

        That’s it .. you said it “This religion shit really rots the soul” I agree so shake it abandoned it ! And tell you Father in heaven how hard your fight is , dont listen to anything or anyone just keep talking dont hold back cause you feel like your being disrespectful or your darkness stops God from hearing you ..let your flesh be silence and let you spirit begin to build a personal relationship with God and his son ..God is not way above you nor is he up to the right or left of you hes sitting rt next to you and nothing or nobody can interrupt or break the complete attention he is giving you and that is how it is every second of everyday for eternity DONT FAKE THE FUNK DONT TRY TO HARD MEMBER HES SEES AND KNOWS ALL … STRANGE THAT HE LIKES TO HEAR YOU SAY IT … wait mabey it’s not for him mabey it’s for ourselfs to hear it ?? I have to admit every thing I just told you is everything I myself need to apply to my own life …

        1. Pamela

          Thank you, it is what I needed to hear. I myself have fallen and feel forgotten. I am at an end, I’ve given up on life along time ago. I’m trying to reach out and to just start living again with a smile and to want to smile. It’s hard for me at this point and I’m not even sure if I have the energy to want to start living.

        2. Anonymous

          In the dark

      7. Dwain

        Paul mate everything you went through sounds awful😳 my heart breaks for you I will keep you in my prayers and hope you can have trust and faith in God again! Take care of yourself brother life is very hard in this broken world

      8. Lynn

        Oh, Paul, I’m so sorry. This is a very late reply.
        HUMANS administrate the church, and all of us all are flawed. Please look toward the source, which you WILL be able to find in yourself, no matter how long it takes, if you relax into the deepest part of yourself. Please find the trust inside, and rid yourself of expectations about what the source will look like. It’s painful, and I’m definitely not there myself, but moments of insight fall upon us like an unexpected soft summer rain, seemingly unaware of the struggle and limitations of time.
        Don’t listen to the humans, either acting from self-interest or doing the best they can to understand the true nature of things. None of us are perfect, none of us will totally understand (either the depth of your experiences or the vastness of reality).
        But there is truth and love in you – evidenced by what you have said, and these are the foundation of your religion. Please cling to these, and to yourself… not your injury and depression, but the self you were born as, and you will find the PAUL you were meant to be: the ROCK… You will find a new founded church within yourself, and it will guide you through the inexplicable mysteries that we both suffer and rejoice in.
        The voice may not come from the outside; it also can manifest slowly as a deep assurance growing slowly from within. Trust, acceptance of self, kindness to self (regardless of, and in contradiction to the indignities you have suffered), and tenacity of commitment in the face of setbacks will be required. Godspeed.

      9. Glenn

        Paul, I’m sorry you went through the abuse. It is the intimate shame for someone who claims to be of Christ, can do what they do and sometimes get away with it. I was not sexually abuse by the Church, but have been wronged on many occasions by church members masquerading as uptight people. My ex-wife and in-laws, former bosses, all out in the face of righteousness, but were as evil as one can be. I suffer from depression. It’s been with me for most of my adult life. Thankfully, I’m not always in the dark. It comes in waves. Sometimes my head is above water and sometimes it’s under. I’m thankful that’s it’s not always dark. But when the darkness comes, it’s a sickening feeling that only the depressed can comprehend. Please don’t give up. Even though I have had an experience being in heaven (for just moments), I know it is real and waiting for me when the time comes. Even so, there are times (like right now) I feel lost and afraid. I’m not giving up my faith in God. Just remember, Jesus said there is only one unforgivable sin, and that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So, though you may turn from God now, he will welcome you back when you are ready. Find a Church, not a denomination. There is a difference. Take care and may God bless you

      10. JannaG

        Paul,

        God is angry about the sexual abuse that was done to you and Jesus said some very strong words to anyone who would harm a child like someone did to you. (Psalm 7:11, Mark 9:42). You were not in mortal sin for struggling with depression. You are right that religion can hurt you. Jesus, Himself, hated religion. He often gave the Pharisees long tongue lashings over their religion because they used it to oppress and abuse others. Then, they used their religion to abuse Jesus Christ. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53). I hope you will get away from the roman catholic church who abused you and that you find good counselors who are able to help you heal from all the abuse you didn’t deserve. I, too, have felt like God is far away and I’m alone when I’m depressed. Our feelings lie to us. I hope you will find hope in knowing that Jesus already paid for all your sins on the cross. Once you believe that He did that for you, you are saved. You don’t need to work your way to Heaven. faithalone.org

        1. Kenneth Gray

          Hi JannaG,
          Very good advice you gave to Paul. Your last sentence about not having to work your way into Heaven.
          I would refer you to, James 2: 17 through 26, which basically say that faith is dead without works (good deeds); or works are useless without faith. So yes you do have to work your way into Heaven, through good deeds.
          Thanks and God Bless You, in Jesus name, Amen

          1. Becky

            No, none of us can ever do enough to get us into heaven. Christ died for that admission ticket. It just means words alone are hollow, we are to live in a way which reflects Who we belong to – and that means doing good things, but doing good things is not a prerequisite for eternal life. When we are saved, the “doing” is an outpouring of our “being.” Simple grace is far less complicated than you’re making it.

          2. Kenneth Gray

            Hi Becky,
            About having to work to get into Heaven. You say no on the basis that Jesus died and payed the for our sins. Yes Jesus did that, for our sins not for our good works. As people of God we are supposed to do good works that are in God’s will. On top of, “faith being dead without works and works are dead without faith”, I would point you to Matthew 7: 16-21. Before I continue I must bring up the fact that in the Bible the word fruit is used in place of work and tree for person.

            Matthew
            16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
            17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.
            18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.
            19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
            20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
            21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

            Basically this means that if you have been saved through Jesus, call yourself a Christian, but don’t do good works, you are like one of the trees that doesn’t produces good fruit. You will be cut down and thrown into the fire. God’s will is for us to do good works, something that every Christian is obligated to do. Faith alone won’t get you into Heaven. Good works alone won’t get you into Heaven. You have to combine faith and good works to get into Heaven. Jesus alone isn’t a free ticket into Heaven.

            I don’t know if this will help you or not. It is how I see it though.

            Thanks, may God bless you, in Jesus name, Amen.

      11. Qlex

        No termine de leerlo x ke estas muy ekivocada desde antes de empezar a despreciarte, tienes ke voltear a tu alrededor ver ke es lo ke enrealidad importaybsintomas una drsicion deves preguntarte sinvale la pena, x ke esta pregunta? Por ke todas las desiciones ke aentoman y especialmente Las ke Tomas haciendo a un lado al amor de tu vida o a alguien ke solo fue uno mas en tu vida (pero ke te amava incondicionalmete)buenonespecial mente esas desiciones impactaran tu vida para bien o para mal,.
        La diferiencia en tomar las desiciones de los 2 solo x ti afectan y bastante hay casos donde se ha perdido Todo absolutamente Todo lo ke se habia contruido ENTRE LOS 2 y solo x una drsicion egoista ke si se ubiese tomado x los 2 ahi trinfarian o se ekibocarian juntos y habria Grande’s satisfacciones o terribles perdidas y reclamos. Esto es x ke antes de describir tanta tragedia me doy cuenta ke no Dios podra alludarte en el daño provocado a ti misma o a ese.alguien ke enrealidad ni Vale la pena mencionarlo x ke nunca importo solo un 0 a la isquieda, un hombre mas en tu vida ke en pocos dias no importara o desde hace tiempo ke ya no lo miraste como parte de esto ke no se ke fue pero esposo definitivamente no yo mas bien diria el ke te arrimava las cosas ke ocupavas el ke te servia para descargar tu ravia y el ke fue tu objeto de burla para ti y tu ekipo, claro habia ke reirse despues de lo opacado ke estava tu corazon.tu estilo,forma y desepcion en tu vida han sidos provocados x tu egoismo,tu actitud, tu estupides,tu banidad y sobre todo x tus muy malas desiciones.solo deseo y recomiendo ke pongas los pies en la Tierra ke savorees el sabor de la satisfaccion al lograr tus metas con esfuerzo,felicidad y sobre Todo el Apollo y el estar con Los ke te Aman y amas. Se escucha complicado y si si lo es x eso lo ubieras disfrutado mas.
        El dinero ke llega facil fasil se ira y lo peor ke no estaran a tu lado los o el see ke estuvo ahi para ti, en Las buenas y malas. No me gustaria kedarme para ver el final de tu historia pero de corazon te deseo lo mejor y ke la felicidad abunde en tu vida y ke lo ke mas desees lo puedas obtener.
        Cuidate mucho de verdad marcaste una Gran y Hermosa experiencia en my vida, ke Dios te bendiga y ora mucho para ke in dia te puedas escuchar.☹️😘

      12. To be quite honest so am I, i am a 65 yr old Christian man who should know better but can’t the sort of professional help without a price tag with it. But without the sexual thing as I am too fat and they could manage that sort of thing with me.

        1. Come to think of it where is there the free help nèeded for men there isnt unless thers website in sheffield U.K.

      13. Anonymous

        God LOVES YOU!

      14. Jay

        I am sorry for what you have been through.
        Hearing Gods voice is not a hard thing to do but it takes time to recognise him. It is not an audible, it a sensing of His voice. Practically, start reading the word aloud like the books of Psalms …or listen to it on audio. You will find that certain verses or parts of the word will be highlighted to you. That is the most common way your Father will speak to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.

      15. denova Diddeldorf

        Well, Snookums,
        As Jesus suffered , so do we who believe and follow Him. They are called trials, sometimes a test of faith, sometimes admonition for our sins. Can you turn in the opposite direction and accept the trial? Non-believers, non trusters in the Lord get angry, throw stones at anyone and anything and give up faith. Give it a whirl. Just go with it for a bit.

      16. Anonymous

        I know you are probably lost and this is like a year late but God loves you. When you feel alone he loves and he loves you and he loves you and he reveals things in his timing even though that is hard but maybe this was your small voice finding this article God loves you and I love you too so please please go back to him

      17. Larry

        Paul, You are right. religion and condemnation never helped anyone. The fact that you can weep and recognize the evil done to you means that your heart is still alive. I am a Christian and I have vehemently hated God and cursed Him. He has not set me free from over 50+ years of anxiety, depression and heaviness. However, looking back it was my PAIN and HELL that drove me to Him. I thank Him that he did not heal me in my way or time because I would have spent my freedom in selfish sin and would have been a shallow, immature Christian. Have you ever considered forgiving the one(s) who molested you? I don’t believe you can without knowing Jesus Christ. I am going to pray that God would reveal Himself to you through His Son, Jesus Christ. He will meet you where you are with all your anger and pain.

        1. Paul

          Fuck God. Either He cannot comprehend my pain, is unable to do anything about it, or actively gets off on it. Whatever it is, I dont need a God who leaves me groping in the dark in fear and confusion. And I say fuck God, because I know He’s real. Im a misotheist, not an atheist. God gave me two crystal clear dreams, and then condemned me to the worst emotional and mental pain imaginable for 7 years. There was physical pain too, but nothing approaching the other two forms. I like having a pop at God. If he cant take it, he shouldnt dish it out.

      18. Jewel McCutcheon

        I liked what you had to say until the cursing! And with our Lord and Savior name!!

        1. Larry

          There is no sin or blasphemy He will not forgive. That what the Bible says. I am not proud that I cursed the one who died for me. I think He would rather have genuine anger hurled at him rather than indifference or pious, insincere righteousness.

      19. Becky

        Nothing is your fault, Paul.

      20. Once Broken

        It’s not your fault Jesus really does see your tears, you must trust him even when you can’t trace him

      21. Sam Lock

        Paul I’m very sorry for what is occurring for you, I ask that you will continue to keep going. But please resist, resist the devil and he’ll flee from you as it states in James 4:7. Please, refrain from giving up, and please refrain from using Jesus’s name like that. His name is Holy above all the angels as it states in Philippians 2:9.

      22. Trini

        I understand. My life has been/is/continues to be tumultuous and painfully frightening. The only way I get through is by reading or hearing the truth about all this. I can only offer what encourages me and helps me hold on day..by…day because “it is” a daily struggle. I started where I feel the best place “is” to start learning and understanding the truth of how to hang on and start feeling better. I went to 911 in the Bible. The middle of the Bible is Psalm 91:1 which means Chapter 91, verse 1. Start reading and the truth will absorb and begin to wash the darkness of your soul. This is the only place I know that truly understands the crushing of my spirit. The words I’m reading are exactly what I’m feeling. Finally I found a place where the more I read the more sadness I can and do release as it expresses my brokenness as if completely understanding. I continue on and found for the first time a true friend. Right there with me speaking such loving and tender words I desperately sought and critically needed in my darkest hour. The more I read the better I begin to feel. My pain is real. Physically and emotionally, yet I now know where to turn for tenderness, understanding, encouragement and hope. This is how you will hear God’s voice by reading His words. I’m continuing to read as I thirst for more. I don’t want to lose this hope. I press in and read further and this is when/where I found comfort for my soul. I begin to cry and gushing my eyes rush blinding tears…You do understand God. I never knew you felt this way about me. You ARE here with me, because I’m reading YOUR words and this what YOU are telling me. I desperately want/need to hear more. I continue to read. Yes, I am with you just leaped off the page! I sob and release my sorrow to Him and I begin to pray…. Everyday I need strength. Every day I need my friend. I need and want more truth, light and healing of my soul. Whoever you are that I’m writing to, please try what I did and do. Go to God’s 911. Psalm 91:1. Meaning the book of Psalm, chapter 91, verse 1 and start reading. The Bible is how God talks to you and praying is how we speak back to Him. I have faith this is where you will find Him and from there, He’ll show you the way …. Love, a fellow sufferer

      23. Invisible

        I understand how you feel, Paul. Though I long to hear that still small voice the provides divine guidance…I hear nothing.

      24. Anonymous

        💝💝💝💝💝💝💝

      25. Anonymous

        Paul,
        I just read this article and then your comment. I feel your pain brother. And it is the church’s fault of the day. They have water down the true gospel of the living Jesus, the one who lives in you and never leaves. They are blinded the eyes of people, they’ve cast judgement on the ones who have suffered thinking somehow it’s their fault. I’ve got news for you ITS NOT YOYR FAULT! These people are shutting the kingdom of heaven in peoples faces, making it impossible to believe that his glory as in you and all people. He is with you whether you feel it or not. He is with you whether you see any change. I have felt exactly like you do and that’s why I sought out an article to do with the pain and the absence of God. But I know the truth… He loves you!

        1. I meant to speak to Paul, I meant to say hang in there. Please check out our website. The truth is many of the churches of the day of water down the true gospel of believing that his glory lives in all people. If you suffer it doesn’t mean you’re in sin . For he finished sin on the cross!!
          IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
          It’s their fault for they shut the kingdom of heaven in peoples places by refusing to believe in the glory of God in them. It Blinds people and keeps them in the dark. Hang on.! He’s got you! Shoot me an email anytime you want to talk about this!

        1. Anonymous

          Email: christykarloff@mail.com

          Website: power-walking.org

      26. Anonymous

        I understand

      27. LIZ LIADIS

        Im very sorry to hear you had to endure sexual abuse. I’m also sorry your church wasn’t there for you and blamed you. I also had to change from the Roman Catholic church after hearing one of the priests at my church was abusing the alter boys. 🙁

      28. Its not your fault, some things happen and it’s okay to have depression. Sometimes our pain can make it hard to hear things even when we need it but just have the hope he is there because he is every day of your life. Every step you take he is watching over you, taking care of you, loving you. Nomatter what your church says, God accepts your pain. It’s not giving in, it’s not a sin, it’s life. He knows we have to go through some of these things but if you trust in him he will be there. I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience with this but don’t give up because God won’t give up on you.

      29. H.H.

        Dear Paul, i don’t know if you will even get to see this reply so long after your original post. I am so sorry for the disappointing, though well-meaning i’m sure, responses below. You revealed something so tragic and painful, and i haven’t read one response below that acknowledged the horror you endured. I am so sorry for what was done to you. You didn’t deserve that. You were created with purpose and love, and I can only imagine how being sexually abused has hurt you and changed your worldview and maybe your view of yourself, in ways many of us cannot comprehend. To add more insult to painful injury, you sound like you have endured even more pain from the church, a place that should be a refuge but wasn’t for you. You have wept alone, in agony, looking for answers that didn’t come. I am so sorry. Of course you don’t believe in God after what you’ve endured. why would you? No it is not your fault. you didn’t deserve the abuse done to you – that was all because of your sick abuser(s). And you do not deserve to carry the weight of it all alone. I am sorry for the tone deaf response below that made it seem like choosing to follow and have a personal relationship with Jesus is a natural response to the tragedy that you’ve suffered – it is not. there is no “natural” path from unimaginable suffering pain to Jesus. It is true that many come to a relationship with Jesus out of coming to end of ourselves, battered by the world and being called by a Savior who wants to show us that there is more. But it’s not something that just happens. many don’t wake up in the same agony with which they fell asleep the night before and think that they need Jesus. if it were that simple, the entire would would have a relationship with Him. if anything pain has the great power and potential to drive us far from Christ because we cannot reconcile the love of God with the pain we are suffering. we weren’t meant to, because we weren’t created to suffer. Our suffering is the result of a fallen, sinful world that we inherited. So now here we are. That’s why i stated above that it makes perfect sense, after what you’ve suffered, that you don’t believe in God. Faith doesn’t make sense. That’s why it’s faith. There is no “logical” reason that our pain should result in a relationship with Jesus.
        i want to share with you the good news. that in the midst of your pain, there is a Savior who has seen every atrocity done to you, every tear you have wept, every thought you’ve never expressed out loud. He died for you, for the pain that you are suffering, so that you don’t have to suffer it alone. If you will allow Him, He will carry it with you and for you. I won’t promise you that if you call out to Him, some dramatic event will happen or you’ll hear His voice. I CAN promise that He will hear yours. If you are willing, please cry out to the Lord and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Acknowledge to Him that you cannot bear the sins of this world, the sins that were done to you, the sins that have broken your heart, violated your body and hurt your spirit, and that you cannot bear the weight of your own sins. Admit to Him that you need Him to wash them all away from you and carry them for you. By putting your faith in Christ to rescue you, you will belong to Him, and He will welcome you lovingly and begin to mend the broken, battered, bruised places. He will prepare a place for you in Heaven, assuring you that there is more to life than the present sufferings. If you let Him. Grace by faith is a gift if you choose to receive it. I will remember you in my prayers.

        1. June Gallagher

          This is a beautiful and loving response. God bless you🙏

      30. EV

        I pray as you are at crossroads that you see Jesus Christ, the word of God who became flesh as the true One. Man may fair but God never does.

      31. June Gallagher

        It’s the abuse and pain and hatred and anger that rots the soul. Not faith, not religion, not Jesus, not God and not you either. Your under attack from the evil one, the enemy. He attacked you through your abuser and he’s still torturing you. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray that you be delivered from evil, comforted and healed. God bless you and protect you always. 🙏

      32. This pain and abuse is not your fault.i know its hard i syrigle with meantal illness too.but God is fighting for you even when you dont feel him.even david had deep pain and felt as if gh God abandoned him at times. Even jesus said my God my God why have you forsaken me?but god will neve leave you even in the silence and deserts.❤❤❤

      33. Anonymous

        💜 mary

    3. Jim

      You are lucky to have a woman with such deep Godly wisdom!

    4. Doesn't matter

      I don’t know what to say. God healed me of my depression. Now I have the clear minded privilege of hearing my daughter sexually abused and tortured every day of her life and I spend my days wondering why the hell haven’t I taken my pathetic life already. I pray and talk to God but all I keep hearing is pray. I’ll do it for her. I wouldn’t believe in God if not for my children. I’m poor and vulnerable because of my long bout with severe debilitating depression. 18 years worth. Now who can I thank for that little gift? We overlook many things God does because we’re desperate but would we be desperate if God hadn’t made us that way? Questions anyone?

      1. I Care

        Jesus died on the cross for you and your children, you are Worth more, and your children even more so, please get out of that situation that’s not God’s will for your life. Jesus loves you and so do I.

      2. Yulya Sevelova

        I just read this post now, and I DO have a question : is there anyone you can go to who can help your daughter that is being abused. And get her rescued. Do the police know about this yet ??

      3. June Gallagher

        Stop blaming God for your weakness. If you are listening to your daughter being abused and you have a communication device in your hands you are responsible for not helping her. You are responsible as her parent to protect her. How dare you sit there asking why God made you weak. You are responsible for your own decisions and choices. You are allowing your daughter to be abused. Not taking responsibility for her care or for your own actions. SHAME on you. May God bless and protect your innocent child. And may you wake up, get up, grow up, cop on, take responsibility and stop being such a pathetic whinging abuser. It doesn’t matter.. yes it does!!! An innocent child is suffering and your whining about yourself. Your on a path to Hell.

    5. BB Cook

      DAMN…(in Christian belief) be condemned by God to suffer eternal punishment in hell.
      THIS IS WHAT YOU WISH ON YOUR WIFE’S/GIRLFRIENDS beautiful WORDs???
      Why do Christians insist on doing what the world does? We are to be Uplifters not “damners”. I know, that’s not what you meant by it. But that’s just like the people who take God’s name in “vain” and if called out on it, in surprise they also respond, “I didn’t mean it like that”. Brother, let’s be holy even as He is holy.
      Peace.
      P.S. your photography is BEAUTIFUL.

    6. Anonymous

      Believe it or not, my 16 year old daughters name is Micah Robinson. She struggles with severe anxiety and depression. She and I both. All we have is Jesus and each other. It fosters a very intimate relationship with God.

    7. Shannon

      Thank you for your testimony.. I pretty much screwed the majority of my life up, was on several different drugs, lost custody of my kids, boyfriend beat on me, I ended up finding Jesus in 2017… got Baptized December 10, 2017… been clean since October of 2017… got custody of my oldest child back and had another baby.. go to church every Sunday.. but I too struggle greatly with depression.. it’s like no matter how hard I try and everything is seemingly perfect in my life now, there is still something so dark inside me that I can’t get rid of … I can suppress it for a while … then it comes back with a vengeance.. sometimes it’s like I hear something in the back of my mind telling me just to kill my self to end it all. And I know it’s satan , I know it is , but after reading your story I realized what I am doing wrong .. I keep trying to fix myself , I keep trying to fight satan myself .. but I can’t , no human can.. only God .. and even when I feel completely alone, even when I think I can’t go on, I have to remember he’s carrying me through it … we as unanswered often misconcept that once we become Christians life is perfect. No it’s actually much harder … it’s easy to be bad to be evil, it’s so hard to live for God … it’s hard to be good . You’re story reminded me so much of myself .. I actually was googling something to help spark inspiration and I found this and I thank you… don’t lose heart.. as I won’t either … no matter how and the hurt , God wil give us a way of escape , and satan will leave then come back again.. but we have to lean on Jesus to win the battle … I truly believe I will suffer the remainder of my life on this earth, but there is relief on the other side , there is life after death, and I can’t wait to fall at the feet of Christ and weep with joy and thank him for everything … it’s nice to know I am not alone .. some pain never truly leaves us .. I struggle the most trying to bury all the horrid memories … I know one day god will set me free .. the light always overcomes the darkness .

      1. Yulya Sevelova

        Hi, Shannon. I’ts almost 1:30 am and I read this blog,your post. I just wanted to mention that it sounds like you may have undiagnosed PTSD from childhood trauma. Many of us do. Congratulations on your sobriety in 2017. It’s not un- Christian to get help for these issues, so I hope you will. Good night.

    8. Mitzzoe

      I was having a severe mental BREAKdown earlier but God spoke to me thru you . Thank you ! God Bless you even more !!!!!!!! 🤗 You healed my heart today even if I feel so alone and scared because of the enemy . I love you !

    9. Aubrey Carreon

      Oh my gosh I don’t know how to get ahold of your wife . But I came across this and just wept in the bath because im going through hell. Please tell her thank you so much for touching my heart .

    10. Scared

      Im working right now on killing myself and correcting some things before we do so.

    11. Anonymous

      Thanks for helping me understand my Grandson Aaron, ( I have to say his name ) a little bit better❤God bless Us.

    12. Nora

      Hello well I am in that darkness but it’s torment for me and I feel lots a miles away from Jesus trying to go for help

  2. Janet Robinson

    So much spiritual maturity contained in those paragraphs! Deep stuff. Things that, once you know them, I mean really know them, no way can the devil shake them loose! They will carry you from here to there and back again. I have begun a practice that really helps me. I’d like to share it in hopes it may help someone else. Each and every day, I say – out loud – “I love you, too, Jesus. I love you, too.” Too, because I know that He has already said it to me. In a myriad of ways. Thank you!

    1. I love that practice, Janet ❤️ it’s amazing how much we are changed by the simple things, like just saying what we know to be truth out loud. Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Rorn

        Sarah,
        Truly, you are a kintsukoroi. Google it: Parable of the kintsukoroi. More beautiful because of the broken places.

    2. Jim

      Janet,, maybe it has been a while since you’ve been out here. Thank you for your suggestion to tell Jesus that I love him as well. I I too am going through an incredibly challenging.period Of depression. I am believing in faith that crying out to Jesus that I love him as well will help me to navigate this season of my life. It’s such a simple thing. Thank you for the encouragement.

      1. What about youvevtried those things and still plunge into a deep dark place where you want to die? JIM!!

        1. Larry

          Keith, Several people in the Bible told God they wanted to die too. I have told God the same many times because I have been in chains for 50+ years. His ways and thought are higher than ours. Sometimes He allows pain to continue to burn away the sin and shallowness of “us” so that we can be conformed into His image.

        2. Anon Sufferer

          Keith, I share your desperation. My faith is tested every day, and I am all but dead. I pray for you to find your peace, whatever that may be. Please say a prayer for me.

  3. I can relate to this to this SO much. I felt like God told me the same thing when I was going through a time of depression–that He was with me in the darkness. It was all I needed to hear. Thanks so much for sharing this! The world needs more Christians who will talk honestly about this topic.

    1. Sara, I’m so glad you had the same experience. It’s amazing how those kind words really do change everything. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I’m honored to have you here ❤️

    2. Jen

      I love how you said “honestly.” I’ve been banking on beautiful verses thinking it will fix my situation until I understood the context of the verses. Got me disappointed in myself when I realized God was speaking to a different audience at a particular time. This article reassures me that although my situation may not get fixed, at least I’m not alone as I persevere through it.

  4. Well, here is another Robinson response – all that I will say: what Indescribable Beauty – what Great Love – what Faithfulness & all well beyond any persons ability to adequately express – The Love Of God. Keep Looking To Jesus.

    1. He is so faithful ❤️ Thank you, Dennis!

      1. Louis Chris Figueroa

        I feel lost and confused about life right now I can’t stop thinking about dieing like what happens when you die I say it to myself e Friday it seem like

        1. Laura

          Study near death experiences. They can help you understand.

  5. Barbara

    Sarah,
    I can’t say much more than…Thank you so much. Maybe when my head comes up from under the water. I will be able to tell you what I really feel. But, for right now, I wish I could give you a hug. I will settle for crying and saying thank you.

    1. Oh, Barbara ❤️ I so wish I could give you a hug, too. Knowing it means something to you is all the thanks I could hope for!

  6. Jeff McMorrough

    I’ve felt and feel so many of these these things. I haven’t had that response from Him yet, but maybe reading this is a part of it. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Charlotte

    I received almost the same thought / message from the Lord just yesterday ! I had taken my fiancé to the hospital for a procedure . Dreading this trip as it was the same hospital my husband died in four years ago after a battle with cancer . I had to park a long ways from the hospital and walk after dropping the patient off . As I walked along underneath the trees memories flooded my mind . Dark memories . Then suddenly I feel a gentle breeze and in my
    Spirit I heard “I have never left you and I never will . “ I felt such peace ! Peace that I’ve needed for four years .

  8. Lynette Mendoza

    Thank you for the difficult subject you have shared. Your words mean so much to me, especially God telling you He is with you in the darkness. Two years ago, my life shattered into a million pieces. I lost almost everything, including 92% of my eyesight, so my darkness is also physical. I’m learning to live with my physical and visual limitations, but it isn’t easy. Sometimes, the darkness is so deep and the depression so intense, I feel like I can’t breathe. I love my Lord. I truly believe He is with me through everything, but it’s difficult to always “know” He’s there. It’s hard when people tell me I should be thankful to be alive. I want to be thankful, but most of the time I’m not because I don’t really feel alive anymore.

  9. Courage

    Oh, what a gift you and your writing are! I’ve just discovered your blog today. Will read in depth … but one thing I want to say right away is Thank You for acknowledging the physicality of this condition we call “depression.” I was born with it, and its basis was biological — a two-month premature birth with serious medical crises which required three months of isolation — in the late 1950s. My mother was not allowed to touch me; we did not bond. I’ve been paying for that loss of attachment my entire life. The form of depression (often considered “treatment-resistant”) is anaclitic depression — aka “failure to thrive.” I am amazed that I am alive…and every day, I tread water to stay alive. I was handed down a terrible legacy that was no one’s fault. My spiritual life, and my faith, have helped me to stay in the world…and they have been steep challenges to maintain. How to sense God’s love when my beginning was devoid of human/maternal love? ~ Yet, somehow, I hang onto a slim thread of belief.

    So, thank you, and bless you, Sarah. I will read more deeply. I feel that I’ve been handed a lifeline. There is God, prodding my soul in a salving direction…

  10. I stumbled across your blog after a friend on Facebook shared a post. It is so familiar to me…like words I could’ve written myself. You articulate the struggle so beautifully and honestly. The see-saw between desperation and hope in Jesus is so exhausting and confusing. Your bravery is amazing. Thank you for sharing.
    I have an anonymous blog, http://www.squarepegsdrumsandbuttholes.com, where I empty my thoughts. Don’t be distracted by the “buttholes” part…it’s in reference to the saying “opinions are like buttholes, everybody has one”, lol. Many of my posts mirror your own, though I am anonymous and I tend to have a trash mouth when I am down in the murky depths of depression.
    Pray for me and I will pray for you and this monster will not overtake us. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus is there in the darkness with me. -hugs-

  11. Sarah,
    You voice what so many feel, experience, and fight—but are afraid to say out loud—therefore, struggling along on their own. They dare not voice it, not in society, not in the church, for fear of reprimand: snap out of it, pray harder, have more faith, get a grip on your life. Thank you for phrasing it so eloquently with such tenderness and astounding insight.
    Having struggled deeply myself the past twelve months, first with devastating loss and then with a brutal culmination of protracted workplace abuse, the sense of hopelessness and worthlessness at times become overwhelming. All the while burdened even further with the teachings a Christ follower can’t feel those things. That it’s “wrong.”
    Which is not true.
    Jesus was a man of sorrows. Jesus wept. He had wounds. Even after the resurrection he still had scars (in his hands.)
    I am only beginning to understand a little about the place of pain and suffering and brokenness in our world.
    Yes, He sits indeed with us in the darkness, walks alongside us, carrying us. It is part of the brokenness until he restores it for good.
    For now, we will have trouble and suffer, but we are not alone, we are not without hope. He has overcome it and will restore it. (John 16:33)
    Thanks, Sarah!

  12. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your pain and hope. It has helped as my family and I have recently gone through an unimaginable tragedy of losing my brother. 💛

    1. I’m so, so sorry you’re experiencing such pain. My heart is breaking with you. Thank you for letting me walk alongside you, if just through a few words.

  13. Measles

    Thank you for this! Reading it may have left me with tears streaming down my face, but they are tears that were good tears. This is such a wonderful reminder. I’ve grown up with the mindset that anything could be worked through and I believe it can still, but ONLY when everything is completely placed in God’s hands. We have to completely trust Him during those moments when absolutely nothing makes sense and we don’t understand even ourselves or the darknessnwe find ourselves in in! Thank you for the encouraging verse, (Dueteronomy 31:8). God has never left and He never will. My life is completely in His capable hands and even the things that look so fruitless and confusing through my human eyes, have a purpose that will be right in line with His plan for my life. It is perfectly ok to just BE STILL and know that He is GOD!

  14. Macy

    This is so beautiful. I’m crying. Thank you for sharing this and your story. You’re not alone.

  15. Heidi

    Thank you for writing this. I was desperate for an answer from God as to why I’m the way I am right now, and He answered my plea through you and your story.
    So beautiful and raw. I feel a small flame of hope.

  16. LMK

    What if this still doesn’t help? What if I know all those things and that He’s with me but it doesnt seem to help me. I still wanna give up.

    1. LMK, that’s such a good question. I absolutely get that.

      And here’s the truth: even after coming to this realization, I’ve still had times I’ve felt helpless. I’ve still had times I’ve wanted to give up. It didn’t fix anything for me emotionally or mentally. It didn’t take away my struggles.

      Instead, it gave me something to hold onto, to remind myself of dozens of times a day if I need to. I literally talk to myself out loud and remind myself that I am not alone and that I am deeply, deeply loved by God. I try to intentionally think about that and imagine the way God’s love feels when I’m struggling. I imagine him sitting with me, holding me when I cry, or just listening.

      These things are really helpful for me because they are ways I remind myself that my feelings and thoughts lie to me when I’m depressed. I need something true to hold onto and to remind myself of what is trustworthy. I hang onto that through the hardest times, and it gets a little easier with practice.

  17. Dylan Coleman

    Why do people go to hell? Why am I already there despite being alive?

    1. Hey Dylan,
      I’m so sorry you’re hurting so much. I don’t know all the reasons we go through hell on earth.

      I know sometimes it’s because our world is just broken. Sometimes our bodies and brains get sick and that can feel like hell.

      Sometimes people make choices that have crushing consequences for others or themselves. And all the bad that can come from that feels absolutely hellacious.

      And some things I just don’t understand. I don’t know if I ever will. But I also think sometimes focusing on the why has kept me from focusing on finding healing and wholeness.

      Please take care of yourself. Find a good team of professionals who can help you sort this out.

  18. SKK

    Thank you for this. It put into words what I’ve been going through and haven’t been able to express or explain.

  19. Janet

    Nope. Didn’t help. I don’t want some distant hope, I need help now. It’s all bullshit and why do you get to get a whisper and the rest of us don’t? It’s like all the people who swear praying works. Why does theirs and not everyone else’s? It’s all bullshit.

    1. Hey Janet,

      I get that, and I can’t answer why it seems like some people get answers they’re looking for while others don’t. I know that tons of my prayers haven’t been answered in the way I want them to. And realizing I’m probably going to deal with severe depression for the rest of my life is the last thing I wanted for an answer 🙁

      But I think for a long time, I thought prayer was about asking for things and God showing up and answering them. Now I’ve realized that prayer is actually much more about getting to know God in a way that lets me know He’s always with me. That’s the thing that gives me hope.

    2. Larry

      Janet, Have you ever thought that God is trusting you with hopelessness, so He becomes your hope and life. God delights in His children being like you, without pretense and phoniness. People who walk with God have depth and are alive with His presence. The only way to hear His voice and experience His presence is through Jesus Christ as your savior.

      1. Invisible

        Larry, that is such hogwash and insulting to the intelligence

  20. Justin Haldeman

    Great post. After years (literally) of trying to fight off demons through spiritual warfare and being told that we must choose joy, I’m coming to a breaking point. A beautiful wife and kids and a home, a good paying job; I’m having a hard time working and holding it together. I would never end my life, but how to hold it together I can’t tell yet, this article reminds me God is with me and he’s not mad at me. Thanks.

  21. Hi Sarah – I’ve read your blogs before and returned again to re-read this message. At 76, I’ve experienced a lifetime of major depression. Eight years ago I became a Christian and my life has improved, but still so many of my days are hopeless. What you related has happened in my life but briefly, and lasting a short amount of time. When I fall back to being mired in life, I recall those almost moments of comfort and they help me hold on. As someone in the final quarter of life though, hope is a difficult concept. I don’t give up but come very close.

    I have a goal and that is to start a Christian group of sorts for people with anxiety/depression. While churches talk a good game, not one has wanted to help with this venture. Yet they constantly state that they wish to do something for mental problems. Do you know of any such groups already established that I could use as a model? I would appreciate your input or that of your followers. Thanking you in advance and may God continue to bless your path.

    1. Julia

      I think/feel this is a good idea, and I am interested to know more as well. I know about meetup.com but I am not sure if it has any such groups in your area/at all, I also struggle and also thought it would be nice to get mental health/depression/fears help but through a christian lens. I do know there is such places such as christian food banks -their offices which offer counselling and also nuns who go out to help people/talk. Pastors as well. But I understand maybe you want a more mental health focused approach, and maybe some know what your going through and know how to help in that area as well. I myself wonder about seeing a doctor even though I saw one this week and am set to go back…..

      1. Hi Julia and Giordano,

        I strongly recommend checking out my friends at Fresh Hope for Mental Health. They offer faith-based mental health support groups at different churches and even have online groups available if there’s not an in-person group nearby. You can find a group at https://freshhope.us/find-a-group/ 🙂 There is also an organization called Grace Alliance (https://mentalhealthgracealliance.org/) that offers resources, but I am not as familiar with them.

        Take care!
        -Sarah

  22. Lynne Callahan

    I needed this tonight. Thank you, from a dark place.

  23. Greg

    Thanks Sarah, your blog brings hope. I want so badly to be happy again. I also want to be with Jesus and wish he would call me home

    1. Sylvia

      Me too Greg. I find myself thinking how much I long to be free from my body and my mind, so filled with confusion and pain. Just to be out of this world and free, I long to be with Jesus much of the time. Sometimes the pain of being alive with severe depression and sadness is too much to bear..

      1. Larry

        Sylvia, I pray this for you: Isaiah 54:4-14.

  24. Dorothy

    Thank you for your message I reach out to others no hope it just made thing worse for me there advice was some time hurtful they tell you your problem which you all ready know

  25. Help Me

    I can’t do this anymore. I’ve tried praying, but God just won’t answer me. I think he gave up on me a long time ago. It really doesn’t matter; I’m a lost cause anyway.

    1. Rich

      HM,

      I’ve felt like this a lot lately and it has helped to voice these concerns directly to God. He wants a true and honest relationship with us, that includes letting Him know how mad you are at Him. The Psalms are filled with this kind of questioning God and wondering where He is when we feel we cannot make it on our own anymore. Tell God exactly how you feel and don’t go easy on Him, He can take it. And remember James 1:2-4. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” He is allowing this trial so you can learn to persevere and trust Him. Imagine how strong your faith will be when He rescues you from such a difficult trial… I bet much stronger than if He had saved you immediately without any pain. I know it’s hard to keep looking to God when it’s felt like an eternity without any help from Him, but don’t give up. Keep seeking Him even if you are certain He will never rescue you, and then seek some more. You will come out the other side stronger than you could’ve imagined.

    2. Anonymous

      Point #1 God Loves You At All Times & In All Circumstances.
      Point #2 The Devil is a liar and the father of all lies – Satan seeks to have you join him in accusing God of wrong-doing. That was the very thing that Satan used in enticing Eve into sin. Do not join the Devil in accusing God. Whatever you are going thru is just that – you are going thru – you will not be staying, just going thru. Trust God’s Love For You, particularly when you can’t see His Hand.

      1. Connie

        Some people can’t trust God!!!!

    3. Paul

      Hey, you’re never a lost cause, God loves you so very much, hold on tightly and never let go of his promises. I bless you in the name of Jesus.

      1. L.Jimenez

        PAUL! that is the devil wanting you to believe you are a lost cause the enemy does not want to let us go and depression is #1 on his list to keep us hopeless . Give glory to God for your healing. Amen

    4. Larry

      It’s alright that you gave up on God. He has not, even though you think He has. He delights in taking people who are desperate and weak and turning them into beautiful trophies of His grace and love.

  26. William Crowley

    I believe I had an experience with demonic possession. I learned how to contain it, imprison it within the boundaries of its own hatred and compulsion to destroy. I was only an innocent child of ten, but it compelled me to hate myself. I used that force of hatred to build a space within, a darkness in my soul. I was fortunate to have had 3 years of wushu training at that time, I was able to focus and direct the unfamiliar energy as I did my own Chi. So I walled it within its own hatred, and drew on its energy for fighting and working. I was always far stronger than my companions, even though I’m a small man physically. I could move with incredible speed over short distances, shoot gun or bow or wield sword or spear with either hand. My reflexes are still faster than my cat’s. It hurt me, this darkness in my soul, but after I met my wife and had my son their love healed me. I feel certain that’s why my body is devastated now, but I contained the evil and did not allow it to do harm in our world. When I die it will be only a shadow, powerless and gnawing at itself. Perhaps one day I’ll tell you how it possessed me. (If you don’t write me off as a crank and I live long enough.)

  27. Mandy Prescott

    Ha. So I’m sitting in my car, which is a Chevy Aveo and not a Ford Taurus, yet, ironically my last car was a Ford Taurus. More room than my Aveo I gotta say. I am in an Old Time Pottery parking lot, though I usually frequent the nearest Walmart parking lot, and I just finished a mild bawl. One of many as of this year. Here I find this article. I’ve had so many hopeless experiences in my life I can’t count them, and while God is always there… this year has SUCKED. Articles like this are what people need sooooo much more than the generic responses that you mentioned. Sometimes life SUCKS. And people need empathy instead of sympathy. They need genuine love instead of feeling like a project or that “God put her in my path.” So many well intentioned Christians completely miss this whole point sometimes, making those of us in our Fords and Chevys feel that much more alone when the storms come. I totally feel you though. My car has frequently been my place of solace. My little sanctuary. Appreciating your words right now and feeling a little less alone in this moment. Thorns suck. I have many, but God not only places Himself in the pain with us, He gives us extra blessings when we can meet another believer who just gets it. And sarcasm and humor to laugh through the pain once the tears run out. Thanks for sharing this. Seriously.

    1. I’m so grateful it connected with you, Mandy – and that you have your own little car sanctuary for when you need a good cry! You are definitely not alone!

        1. Kenneth Gray

          Lucky, I don’t know if I, or anyone else for that matter, can help you. More details about how you need help would be useful. I have found that just the act of writing out your problems, even to strangers, can be some what therapeutic. The other benefit of writing here is that someone may be able to advise you on how to move forward. It’s up to you if you want to share what you are going through or not. Just realize that it couldn’t hurt to get other perspectives on things. Besides, the Bible tells us to seek counsel (wise) on our problems. I have found a few wise people on this site. May God bless you, in Jesus name, Amen

  28. Kenneth Gray

    Sarah, I am glad that you got to experience the glory of God. To few of us get to experience God that way. I for one have been getting only silence for 40 years. Just hearing God’s voice would be a blessing and give me strength too. But God seems to ignore me completely.
    God Bless You…….again Amen

  29. ISAIAH CHAPTER 59 SPEAKS OF THESE THINGS, BUT READ THROUGH TO THE END:
    Separation from God
    59 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
    That it cannot save;
    Nor is His ear so dull
    That it cannot hear.
    2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
    And your sins have hidden His [a]face from you so that He does not hear.
    3 For your hands are defiled with blood
    And your fingers with iniquity;
    Your lips have spoken falsehood,
    Your tongue mutters wickedness.
    4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads [b]honestly.
    They trust in confusion and speak lies;
    They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
    5 They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
    He who eats of their eggs dies,
    And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
    6 Their webs will not become clothing,
    Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
    Their works are works of iniquity,
    And an act of violence is in their [c]hands.
    7 Their feet run to evil,
    And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
    Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
    Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
    8 They do not know the way of peace,
    And there is no justice in their tracks;
    They have made their paths crooked,
    Whoever treads on [d]them does not know peace.

    A Confession of Wickedness
    9 Therefore justice is far from us,
    And righteousness does not overtake us;
    We hope for light, but behold, darkness,
    For brightness, but we walk in gloom.
    10 We grope along the wall like blind men,
    We grope like those who have no eyes;
    We stumble at midday as in the twilight,
    Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.
    11 All of us growl like bears,
    And moan sadly like doves;
    We hope for justice, but there is none,
    For salvation, but it is far from us.
    12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
    And our sins [e]testify against us;
    For our transgressions are with us,
    And [f]we know our iniquities:
    13 Transgressing and denying the Lord,
    And turning away from our God,
    Speaking oppression and revolt,
    Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
    14 Justice is turned back,
    And righteousness stands far away;
    For truth has stumbled in the street,
    And uprightness cannot enter.
    15 Yes, truth is lacking;
    And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
    Now the Lord saw,
    And it was [g]displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
    16 And He saw that there was no man,
    And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
    Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
    And His righteousness upheld Him.
    17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
    And a helmet of salvation on His head;
    And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
    And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
    18 According to their [h]deeds, [i]so He will repay,
    Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies;
    To the coastlands He will [j]make recompense.
    19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west
    And His glory from the rising of the sun,
    For He will come like a [k]rushing stream
    Which the wind of the Lord drives.
    20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion,
    And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

    21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your [l]offspring, nor from the mouth of your [m]offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”

    INTIMATE PERSONAL FELLOWSHIP WITH ABBA DADDY IS THE NEED AND ONLY COMES BY GOD’S WORD & PRAYER. KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS!!!

  30. Lynette H Mendoza

    I know how you feel, Kenneth. Like you, it’s been a long time since I heard God’s voice or experienced His presence. Sixteen years ago, God told me to make some huge changes and even cleared all obstacles for those changes to occur. Then, it’s like He exited, stage left, and became a silent observer. I’ve had one trial after another and experienced so much emotional and physical pain. Sometimes, it’s been so intense, it’s all I can do to just breathe and cry out: “God, where are You?” I pray, but it feels like He doesn’t hear me. I try to remember the promise in the Bible that He will never leave me, and then wonder why I feel such abandonment. Someone told me God is still working in my life, even when He’s silent. I want to keep believing that, but there are too many days when I feel shrouded in darkness. My heart longs for God, and His continued silence hurts.

    1. Rg

      Same here Lynette. God told me to leave my live in bf (now ex), trust him on a $1000 bill instead of using the money otherwise which led to my homelessness. He said write a book to bless ..He never blessed it. Then I hung around waiting .. just waiting to move where He wanted me. CRICKETS. So i said I’ll just make my own moves in faith that you will steer. Nope. I’m getting guilty conscience over Nothing because I’m scared it’s not what God wants but He wont just tell me!
      Insult to injury He showed me how little value I am by all of my friends and family abandoning at one time when I needed them most. I thought that was so He would swoop in and be my everything you ever need….nope… silence.
      I feel like the stage 5 clinger that God is like Ew go away, take a hint. The devil has been talking though. Saying God made Himself to be a drug just so He could take it away. Now I know this is satan so why hasn’t God stepped in? He knows how low satan goes… the silence does hurt and it’s bad enough we’re in earth away from him but then to be in this cold world with no guidance.. all the while he’s promising to guide our footsteps and be there… 🤔 idk. Guess I’m losing it. Pray for me. I’ll pray for you maybe he’ll listen then.

      1. Lynette H Mendoza

        Thank you for your reply, Rg, and thank you for your prayers. I will definitely pray for you and hope God is listening.

        I feel your pain. The change I made 16 years ago that I strongly felt was God-ordained, was to leave everything and everyone familiar and move 1600 miles away to a different state, a state I never would have moved to unless God orchestrated it. My faith has been severely tested ever since. I struggle to continue to believe He is in control. His continued silence doesn’t make that easy. Almost 4 years ago, I had to have open-heart surgery. A few days after, I had a stroke in the area of the brain that processes vision. I lost 92% of my eyesight and my ability to recognize and remember faces. I lost my job and career as a Librarian. Driving a car and riding a bicycle ended with the stroke. I have poor balance and depth perception, which makes even the smallest task a challenge. I have to use a walker or cane to walk around. More than ever in my life, I need people to help me, mainly to drive me to the store or doctor appointments. The family I have left are too far away. The friends who live near me, who I thought I could depend on, have abandoned me, one by one. I discovered the people who offered to help me didn’t really mean for it to be long-term. They moved on with their lives and truly expected me to move on with mine, but I can’t. My disabilities prevent that, so I’m left behind. What’s really hard is to have a “friend” agree to take me somewhere and then have them act like I’m a burden, that they would rather be doing anything else. After so many years of being able to do things for myself, it’s very disheartening and depressing to feel like a burden to anyone.

        And I ask: “Where are You, God?” Where are You when I need help? Where are You when I’m lonely and sick and scared and anxious and depressed? Where are Your people?

        1. RG

          For my sister Lynette and brother Kenneth. I can’t imagine the depth of what you’re each going through but I too have felt lonely, scared, abandoned, unheard, ignored and even misled through a major move.
          In fact you can tell from my original posts that I was going through the wringer then too.
          During that trying time I did the math and realized that of 39 years, I’d only been at peace for 3 years. The other 36 were either filled with depression, abuse or childhood neglect. Never ever fitting in and being so lonesome, I found God was my safe place. So when I couldn’t hear Him anymore, I panicked.

          As you can tell from the post I was quite angry, accusatory, and hopeless. And yes, I took a tone with God. I’d never done this before. I’ve only ever shown up in humility. I had never wrestled with Him in this way.

          You said that you have cried and asked God where He is. But have you let loose? I don’t normally advise this and I don’t mean disrespectfully, but have you made a scene with Him? Waved your arms around and yelled “Look at me Dad!”? God loves all of us even the part we would not dare show another person. He is our Father and our best friend. Sarah says He’s not afraid of the darkness and He wants honesty and this is so true.

          I believe God wants me to share with you both, the story of Jacob when he was scared for his life on his way back to Canaan in Genesis 32.

          Jacob WRESTLED with God and was blessed. He put up a good, long fight and did not want to surrender until God touched his hip and he had no other choice. Man would never bless us after a fight. But God LOVES to bless us… He was THRILLED when Jacob demanded a blessing after his hip was dislocated.
          So thrilled that He gave him a whole new name and identity.

          Some may not agree with this but I wrestled with Him spiritually and He blessed me with peace. I had gotten caught up with the plan He gave me and didn’t want to let go. I had hijacked His plan, trying to move things in a way that made sense to me and it failed miserably. Then I got mad because it didn’t work which led to disappointment and a host of other things before I was in a full on spiritual attack.
          So I was at the fork in the road and about to choose death and I was MAD about it. (My neighbors probably think I’m crazy now but it was worth it.) I was furiously listing all the ways I felt let down by Him (I held nothing back) and explaining why I needed Him to do so-and-so this way so life could work out. Before long, I was sobbing like a baby and had surrendered to Him. I just gave up. What else could I do to a righteous God?
          But like a kid, first I said ‘FINE I’ll just be a loser in life then!’, heart breaking. I was losing it, then Holy Spirit interceded in the middle of my rant and let me ask for a softened heart. THEN my surrender turned genuine. I told Him ‘Ok, take it all. Ok you want me to drop the project, fine. Ok, You want me to lose everything, fine. If I sink, I sink. If I die, I die. It’s yours now.’ The weights were lifting.
          Of course He didn’t want those awful things for me. He cupped my hurting heart in His hands and showed me grace. There was peace I hadn’t felt in a while. I did repent for my sins but what I learned is that God requires full surrender. If Jesus returns for His bride tomorrow will ANY of these issues matter anyway?

          If you have already surrendered, I would do it again. Some things creep up on us and we try to hold the burden ourselves.

          Whatever you do, just know that your struggle is not in vain. Keep the faith.

          I am praying for both of you and asking Father to send you both an undeniable sign that He is still there and that you can trust Him to deliver on His promises.

          Glory to God. May He bless you abundantly.

          1. Kenneth Gray

            Thanks RG, I have done what you said. I screamed and yelled. I have completely laid my heart bare, to no avail. I’ve been baptized twice, surrendered. Nothing works. So thanks for your kind words and sincere intentions. God Bless You

        2. Larry

          Lynette, “God, do you still love me?” Sometimes I screamed in the darkness, “God, why do you hate me?” – from the book “The Scars that Shaped Me” by Vaneetha Rendall Risner. I hope you will read this book. You and many of us on this website are in it.

  31. Kenneth Gray

    Thanks Lynette, I feel your pain, it’s the same with me, that pressure like someone standing on your heart. But I guess we’ll find out someday if it’s worth the pain. God Bless You

  32. Rg

    I cant stop being mad at God and I hate it. I feel it’s a spiritual attack since I opened myself up to other people’s demons trying to encourage them. But then im mad like why didn’t you protect me from those demons God? You know I gave you the wheel…
    Plus I have been mad because i feel that He has led me on wild goose chases. I keep hearing that small still voice and following it and NOTHING is panning out. I even went homeless trying to hear him!!! Also I feel like he only wants to give me tiny blessings. He is blessing people who sell His word with thousands and giving me a quarter here and there. Im big on being thankful for the small things but I realized that’s all I ever get.
    I have followed and loved God with all my heart. IN LOVE WITH HIM. Now he’s not showing up, I have to meek it out. I cant sit in one spot or I’ll be homeless again. When he said cast all cares on Him I did. So why say it if you’re going to ignore me. I miss Him but do not think He misses me.
    I am so exhausted and overwhelmed that my dad does not answer me or guide me where I need to go that I am ready to throw in the towel!!!! But then i think He is going to say 1 John 2:19… they went out from us bc they were not of us… how unfair. I’m a woman! I need attention, He made me this way! Plus I think he is more concerned with the 1 sheep than his 99, so I am going to be the 1. Maybe then He will come back to me!!! I’m mad because I feel like He gave me goals to reach but no resources and no supernatural help either. If I was playing around then ok I get it but I was talking to Him all day long, craving His presence then He just snatches it away. Why? He doesn’t want us to have idols other than Him, then He goes ghost? Sorry I’m pretty peeved. I feel like He kicked me out of the club. I’ve been tired fo soooooooo long and feel like he moved on to someone better. 🙁Pray for me please.

    1. Julia

      Hi,
      I am praying for you, I can somewhat relate to what your saying, but I can also relate to Sarah/her articles. Life can be so tough. I am praying God can use me in some way to help you if that is his will of course. May Gods favor and protection rest upon you and your life. He is never far away, but a prayer away, as someone told me, which brought me much comfort. What sort of help and resources do you need to reach your goals if you don’t mind sharing? I am also job searching and I also feel I do not know where I am going….

      1. Julia

        what do you mean you can’t sit in one spot or you’ll be homeless again?

      2. Kenneth Gray

        Hi Julia,
        Sorry I took so long to respond but you kind of lose track of time when you are suffering a complete spiritual meltdown.
        You wanted to know what I need to reach my goals, well here you go.
        I want to get homeless people off the street and educate them so that they can get their lives back together. After researching the topic I realized that I would need about $20 to $30 thousand dollars per person. On top of that I would need a place to house them through the process. I also need a place where they can get their training. This means that I need a fairly large piece of land to build the needed buildings. Now factor in the cost to pay people to actually teach the people. Costs to run the whole program (utilities, taxes, upkeep, materials for teaching and learning new skills).
        When it gets added up I will need about 40 to 50 million dollars to make it work. That includes funds to keep the program running indefinitely. Yes I know that is very large goal, but everyone (including Pastors,Reverends,Priests) keeps telling me that God wants me to dream big. Well this is a dream that I have had more than once. But alas God doesn’t want me to help poor people as He hasn’t given me the funds yet.
        I hope you have found a job, preferably one you enjoy doing. Me, I am on disability and can’t work. Thanks for your kind words and God Bless You, in Jesus holy name, Amen.

    2. Kenneth Gray

      Rg,
      I understand what its like to feel ignored or worse by God. You say here God make me worthy of your praise, your will be done. Only to have God calm up with only silence to your heartfelt prayers. I too am struggling with this, 40 years and climbing of unanswered prayers. A crap life without hope for anything better. You mentioned that all you get are small things from God, try looking at it this way. You are getting something, which is better than nothing. Not all of us get even the little things. Someone recently twisted a comment I made, their answer might help you. Your faith is like a plant, if the plant doesn’t get water it dies. Your faith may need some water. This is where I struggle with this because I believe God is the gardener that waters the plant(faith). But don’t listen to me about the gardener, I have been told many times that my outlook is messed up. I wish I had a rock solid answer for you but God choses who He will answer. I know it’s confusing as one parts of the Bible says that God does answer prayers while another part says that God may never answer our prayers. That is the fickle nature of God. God Bless You and may the Heavenly Father be quick to answer and help you. Amen

    3. Larry

      RG, I have said to God many times, “you bless the wicked and I am your child and you won’t even bless me.” I don’t know what your situation is now, but I am praying for you. I pray that God will send you mature believers who can help and encourage you. Sometimes we need other mature believers to help us discern God’s voice and to pray with us about our decisions. If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. Psalm 27:10.

  33. Sara

    RG

    I’m sorry to read all that you’ve been going through – the pain and frustration you express is clear. It’s hard to go through so much especially after expecting something so different. I think God is big enough to hear what you say and I really believe He wants you to tell Him.

    As I read what you wrote I felt reminded of something that happened to me once and I believe He wants me to share it. It’s an odd story so please be patient as I share it. I felt God wanted me to get this dog – it was His gift to me so I followed what I though He was saying. However, this dog was a daily nightmare and in the end I found my toddler sitting in a puddle of dog wee. I cried out to God asking why He led me to this situation – His answer was clear. Sara, I give good gifts to my children. The dog had to go and I sent her to a place that would re-home her and care for her well.
    Now I’m in a marriage that’s unsafe – another place I believed God led me too. Like you I’ve cried out to God in confusion about the outcome of following what I thought was His lead. The other evening the answer came – not in a fresh revelation but in remembering the dog and God’s words to me then.
    Whilst I do believe that Christians suffer, just as Sarah writes about here, I don’t believe that He would deliberately lead us to destruction. I would encourage you to consider the results of your situation and ask yourself if God really was leading you to this place? I really believe He wants me to share this with you and to encourage you that whilst He may not have led you here He is the one who could lead you out of it.

    Sarah – thank you so much for writing this. I too know the darkness of mental illness. I currently am on a dark road I cannot just leave and have been on for a while. Tonight God showed me that although I out at sea with no land in sight He is the boat around me and He is there. He always will be. I found this article not long after and it resonated with the journey I am on.

    1. Sara, that’s so beautiful – “He is the boat around me and He is there.” I saw you mentioned you’re in an unsafe marriage. I’m so sorry to hear that. Please know you are worth getting the help and support you need to be safe <3

    2. RG

      Thank you for your kind words Sara. I am touched that the Lord used you to send me a word. There is a definite area in my life that I can apply that to. I pray that God will do His good to make your marriage safer and bring you the joy He intended for you to have when He put you together. But please stay safe and use all resources available for your situation. Stay strong my sister in Christ.

  34. Kenneth Gray

    Thanks Sara,
    I like to hear that God is there for you. I could really use an encounter with God like that. All God seems to be is absent when it comes to me. I cry all the time because God isn’t here for me. I need God to help me as I can’t help myself. I want to help other people, but I need God to help me first. I want to bring glory to God but can’t as I don’t have any resources to do anything with. I just don’t know why God has chosen to let me suffer in this life.
    God Bless You Sara

  35. Feng Yuan

    Hi Sarah, I am Feng Yuan, your writing lifted me in a special way. Thank you for being brave and bold.

    1. I’m so grateful to hear that! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  36. RG

    Update: We made it through the other side! Hallelujah. I was under spiritual attack but Psalm 88 perfectly sums up what was going on in my life. To a Tee. Still God is faithful. I was angry, furious, livid even, with God. I was calling out to Him and feeling ignored… but I was still calling out. And He was faithful to rescue. I do not like that place of despair. It was scary, lonely, and soul crushing but it made me see how much I need the Lord. I needed to fully rely on Him even more than I thought I was. I thought all was good in my spiritual walk but this just brought us closer. Sometimes Dad lets us ride without the training wheels for a bit. We can’t see Him because we’re focused on the obstacles in our path and trying to stay balanced like a big kid but He’s right behind us ready to scoop us up when we fall off the bike. So stop wobbling and let go. Just fall already, into His arms. He will pick you up and stay with you until you get it right. Please don’t give up. Get to the other side. Glory to God. Praying for all those still stuck in the place of despair. God bless.

  37. YES & AMEN. THE LORD GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL NO MATTER HOW THINGS SEEM OR HOW WE FEEL. HE DOES NOT CHANGE-DOES NOT GIVE UP-DOES NOT LOSE.
    YES LONELINESS IS TOUGH, BUT EVEN SO, GOD’S WORD IS TRUE AND HIS PROMISES SURE: “Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” ISAIAH 40:31

  38. ShyShy

    This was just what I needed. It made me cry like a baby, but it was what I needed. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with God and this message. It’s truly amazing how gracious He is by being with us at all times and never giving up on us!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear it was what you needed ❤️ you are not alone, my friend.

  39. Debbie

    This helped me so much I can’t even begin to express. I’ve lived with overwhelming darkness and depression my entire life even as a child. I needed to hear God is with me in darkness and loves me no matter what I’m going through. Thank you Lord Jesus for speaking to me through your precious daughter and servant who understands the emotional pain.

    1. Oh Debbie, I’m so glad this reminder connected with you. What you said is exactly right; God is with you know matter what. Keep fighting and taking good care of yourself!

      <3 Sarah

  40. Vino

    Man oh man I don’t even know where to start. I think I just friended both you and your husband on Facebook. I’m mostly on Instagram tho and was looking for you on that too lol very excellent article. I am not doing well at all it was nice to read this and be reminded of what’s true

  41. Alder Gonzalez

    Hey , I love you.

  42. Kenneth Gray

    Hi Sarah,
    Glad to see that you are still inspiring people towards God/Jesus. Just thought I’d look in and maybe find some encouragement to keep the faith, or raise the soul. I am still struggling with God’s silence and timing. I made care packages for the homeless, but only made myself feel worse because I couldn’t help them all. Starting to make more packages but have run out of money again. Why does helping people make me feel sadness?
    Thanks Sarah for the kind words and encouragement you bring to people that are suffering spiritually. Thanks(again) and God bless you in Jesus name. Amen

  43. Pam

    Hi Sarah, Only someone who has walked in our shoes can know the hopelessness and despair that years of major depression and health and social anxiety cause. What I cannot understand is how to do it all alone. I have three dear friends who try to encourage me but usually end up discouraging me. The last six years have been the worst of my life. Care giving for my sick Mother (she has always been my very best friend) has been hell on earth. She died seven months ago. She was all I had left. My extended family have all rejected me. Friends and Family just don’t understand why I don’t just snap out of it. Go out and make friends. Exercise every day. They think that I purposely don’t do these things. I just want to give up and spare them the burden. I know you can understand the shame I feel every time I only wish I could do all those things. The worst part of all is that the last six years of my life have been the first times in my life that I have repeatedly cried out to God. Please help me. Please let me feel your presence. Please give me hope. But all I hear is silence. When I share my despair in this area with my friends they get very angry with me. When your mind is broken, when your heart is broken and when your spirit is crushed and you cry out to God. How is it possible to be strong enough to trust that He cares through that kind of pain. I want to trust. I know He promises that He is there and that He will never leave me. If I could only have hope of ever being able to participate in life again. To have family again. To be loved again.

  44. HI PAM, I WILL NOT PRETEND TO BE PROVIDING SOME ANSWER LIKE A MATH EQUATION ON A BLACKBOARD TO WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH – I DO WANT TO SHARE LINKS TO 2 DIFFERENT SONGS THAT SPEAK TO THIS TOPIC:
    1, “CAN’T YOU SEE” WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY MY FRIEND, TOY CALDWELL & MARSHALL TUCKER BAND – IT WAS MY THEME SONG IN EARLY 1970’S AS MY 1ST WIFE LEFT ME FOR ANOTHER MAN DURING VIETNAM WAR & TOOK MY TWO BABIES – TOY’S SONG WAS MAJOR SOUTHERN ROCK HIT – IT WAS ACTUALLY A HURTING HEART-CRY TO GOD ABOUT INDESCRIBABLE, UNBEARABLE PAIN – IN MY RECORDED VERSION I ADDED THE LINE: “I CAN’T TAKE IT LORD!” I WAS COMPLETELY ENCASED IN TOTAL LOSS THAT I COULD NOT IN ANY WAY PROCESS – SAW NO WAY OUT & NO WAY THRU. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO LYRICS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlc6xCPx60U
    2. “DON’T SHOOT THE WOUNDED” WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY CHUCK GIRARD. IF YOU FOLLOW, UNDERSTAND, & BELIEVE CHUCK’S LYRICS (WHICH I DO) YOU CAN FIND MANY NEEDED THINGS: A. OTHERS CAN’T EASILY UNDERSTAND AS THEY VIEW SNAPSHOTS OF YOUR STRUGGLE, B. IT’S REALLY GOOD THAT THEY CAN’T RELATE BECAUSE IF THEY COULD IT WOULD ONLY BE BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY WALKED THE MILES WHICH YOU ARE NOW WALKING, C. GENUINE UNDERSTANDING & COMPASSION IS IN SHORT SUPPLY – EVEN FROM YOU CONCERNING YOURSELF – CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK & DON’T SHOOT THE WOUNDED (IT’S YOU!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHJmqHLpwPQ
    YES IT IS TERRIBLE, BUT THIS TOO SHALL PASS. NO MATTER HOW IT MAY FEEL: THE LORD IS WITH YOU, WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU, CARES SO MUCH FOR YOU HE SUFFERED, DIED, & AROSE FROM THE DEAD TO PROVIDE THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU: https://GODSPLAN.US

    1. Sid Simpson

      Bless you Dennis, and I salute you this Veterans Day. Sometimes it seems that only another vet can identify, but I believe there are many who will be blessed by your testimony.

      Semper Fidelis

  45. James A Ciambor

    There’s an emptiness in my chest I no longer feel love, spent years burdened by hate. I am to far from God he no longer resides in my heart even if I try to repent. Can’t feel, love, cry, can’t really feel any kind of emotions and I’m always in pain.

    1. sylvia

      Dear James, your words of inner pain and hopelessness touch my heart. God has not given up on you! I feel your struggle because its mine too.. Even when our hearts condemn us, He is greater than our hearts. Not sure of exact reference, but its in 1st John. I am praying for you. He paid the price for your anger and hatred. Tell Him you’re sorry….ask Him to help you in your unbelief. Acknowledge your failure to be good. Thats why He came. He paid the price for our sin sick, evil souls. A very high price He paid. He was literally ripped apart like a lamb to the slaughter and He didn’t open His mouth.. He did this for you. The blood of Jesus is enough..Enough to wash away your darkest sins and bad choices. Please trust Him. Even if you feel like its over. Its not.

  46. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing this, it helped me tonight.

  47. Anonymous

    God bless you for this post, really touched my heart !

  48. As people become older, they tend to form more and more questions in their minds – “What do I want to do with my life?”, “What are my long-term goals?”, and “Where is my life heading to?” These questions usually come to mind whenever a person is dealing with a life crisis. They can cause a great amount of anxiety, fear, and stress, especially when one is completely clueless about what the future holds for him or her.

  49. Greg

    Hi Everyone….I.m Greg from Australia…its so hard to see everyone suffer in this covid virus season it seems like everything is collapsing…i.m aware of everyone.s suffering and feel silly with my little problems… But i have gone through 8 to 12 months of absolute hell…. I feel invisible… friends of 30 years have ostracised me i fell into depression then my wife of 10 years and whom i.ve known for 20 years has decided she doesn.t want to be married to me anymore…i feel isolated and invisible then the covid thing happened work has dried up and everyone i try to contact just ignores me…i dont feel like being alive…The only thing keeping me going is God…i almost feel like jesus is saying to me “Now you know how i felt” …I know i.ve got God and thats great for the next life but i.m sad and devastated that this life seems over at my age of 47… We only get one life and i.m scared that this is it for me… I.m grateful i.ve had 40 plus year of being happy but what do you do when you feel like life is over…Whatever i have done or said to hurt people i am very sorry for but i dont think i deserve this…lots of blessings and love…Greg…

  50. Jim

    I am a 63 year old male. Same story. The darkness lifts just enough to gasp a breath, before plunging back under. I work, I cry, I sleep. It’s been a long time of dancing all the dances to stay afloat for each gasp of relief . I am so tired.

  51. Jim, I offer no magic solution to your depression. However if knowing beyond any shadow of doubt that you are loved, cherished, & highly prized by The Living God is of interest to you, I point you to a 10 minute journey online where you may see for yourself regarding God’s Love and God’s Plan for you. go to: https://godsplan.us to view God’s Promises to you. Nowhere does The Lord suggest that we won’t have severe difficulty – He Does Promise to be there in us and with us.

  52. The darkness lifts just enough to gasp a breath, before plunging back under. I work, I cry, I sleep. It’s been a long time of dancing all the dances to stay afloat for each gasp of relief . I am so tired.
    God Help Us

  53. Dan

    What does that even mean? Life sucks but I’ll always be there doing nothing because you get to suffer. Thanks god.

  54. Anonymous

    Well, I would love to add that the afflictions of the righteous are many but God DELIVERS him from them all. The lord delivers, I have a lot of testimonies and it did not take time for me, but some did, I am still waiting for some now but never anything with my health. Everybody has a test of time, maybe God delays your deliverance to take you through some lessons, just like, MAKING U believe and trust in his word. The consciousness that God is there makes life easy and peaceful, that is, in the darkness, God being light(ease) is there. Ppl curse God bcos they don’t know him or understand his voice( how can u understand the voice of him who you do not know?), do not just seek deliverance, seek d master himself, build a relationship,receive and work with the holy spirit. There is never any prayer I have made without receiving an answer immediately(sometimes through dreams anyway) but most times I hear his voice, but even if u don’t hear him, pick up ur bible, growth in God is a gradual process take those powerful words personal and God who never fail will comfort you. SOME PPL EXPECT TO SEE GOD BUT NO… HE IS A SPIRIT AND HIS POWERFUL AND FAITHFUL WORDS ARE EQUAL TO HIS PHYSICAL PRESENCE. LIFE IS EASY WITH GOD, YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO SUFFER. AS YOU RENEW UR MIND WITH GOD’S WORD BY BELIEVING, MEDITATION AND DECLARATION DAILY(JOSHUA 1:8) YOU WILL LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE, GUARANTEED!!. VISIT PASTOR CHRIS OYAKILOME ON YOUTUBE FOR CLEARITY.

  55. Jessie

    Thank you Sara for sharing this. I have been dealing with some tough overwhelming situations in my life lately with family. My whisper from God was “don’t you know you’re not the only one I’m working on.” It didn’t save me from the messiness that my family dishes out but just gave me a little something to get me through. It’s nice knowing there are others that hear the Lord and that He is there right with us in everything we have to face. Blessings to you.

  56. Jonathan

    I see the perspective. And I get it.
    But I got nothing left. I go to work. The gym. I eat right. I didn’t used to be depressed. My main focus has been identity, and i’m passed the fear of the lack thereof. All I have left is whatever little I feel that is left. Folks want me to reach out and ask for help, but I have the servant gifting. With intercessory and the gift of deep inuition. I can tell when folks throw it out there like, instead of a rope. It’s a life jacket. But the boat keeps floating on by while i’m hoping to still grab ahold of the life jacket. And before I know it, i’m back to being alone. By myself. Fighting by myself. Trying to heal and push and press and cry. Alone. I wish I had a feeling of God being there, or the faith that He is always around in my darkness. I’ve gotten terrible to the point I ask Him to prove He’s around. That He is there for me, that He cares.
    I wish my soul would have been held onto a 100 years longers so that i’d be birthed as someone that can do what is needed. Accomplish life, be successful. Have faith and belief in God without question.
    But I wasn’t.
    I got multiple gifts with layers of more beneath it all that can be revealed. But with the few I see and live, why would I want a bigger burden?
    I know, His will be done. But if He so wants His plan to happen. Why do I have to pay with the foundation of who I thought I was, and become a depressed accent piece of a bigger picture.
    But what is the point of being part of a bigger picture if the piece you are is disfunctional.

  57. Bobbie Turley

    Thank you for this it helped me so much. God bless you!

  58. Jesus suffered terribly and so did his disciples after Jesus was gone. Look at the big part that they played in the big picture!— the largest part!! Things are accomplished through suffering, but we may not realize what these things are until we are in heaven. In fact, our souls may have chosen paths of suffering before we were born— for reasons that are above our understanding while we are here in this dysfunctional world. If you can try to accept the suffering as best you can, and join it with the suffering of Jesus, and offer it up to God, you will be rewarded immeasurably! If it’s too difficult to accept or embrace, you will still be rewarded because Jesus says that the poor, sad, lonely, etc. will find laughter and love in heaven— it’s in the Bible!….because things come of suffering. But if you are able to get to a place where you can say: God, I’m willingly suffering through this for you and your Son, Jesus, and I’ll say “yes” to everything handed to me, even though it’s really tough, God!! ……and I’m still asking you to help me though it!!…….If you can try to offer it up to God, you’ll be immeasurably rewarded! We are here on difficult and dysfunctional earth so that our souls can be molded in a better way. Life on earth is difficult for this reason: difficult times mold our spirits and can propel us closer to God and to higher spirituality. Suffering molds our spirits much, much more than easy times in life. During tough times, we can be more likely to call on God and want to form a relationship with him. However, it can be too hard to embrace the suffering at times. Even the best people—saints like Mother Teresa who worked so hard with the poorest of the poor— admitted to feeling spiritually depleted and void at times in her life— because we are human. Mother Teresa felt this for a long period of time in her life— and she admitted to it….. but she kept working in the poorest areas on earth and subjecting herself to seeing the worst circumstances in hopes of helping for something better. Keep going and try to join your suffering to Jesus’ suffering if you can—- because there is real value in it. You’ll eventually find out the result of your suffering—it’s for positive purposes that are way, way above our understanding. If you read about the lives of the saints, you’ll learn a lot about the ways they accepted their suffering, even offering it up to God, and how they saw real value in suffering—–a tough thing to hear and understand— but they stick by this as the real truth!!! I’ve learned a lot by reading about the lives and writing of saints like: St. Faustina, Padre Pio, St. Terese de la souix, Mother Teresa, St. Bernadette, and any other saints you’d like to read about. I’ve noticed something interesting about all of the saints I read about—- they willingly accept suffering. Some of them even ASK God for suffering because they want to suffer along with Jesus and offer this up to God!! Yes–some of them appreciate their suffering and lowliness with great humility. I know it’s a tough concept to grasp, but I’ve read about time after time!!….. My wonderful husband had a addiction to drugs prescribed by his doctor and committed suicide less than 2 years ago. What horrible times for my daughter and myself—it’s still so terribly hard. This led me to read about the saints and try to draw some insight from their lives and teachings. It’s not always easy, but I’m trying to say: Jesus: I’m suffering right along with you—-I’m offering it up to you, God. Saint Faustina tells us to do this. Believe me, if you are suffering terribly, you will be rewarded far and above for it!

  59. Michelle

    This a a lovely post but I God has no only let me down, He toys with me….getting my hopes up just before He smacks them down again. After the news I received yesterday, I can confidently say the God hates me and hates my family. I don’t expect rainbows and unicorns everyday but I do expect this “good plan” that God has for my life to actually be good. This time next month I should be living in a box under a bridge with three dogs and a husband who desperately needs medical attention. I trusted Him more than I’ve ever trusted in Him before and He allowed my enemies to completely destroy me. I feel duped.

    1. Michelle, I completely understand why you’re angry. This sounds practically unbearable. Why should this have to happen??? For whatever it may be worth, I’ll still be praying for you and thinking about you—what else can we do but have a little bit of hope???

      1. Ann

        Hope is only good if there actually is hope. False hope that God is going to help when He never had any intention of helping actually will destroy your soul more than anything.

    2. Jack

      Life’s a btich and then you die. I’m starting to believe that God has nothing to do with it. I think turning to yourself will so much more than relying on God.

      Gee God, thanks for the miserable experience you’ve given me.

    3. Tony Camillo

      At least you have a husband, someone who cares about you. I could die in my sleep and my corpse would be decaying before anyone noticed. And they wouldn’t care. I’m not perfect. Ive sinned…but a lot less than most. I’ve given of myself so many times. And people take it and me for granted. I don’t go to Mass or church. I’ve been hurt by people of the church. God and Jesus must really hate me… !!! If God loves me i need to see proof. And not just someone quote a bunch of scripture to me. They can memorize the bible to impress themselves. When have they opened their wallet for a homeless person ? When have they bought a meal for a crack addict? Have their children been kidnapped and raised to hate them ?

  60. na

    Of course your not alone you’re a woman

  61. Jack

    Maybe you were just hallucinating.

  62. Pam

    Your article is really good. Sadly depression, anxiety and panic have been trying to destroy me for so many years. I can’t remember how it feels to be happy or have a good day. You obviously have friends or family that love you and support you. I don’t. Support is one thing but knowing that the ones you have always loved do not love you. Well what’s the use in trying. My heart longs to be loved. Just to know that someone cares. I know God is here with me but He also knows that I need a shoulder to cry on, someone to walk beside me when I am hurting and family to say “I love You.”

  63. Ann

    I struggle how knowing that the God who intentionally made you sitting watching your suffer as you scream out to Him in vain helps. For me, after 28 years of living in hell knowing God is ‘there’ yet doesn’t care hurts more than anything. Knowing that this path is what God willed for me hurts more than anything another human or Satan could ever do to me. Yet stupid me still obeys and still follows. Serving others as it tears me apart, yet God only curses me further. How is there even any hope in the next life when you will have an eternity forced on you with the same God and Jesus who treated you with disdain and contempt while claiming they ‘loved’ you while having not one single thing that mattered to you in all of existence as well. How is that not just hell as well. When God withholds every good thing from you and gives 44 years of unending torment and never comforts you, never helps you and never brings any good into your life how did He really save you from anything even though your forgiven? All Jesus has offered you is hell all the same.

  64. Mike G

    No disrespect intended, but this is all hogwash. God wants me or even love me. My “friends” only want me around because of what they can get from me. They just want to take advantage of me. God has never once in my life ever answered a prayer the way I wanted it to be. As far as I am concerned its not three in one, but four in one. You and the devil are one in the same. That explains why the world has become totally evil. I’m tired of trying, I’m tried of having no real friends. I’m tired of God hating and ignoring me. Until he answers my prayers I believe he is everything that is wrong and evil in the entire universe

    1. Mike, I have experienced the same thing, but I know that God does not cause confusion or evil and the world doesn’t need God or Satan’s help to do evil. They do that just fine all by themselves. Believing in God is easy when He blesses us. It’s harder to believe Him when He’s silent and inactive.

    2. Tony Camillo

      Mike, I understand !

  65. renfred clowes

    Great article. Certainly enough info to contemplate, but it also raises questions.
    In psalms and scriptures, it says repeatedly that then Lord is full of Mercy, Love and Compassion. Earthly parents (most of them) work hard to protect, and keep their children healthy and happy, well cared for. If an EARTHLY parent can do this for their children, why can’t God?

  66. Most of my life I have been despised. By my parents, (who tried to kill me) by family members, by teachers and employers. I have been a faithful believer in God and His word for over 40years. When I became a Christian in my early 20s I thought I had gained a new family of Christian brothers and sisters and had many times of great fellowship and worship with them…As long as I stayed in their lane of belief. But over the years of studying God’s word I discovered that many of the things taught in the church as doctrine isn’t even biblical. And when I began riding in a different lane, obeying God’s word and speaking out against the sin in the church, all of those “Christian” friends turned on me; using hateful language, calling me everything from a legalist to a heretic. Some had even spread lies about me in order to blackball me from using my musical talents to minister to others. Since then no one wants to have anything to do with me. When my only son was killed by a drunk driver years ago not one of these people called or came to my house to ask how I was doing. My son was saved so I know I’ll see him again at the resurrection. I know this might sound unbelievable to many, but not one time did I blame God or get angry with Him for my son’s death. For many years I have gone out of my way to help people who were down on their luck; invited them to stay in our home, fed them, and ministered God’s love to them. And after they got back on their feet every last one of them turned against us and spread lies about us. For the last five years I have been waking up every day before 5 AM to pray for the church, for God to send revival, for unsaved loved ones, and for God to send me just one person to fellowship with. But I have not seen one answer to any of those prayers. Jeremiah had his Baruch, Jesus’ disciples went out two by two, the apostle Paul had his Silas. Is it too much to ask God to give me just one person of likeminded faith who obeys God’s word, to fellowship with me? I know all of the Scriptures that have to do with trusting God through suffering, and I’ve heard all the pat answers from Christians about trusting God, how He will answer in His time, and how we need to keep praying until God breaks through for us, but lately it seems that I’m just speaking words into the air. It’s hard for me to expect any blessings in this life anymore. God told Abram He would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. (Genesis 12:3) But in my case it’s been just the opposite. I really hate this sin filled world and only look forward to the day when Jesus returns and sets up God’s kingdom on earth.

    1. Josh

      Hi Jonah, I am sorry to hear that you have been despised, even for speaking truth. After reading your comment, I am curious of more of your testimony. I am seeking Jesus on my own as of late, and am in the process of joining a new church and study group for the first time. Feel free to reach out to me in fellowship!

  67. Sid Simpson

    Hey Sarah,
    You nailed it concisely.

    I finished writing a book on the same sentiments, but from a collective perspective of the general populace since the dawn of time. My publishing agent appears to be reluctant to follow through on this sensitive topic of existentialism. I’m seeking advice on steps to take to move successfully on this beyond a simple self publishing pipe dream.

    Sir Adam Justice

  68. Craig Mitchell

    I understand. Im there. God is love, i may not always understand why, but i refuse to not believe. Nothing, NOT ANYTHNG can change what i believe. Jesus is the son of God and he died for me. My life is trash, no matter what i do, the pain is real. but i wont stop believing. I know what’s its like to love a God who allows me to suffer and bless those who follow the world. One day i may learn and grow enough to understand, but today is not that day, yet…i keep going. Believe, stay strong, Jesus loves us even if nothing is working. DONT GIVE UP.

  69. Michael

    At this moment I feel so so low and just want to end it all and forget everything.

    Then I read this.
    I still feel sad and dieing inside I put on a fake smile I act fake to please everyone.

    1. Sid Simpson

      I honestly believe that even the most (seemingly) successful of mankind, more often than not, put on that same “fake smile”, to bridge the gaps of stress and depression. To paraphrase Shakespeare, we’re all putting on an act on one shared stage called life. We put on fronts in virtually every aspect of living…everything from how brave we pretend to be as children challenged by our peers, to the inflated projections of our best potential in interviews and social media. The point of the matter is that you are NOT alone; it’s called “being human”. The trick is which of the countless coping skills you manage to master from your cache of life lessons, and become adept at identifying which one to draw strength from in natural reflexes.

      I’ve witnessed many accounts of those standing on the fringes of the sensibilities of life, so I get it. “Life” in itself can be a crazy thing, but much like watching drama on stage, thank God every scene has its own climax, and the theatre has a countless array of stories waiting to be played out. The most beautiful thing I find in that analogy is that, bearing in mind that EVERYONE is a critic (even you), and free to draft your own fresh script on your next scene. We may not be able to control the way our audience will receive our production, but that has absolutely no bearing at all on what we make up in our own minds to imagine and then commit to action. It doesn’t matter if you have to improvise on a minimalist budget, or go it alone as a one-man show…do some fact checking on those who’ve gone before you onto that same stage with the same props and conditions to work with. No one ever said it would be easy, but believe this much is true; many of the most successful people the world has ever known, had greater challenges than yours or mine, and to look at the height of their achievements, it looks miraculous they reached such heights.

      So…all of that I wrote just to say “I feel you”, “…been there…done that” and STILL AS WE SPEAK am wearing that “fake smile” to prove wrong the chaos of the world around me. Like a tree, the mortal mind was designed to grow and produce…even around rocks and the crap composted into fertilizer.

      These may not be magic words to you, but they are anything but “fake” in the “smile” I pray you will come to find real, as you identify your most effective go-to coping mechanisms and commit to paper your best new script for the life you want to see played out, as opposed to letting someone else direct your lines. Depression can be filled with drama, and that’s ok…when put in its rightful place…theatre. “Drama is for stage; passion is for life”. As the song says, “I Need You To Survive”, because the story you write has the potential of proving keep to helping someone else survive a similar storm.

      “Be Encouraged”

  70. Larry

    I have read several of these posts and I could have written much of them. God has partially healed me of excruciating anxiety and the accompanying depression. I have experienced the deep, intimate love that God has for me, but every day I have the “weight.” The weight has pushed me down and ground me into the ground. It has never left me and paralyzes my body, soul, emotions, and personality. Since the age of seven (50+) years, I don’t know what it is to be free and have the life return to my eyes and heart. I have had all the scriptures, the faith, the expectation, and the assurance of God that I was going to be OK. I would have the abundant life He promises. As the decades past with no end in sight, I still believed. Yes, there are times when I hate God because He has the power to heal, to set free, or just give a little encoragement to keep me going, but He is silent and distant. I have cursed God and slammed my Bible to the the floor pounding my fists into the bed, “why, why, why! Why have I been chosen to suffer. Give my life of affliction and pain to someone else. I have asked you for bread and you have given me a stone.” The first time I exploded, He waited for my temper tantrum to end and I heard Him say, “I love you Larry.” What an expression of God’s LOVE! Most days I thank God that I am another day closer to death, the day when my hell is gone. The most fervent prayer I have prayed is, “God take me home. I want out. I don’t have life. My suffering will be wasted. I’ll take the small mansion down at the end of the block.” I can tell you this, my pain and suffering laid me at the foot of the cross of Jesus who saved me. It has stripped me of all my self sufficiency, pride, shallowness, and self-centerdness. The Holy Spirit has molded me into a small, but distinct image of Jesus. My hopes, dreams, and desires have been crushed and destroyed along the way. I always wanted a happy ending, to find the peace, joy, and love that everyone seems to have. I can’t tell you that things are going to get better, and you certainly know I am not going to tell you to just get over it and get on with your life. If you are not a child of God, I pray your pain will bring you to the one who took your sin on the cross and will one day (hopefully on this side of heaven) take your pain away. If you are a believer, allow the pain to sculpt you into His image, burn the dross, and create a beautiful symphony of His perfect design.

    1. Larry, this is very, very inspirational—I’m sure it is for a lot of other people who have read it, too. When you said, “…allow the pain the sculpt you into His image…”, I really think you truly revealed the real purpose behind the pain. I think that the pain molds us into His image. In retrospect, I see that much of my pain has actually been a blessing—-bringing me closer to what God wants me to be.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you. When we are in the pain, especially when it seems to have no end or purpose, we just want OUT! Another reason God doesn’t heal us right away is that we would use our freedom to sin or be selfish. Quite frankly I’d like Him to remove my chains so I can live. I only want to use my freedom to bless others and tell my (His) story.

  71. Ezrela

    Hi Sarah. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s actually my first time to comment on someone’s blog. I am so related to you. I had been a Christian full of faith, loving my husband(new Christian). Yet recently I really doubt if God is real, is God seeing my faith, is God really hearing my prayers. Every word you wrote hits me so much. It’s exactly how I am feeling now, which it is hard to share with my sisters and even my husband. I felt that nobody can understand. By reading your blog, I almost burst into tears. I saw the date you had written it 3 years ago. How are you now? Do you have any new posts ? God bless you.

  72. Julie Shanks

    Dear Sarah
    Thank you for writing this. I needed to hear what Jesus said to you in the car. I’m so terrified of continually sinning and being so self centered. Each day I try. I beg Hin to change me. But I’m so self focused. I needed to know He isn’t disappointed in me but lives me and wont give up on me. Thank you so much for sharing
    God bless you.
    Julie

  73. Julie

    Dear Sarah
    Thank you for writing this. I needed to hear what Jesus said to you in the car. I’m so terrified of continually sinning and being so self centered. Each day I try. I beg Hin to change me. But I’m so self focused. I needed to know He isn’t disappointed in me but lives me and wont give up on me. Thank you so much for sharing
    God bless you.
    Julie

  74. Ashley

    I needed this. Thank you.

  75. Jianr

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  76. Tony Camillo

    I wish I was born an atheist or agnostic. I would suffer less…as opposed to being brought up to believe that God loves you, and then being totally abandoned by him. I despise my ancestors for being Catholic, where it’s salvation through fear. Everything is a sin. And if I would go to another church then I’m condemned to hell ? And the truly disgusting part of this is that I’m not asking for anything material. Not money, not cable or satellite TV (I don’t have any TV except blurbs on my android), not a new car… Only to have someone in my life who loves me for me, and not because of an ulterior motive. Someone who actually gives a flying _____ that I’m alive. My few true friends are long dead. I never really had “family”. Sure, I had parents. I was the least in my mother’s heart, and only until I was over 17 did my alcoholic father care about me. My older siblings were true sinners and often physically and emotionally hurt me. I’ve been married twice. Both ex’s hurt me. I have one child, that my state gave me custody of. Her mother kidnapped her and raised her to hate me. Im in my mid 50s and have had 1 heart attack for certain. The doctor and hospital staff look at me like it’s my fault I’m alone. I’m a pretty decent guy if I say my so myself. I Put myself through college. I served in the military and was decorated for my performance. Speak two languages. I became disabled after being in 4 car accidents that werbt my fault. My career was destroyed. I’m in chronic pain more or less. I’ve spent countless hours volunteering, often at risk of my health or life. I used to have a lot of care and concern for people, and had so much love to give someone. Yet God and Jesus treat me like garbage. I’m not perfect, but I have tried to live an honorable life. I’ve been “dis’d” by the church and people of the church. If I had another heart attack right now and died, no one would know, and my corpse would decay before anyone noticed. And then no one would care. And I am supposed to believe in Gods love…? If I pray it’s mostly out of fear. If I curse god i am sorry out of fear. Im screwed no matter what.

  77. I am hanging on only by a breath – I have been beyond discouraged, in losing jobs through downsizing and COVID, having of long time wife turn away because she is unhappy with her life. I long for any kind of kind word, affection, a positive. I am beyond positive that I have deeply insulted God to the point i am unseen by him. I am not worthy of anything or anyone, and even hell would be to good of a place for me.

    I am fighting with myself daily trying to give myself pep talks but the pep is long gone,,i dont want to fool anyone anymore, I just want something real to hang on to.
    i am so lonely and afraid and the walls of life are closing in. I am afraid to take the next step for fear of doing or saying or implying something that someone will get upset at or offended by.

    God hear me,,,and if you dont,,,i understand

  78. I am not a psychologist so no credentials to speak to any mental health needs. I am a person who knows God intimately personally – on that basis I assure you that you have never once impressed The Lord with your goodness, nor shocked Him with your bad behavior & you never will – He knows you & Loves you just as you are right now. Life can be hard on a good day & can get more difficult from there. You have described some really hard hits indeed. Here is your answer: DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN INTIMATE PERSONAL FELLOWSHIP IN HIS HOLY WORD THE BIBLE & PRAYER – RECEIVE & BELIEVE HIS WORD – PRAY ON THAT BASIS & BELIEVE. NO MATTER WHAT CONTRADICTIONS MAY APPEAR RECEIVE & BELIEVE GOD’S WORD, PRAY & BELIEVE. https://godsplan.us

    1. but sooner or later there has to be some kind of action, whether it be good, bad or indifferent. Sooner than later one has to address the problems of life with or without someones help. one cannot just sit idle and expect, there eventually does have to be a call to action.
      it is great if one can afford the time or the luxury, but for most of us we cant

      1. draw near to God & He Will Draw Near To You. In so doing you know that whatever has happened, or whatever does happen, The Living God Himself, Who Loves, Cherishes, & Adores You Is both With You & In You.
        To See For Yourself Check Out: https://godsplan.us

        1. Anonymous

          you are completely clueless ,,,people like me deserve to die and be left alone,,there is nothing for me,,,i have FAILED everyone and everything including God,,,i know he has abandoned me as i have failed,,

          it is easy for you to proclaim that,,i have reached out for help begging for response,,yet, because of my past failures, i am ignored here and will be later
          my life is a failure

  79. Janet

    So the hell what? What’s the point of Him being there if it’s all the same?

    1. Invisible

      I totally agree…what a way to try to convince yourself that God cares. It’s pathetic. God needs to do a lot better than that, if he exists.

  80. THE POINT IS THAT HE IS GOD & YOU ARE NOT. IF YOU DRAW NEAR TO HIM & COME TO KNOW HIM PERSONALLY AS LORD & SAVIOR THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND – THE CHOICE IS YOURS TO MAKE. https://godsplan.us

    1. Bill

      you mock the very people that need compassion,,that need an ear,,that need something to comfort them to the next day,,,how dare you act as if you are more mighty than they,,,people in this life need some kind of comfort to know they are not lost,,you obviously feel the need to pile on ,,most of us suffering know the problems,,what we dont know is if anyone cares

  81. My name is lucky m 34 years m a Cristian I believe in God m frm south Africa m in desperate mode m currently in debt of about 320thousand in summary I took loans n ment to believe in a business deal dt went rong n I had to pay the money as I made loans using my payslip m depressed I cried day n nyt asking God why did he made me believe in a business I was donating food for OPHARNS n poor ppl n had to stop wen I went to debt review which it’s taking all my salary I had to sell my car at cheaper jus to get buy my numbers r 0728930373 pls m.asking for any donation u cn also watsap me n see dt m nt lying nor a scam as I will show u my monthly debt review payment with my bank my life has been turned ups n down n realise dt ppl in dis world will love u only if its beneficial for them m working as a paramedic at tembisa hospital n my children are now in trouble bcos I tried to do dis jus to help da poor n OPHARNS sumtimes to b a good its nt good I kept on asking God why me n read a bible’so I cn get clarity but no answered I have suicidal thoughts n I blame no 1 but myself I came here to ask for donation to my fellow ppl of God since 2020 covid19 my life has been miserable but I believe one God will ansa I tried to upgraded myself with school n after writing exams I was sapose to get my results I found out dt I.passed n I was happy n on my way to home to tell my parents my dreams of being intermediate life support paramedic perish as I was called telephonic n was told dt des a case against me of fraud since then my life has been a nightmare n it happen in 2017 even till now my employer say his doin da investigated n to my saprice the sister at hospital whom was supposed to clear my name passed away n I keep on askin God why me pls help.me jus to get out of dis debt only God knows m.begging in God s name

  82. Terry

    We have all felt that way in our life time.

    We have all had questioning in our heads:

    “What if Christianity isn’t the truth?”

    “What if, after you die, that’s it? There is nothing!”

    Maybe you’ve been struggling with an issue in your life and you’ve been praying to God and asking for His help but you haven’t had any answer and you feel like nobody’s at home in heaven.

    Maybe you’ve questioned whether God has forgiven you.

    And you have this residue of guilt and shame that you can’t seem to get rid of.

    And you wonder, “Am I really significant?”

    Maybe you question whether the Bible can really be trusted these days by thinking, twenty-first century people.

    Maybe you’ve said to yourself,…”I think I’m a Christian. But maybe I wasn’t sincere enough when I prayed that prayer. So now maybe I’m not so sure.”

    The truth is, there’s a spiritual virus that has been going around Christian circles for centuries.

    It’s the virus of doubt.

    And if you haven’t caught it,…..you probably will.

    We could divide the world into two kinds of people.

    First would be those people who have doubted.

    The second group would be those people who haven’t doubted yet but who will.

    Because if you seriously contemplate your faith in Jesus Christ, then it’s almost inevitable that sooner or later you’re going to have some issues, some questions, some hesitations, some uncertainties or some doubts over one thing or another.

    This is not just a Christian experience.

    It is a human experience.

    It is not Christians who doubt, atheists also doubt their position from time to time.

    So the issue isn’t whether or not we’re going to catch this virus of doubt.

    You probably will if you haven’t yet.

    The issue is what do you do once you’ve got it.

    How do you prevent this virus from ravaging your faith?

    What can one do?
     
    WHAT IS DOUBT?

    There’s a lot of misconceptions of what doubt is all about.

    Many people think that doubt is the opposite of faith. But it’s not.

    It’s a very common misconception.

    Actually the opposite of faith is unbelief.

    And there’s a big difference between unbelief and doubt.

    What is unbelief?

    Unbelief is a willful refusal to believe.

    It’s a deliberate decision to deny God.

    It’s making either a conscious or subconscious decision not to have faith.

    But that’s not what doubt is.

    Doubt is to be indecisive or ambivalent over an issue.

    It’s to be hung up between certainties and uncertainties.

    Sort of up in the air over a particular issue.

    You may have questions or concerns about some facet of the Christian faith.

    In fact, you can have a strong faith and still have some doubts.

    You can be heaven bound and still have some uncertainty about some theological issues.

    You can be a full-fledged Christian without having to feel like every single matter of faith and life has been 100% absolutely settled in your life.

    It’s been said that struggling with God over the issues of life does not show a lack of faith.

    That is faith.

    That’s what faith is about.

    If you want a biblical example just peruse the Psalms sometimes.

    Go through and take a look at the so many times when David was calling out to God, “Where are You?”

    He’s raising these issues and questions and doubts.

    Did David have a weak faith?

    No. He had a strong faith.

    This is how a strong faith is often expressed – honestly talking to God about the issues that are foremost in our hearts and our minds.

    People think that doubt is unforgivable. But it’s not.

    Actually, God doesn’t condemn us when we question Him.

    A great biblical example of this is John the Baptist.

    If anybody in history should have been absolutely sure who Jesus is, it would have been John the Baptist.

    He’s the guy who pointed at Jesus and said,

    “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

    This is the guy who baptized Jesus and he saw the heavens open up and heard the voice of God say,

    “This is My Son in whom I’m well pleased.”

    This is the guy who pointed at Jesus Christ and said,

    “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

    He had incredible faith.

    But what happens?

    He gets arrested.

    He gets thrown into jail.

    There he comes down with the virus of doubt.

    Now he’s not so sure.

    Now he’s uncertain.

    “Is Jesus really who He claims to be? Or should we be looking for someone else?”

    So to resolve this he sends two of his friends to go check Jesus out and ask Him point blank the question,

    “Are you the Messiah? Are You the one we’ve been waiting for to rescue the world? Or should we look elsewhere?”

    So his two friends go.

    They track Jesus down and they ask Jesus that question.

    It’s very interesting what is the reaction of Jesus.

    Does Jesus say, “What is wrong with John? If anybody should know who I am, it’s John!”

    Does He criticize him, does He disqualify him from any role in the kingdom of God?

    No. The Bible says,

    “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind receive sight. The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear. The dead are raised up. And the poor have the gospel preached to them’.” (Luke 7:22)

    In other words, Jesus is saying,

    “Go back and tell John about these evidences you have seen with your own eyes that authenticate My claim to being the one and only Son of God and that will renew his confidence and will bolster back up his faith.”

    So how does this affect Jesus’ opinion of John?

    Does He now think that John is worthless and could do no good for the kingdom of God anymore? – No.

    It is after this episode Jesus gets up one day and looks the people in the eye and says,

    “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.”

    John had doubted.

    Jesus is giving John the highest compliment in the world at the very same time, John has questions and concerns and doubts.

    And I think the lesson for us is when you have questions and when you have concerns and when you have doubts, God does not disqualify us.

    He wants to dialogue with us.

    That’s not to say that doubt is praiseworthy.

    The Bible never says that.

    But it does say, I think, that in any relationship, we want honesty.

    Your relationship to your spouse, if you’re married, or with your parents you just want honesty.

    That’s what God wants with us.

    In our relationship with Him, He wants us to be honest.

    ‘Lord these are the doubts I have.’ – ‘These are the questions I have.’

    ‘This is what I wrestle with, this the area that I am struggling with.’

    There’s confidence that He’s not going to turn his back and walk the other way and be disgusted by that.

    But He’s going to reach out to you and say,

    “Let me help you come to resolution and bolster your faith just as I bolstered the faith of John the Baptist.”

    So doubt is not unforgivable.
     
    Many people think that doubt is unhealthy, but it isn’t always.

    Actually doubts can produce some positive side effects if we take steps toward resolving them.

    It’s like an immunization.

    You get an immunization to help your body fight off the future disease.

    What they do is, through the shots they give you; they give you a little bit of that disease.

    Your body reacts to that little bit of disease and builds up antibodies so if you’re ever exposed to that disease your body will be able to fight it off before it takes hold and causes real problems.

    Your body is actually stronger from the experience of having had a bit of that disease injected in the first place.

    And when you’re infected with doubt, if you respond to it by seeking answers to your questions, you can emerge stronger than ever in your faith.

    Your faith can be confirmed once more and it can give you new confidence in dealing with other doubts that come up in the future.

    So tasting a little bit of doubt can deeper your faith. It can give you a hardier, more enduring, more resilient faith.

    1. Terry

      “If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naïve faith that has never known the firing line of faith, I will choose the former every time.”

      I want a faith that has looked doubt in the eye and made it blink.

      I don’t want a faith that shrinks back and is afraid to get in the firing line of faith.

      I know my faith is going to be stronger having been tested by questions.

      A good biblical example is doubting Thomas.

      Having checked out personally the evidence himself for the resurrection of Jesus Christ he responds by saying in John 20:28 – “My Lord and my God!”

      Then his faith was driven so deep into his soul, by having personally checked out the evidence of the resurrection, that he spent the rest of his life declaring that it was true, that Jesus was the one and only Son of God.

      I hope that doubt looks a little different to us now that we’ve looked at what it is.

      I want to reemphasize the fact that even though doubt is common, even though it’s not unforgivable, it’s still very dangerous.

      If you leave it unchecked it can do great damage to your faith.

      I want to talk about how we treat it, but we can’t begin to treat it until we know its source.
       
      II. HOW DOES THE VIRUS OF DOUBT INFECT US?

      Basically in three ways?
       
      1. Doubt Infects Our Mind.

      Often intellectual doubts come in through our mind.

      We read the Bible, put it down – wait a second!

      “Am I to believe there are really things like angels and demons and Satan and heaven and hell and that Jesus is really coming back? Are these things credible?”

      Doubts can come into our mind if we don’t know why we believe what we believe.

      Like a friend comes up to you and says,
      “You’re a Christian aren’t you? You believe that Jesus is God? Why?”

      So you take out a Bible and you’re going to show him some verses and he says,
      “You can’t trust that book! This is the twenty-first century! Everybody knows that’s a book of mythology and legend and make believe and wishful thinking. You can’t believe in that.

      What makes you think that the Bible is a trustworthy book that you can put your trust in?”

      You kind of stammer and say,
      “I just believe it, that’s all!”

      And then doubt begins to erode your faith.

      You begin to think,
      “Maybe he’s right. Maybe I have swallowed this Jesus thing hook, line and sinker! Maybe I haven’t thought critically enough about it.”

      And those doubts begin to take a foothold if you don’t know why you believe that basic truth.

      Doubt can affect us if we don’t know what we believe.

      Often we have a misunderstanding about who God is and you have to review who God is.

      You may know a lot about the love and the forgiveness and the mercy of God.

      But if you don’t know anything about the righteousness and the holiness and the justice of God then you’re going to wonder why He doesn’t do certain things that you think He ought to do and why He does do things that you think He ought not to do.

      And doubts begin to come in because you don’t have a fully formed picture of who God is.

      The problem isn’t with God; it’s with our understanding of who He is.

      In the same way, we may think that God has promised to answer all of our prayers the way we want them to be answered.

      And when we pray and our prayers aren’t answered the way we expect them to be, we begin to doubt that He’s there at all.

      The problem is never with God.

      The problem is with us in having an inaccurate view of who He is and that allows questions and uncertainties to come in.

      Not only can doubt breed in our minds but…
       
      2. Doubt Infects Our Emotions.

      This can happen in several ways.

      Some people have a faith that is fundamentally built on feelings.

      Like the moment they gave their life to Jesus Christ, it was such a euphoric experience and it is for many people—it’s exhilarating to know that all your sins are forgiven and you’re going to spend eternity in heaven.

      With some people it is an emotional high.

      But that doesn’t last.

      It begins to taper off.

      When that emotional high tapers off people begin to think that their faith is going away.

      The feeling isn’t the same so they think there’s a problem with their faith and they begin doubting.

      The reality is they’re just misunderstanding the relationship between feelings and faith.

      Faith is not fundamentally about feelings and emotions.

      Faith is fundamentally a decision of the will to follow Jesus Christ.
      It’s a choice that we make.

      Our faith doesn’t fade and surge according to how emotionally charged up we are.

      There’s another way doubts can enter into our emotions.

      Certain personality types are more susceptible to doubt.

      Just like some people are more susceptible to types of illnesses, other people are more susceptible to questions and doubts.

      These are the melancholy kind of personalities.

      They may be people who wrestle with a lot of sorrow, people who are very contemplative, very deep in what they think about.

      Therefore they are more prone to wrestle, more than other people do, with questions and doubts.

      The problem really isn’t with them.

      God wired them that way.

      There’s no problem being a melancholic, contemplative person who happens to have a lot of anguish in their life.

      The problem comes in when they compare themselves to other people.

      They may have a happy-go-lucky friend who’s doing fine and they look at their life and say,

      “Why am I always questioning things? Why am I always bringing up uncertainties? Why am I always wrestling with angst and struggling?”

      That’s a personality deal.

      Don’t compare yourself to other people.

      God wired you up this way.

      And that’s ok.

      Just be aware you may wrestle with issues more than other people.

      Another way doubts can enter into our emotions is through emotional scaring that has taken place in our past.

      For instance, you may have suffered abuse from a parent when you were a child.

      Or a dad may have walked out on your family or your parents may have gone through a divorce.

      Or maybe a spouse left you.

      And when you go through that kind of abandonment very often that kind of experience can lead to chronic doubts in your life toward God.

      Uncertainties that are deep down inside.

      You’re just waiting for God to let you down like your dad did or your mom did or your spouse did.

      If you go through history and look at the lives of the most famous atheists who’ve ever lived –

      Karl Marx, Sigmund Freund, Bertrand Russell, Madelyn Murray O’Hare, Nitche, Camu – you look at their lives – every single one of them either had a father who died when they were young or who abandoned them when they were young or they had a horrible relationship with their dad.

      Every single one.

      For most people that kind of experience doesn’t lead them to atheism, but it creates barriers between them and God.

      Why?

      Because they may have such anger toward their earthly fathers deep down inside that it’s very hard to even consider the possibility of a heavenly Father that they would want to know.

      Or they may be feeling like, – “If I put my trust in God, I’m going to end up being abandoned just like my dad abandoned me through death or divorce or whatever.”

      So emotions can create barriers between us and God whether we’re aware of them or not.
       
      3. Doubt Infects Our Will.

      Doubt can come in through our point of decision.

      When we have made a decision to follow Jesus Christ we need to walk honestly and with integrity before Him.

      If as followers of Jesus we decide, willfully decide to pursue a pattern of sinful and immoral behavior in our life, we’ve got this one little pocket where we don’t want God in there, if we’re going to continue to pursue this sin because we enjoy it and we’re going to continue to practice what we know that God doesn’t want us to do, that kind of choice can introduce doubt and uncertainty into your faith.

      Why?

      Because sin introduces a lack of peace in our life.

      When we struggle for lack of peace we begin to wonder
      “Where is God to give me peace I’d hoped to have as a Christian.”

      Sin also creates a distance between us and God.

      When we’re harboring this sinful pattern in our life, we don’t want to bring our self wholly into the presence of God because we’re afraid we’re going to be confronted with this issue.

      Then we begin to feel like “Where’s God? Why don’t I feel His presence in my life?”

      And we begin to doubt that He’s there at all.

      The real reason is it is our own decision to follow this continued course of conduct that makes us reluctant to fully engage with God.

      Doubts can also run rampant with our will if we’ve never made the conscious decision to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

      The real reason for our doubts is there’s never been a conscious choice we’ve ever made to say, “I want to receive Jesus Christ as the forgiver of my sins and the leader of my life,” so that from that moment on you can begin to build a relationship with Him.

      So doubts can breed in our minds, our emotions, our wills.

      But the key thing is what do you do with it when you’ve got it.
       
      III. HOW CAN WE GET NURSED BACK TO SPIRITUAL HEALTH?
       
      I don’t want to suggest this is easy.

      I don’t want to suggest it’s quick.

      But I do want to say there are some biblical principles that we can follow that can strengthen our faith.

      I call them the five steps to faith.

      The first letter of the first word in each of these points spell out the word FAITH.

      So you can remember these steps more easily.
       
      F-ind the root of your doubt.

      You’ve got to diagnosis the source of how doubt has entered into your life before you know how you can deal with it.

      You might want to do some self-examination, some research.

      Ask some people who know you well to help analyze where is it that doubt is coming into your faith.

      But don’t do it on a surface level.

      Go deep and ask the tough questions of yourself.

      So many people would say, “My problem is intellectual! I don’t believe the Bible can be trusted. I don’t believe that Jesus ever existed.”

      But the reality is underneath those questions is something deeper.

      People use questions sometimes to keep God at arm’s length as a smokescreen to obscure the real issue which is their pride.

      You might think on the surface it’s just intellectual questions.

      But the reality is that something underneath says,

      “I’ve got too much pride to humble myself before my creator.”

      So be honest as you analyze the source.
       
      A-sk God and others for help.

      Be honest with God.

      There’s a story in the Bible about a father who came to Jesus Christ to plea for his help for his son.

      I love what this father said to Jesus,

      “I do believe. Help my unbelief.”

      He had a heart to believe, to have faith.

      Would you help me? I have this problem with doubt.

      Jesus responded to him and He healed His Son.

      It’s not out of bounds for you when you’re wrestling with questions and issues to go to God and say,

      “Would You bolster my faith? Would You strengthen my faith?”

      “We do not have because we do not ask.” (James 2:4)

      Go to God, not as a last resort but as your first priority.

      Say, “God, lead me to wisdom to help me get answers. Bring me to people who can help me in my life to strengthen my faith.”

      And ask other Christians for help too.

      That’s why it is important to have Christian friends and be accountable to one another.

      That’s what community is about.

      “We should honestly admit our struggles with each other and our shortcomings to each other and pray for each other.” (James 5:15)
       
      I-mplement a course of treatment.

      Figure out what course of treatment you’re going to follow to fight the virus of doubt.

      If it has obtained a foothold through your mind and you have questions, don’t just let them be vague questions that kind of swirl around in your mind, generalized objections.

      You’ll never get answers that way.

      Sit down, take a piece of paper, and write a list:

      “These are my specific questions that I have about Christianity.”

      That’s great! Now we have a list we can work on.

      There is an answer to every question we have in our mind!

  83. Terry

    If doubt has gained a foothold through your emotions, you don’t want to go through life with some sort of pain from your past which is an impediment to fully experiencing the joy and adventure of knowing Jesus fully.

    Get those negative experiences out of the way so you can enjoy more fully the presence of God and not be riddled with doubts and uncertainties.

    If it’s a question of your will.

    Where are you holding back from God?

    If you only give God ninety percent of your heart then you’ve got ten percent of your heart for the doubts to come in.

    That’s where doubt will reside and fester and grow.

    You’ve got a choice to make.

    You can continue to pursue your own agenda and then deal with the kind of doubts that that agenda eventually raises and unsettledness in your relationship with God.

    Or you can say,

    “To fully know God is the greatest pleasure I could have and I want to abandon my ways and fully follow God’s way.”

    That is the door that opens up to a faith that is vibrant and rich and strong and full of adventure.
     
    T-ake care of your spiritual health.

    If we want to be able to fight off a human virus that attacks our body, then if we’re healthy,

    if we’re strong, if we’re feeding ourselves appropriately, then a minor infection is less likely to become a major infection and the thing is true spiritually.

    When we exercise our faith, when we feed our faith with appropriate material, our faith grows deeper and when doubts come in they don’t take a foothold and they don’t grow and destroy our faith.

    There are spiritual habits we must keep in our lives:

    – Read God’s word

    – Talk to God

    – Go to Church

    – Have friends who love Jesus

    – Talk to others about Jesus

    H-old on to your remaining questions

    What does that mean?

    Basically, suspend judgment for a while on some questions you might have.

    Let me put this into context.

    Because you and I are finite individuals with finite minds and finite understanding and finite imagination we can’t fully understand an infinite God.

    In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says that we now understand in part.

    ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.’ (Deuteronomy 29:29)

    So there’s bound to be some questions that we’re going to have to wait to get a full and complete answer to.

    It might be that as you mature in your faith and grow in your faith you’re going to find an answer to your question that’s bothered you for years.

    But sometimes you won’t.

    You have a peripheral question in your life that will sort of nag at you and you’re not going to find out until someday when you get into heaven.

    I sort of picture heaven like a third grade classroom.

    Jesus is up there at the blackboard and we’re all raising our hands wanting to ask all those questions that have plagued us for years!

    But until that day, I’ve just got the answers of the essential issues of life that I can trust the Bible.

    That Jesus died for my sins.

    That I can know Him personally and be assured of heaven.

    That God loves me and He has a plan for my life.

    That God will take care of me all the days of my life.

    On a few of these peripheral questions, knowing the essential stuff and knowing the trustworthiness of God, it’s ok to sort of allow my faith to stay intact and put on pause all the other issues I do not have an answer yet!

    If we had 100% of the answers to 100% of our questions there would be no room for faith.

    We don’t have to know everything to know something.

    We know what we need to know.

    God has been gracious.

    He’s given us exactly what we need to know.

    Based on that we can follow Jesus Christ and have confidence that our eternity is in heaven with Him.

    On these other issues we may have to wait a bit and that’s ok.

    “If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naïve faith that has never known the firing line of faith, I will choose the former every time.”

  84. Kenneth Gray

    Invisible,
    I too am struggling with this area in my spiritual journey. God’s silence is a very large stumbling block for a lot of people, me included. I will agree that God does make people feel miserable. I believe that comes from the lack of God’s direct involvement when “we” want God to get involved. Arrrrrg! God doesn’t follow our time table. God told us that we would have trials and tribulations in this life. He never promised to give us a perfect trouble free life. Besides the above fore mentioned reason for misery, the rest of our misery comes from the devil, Satan. I could give you the reasons why the devil does this, but I won’t, as the reasons are obvious. We all “wish” that God would solve all our problems instantly, then life would be grand. Well you must realize that a wish isn’t the same as a prayerful request. Another problem is that we can’t compare our Heavenly Father to our earthly father, not exactly. Think about this. What would you learn if someone solved all your problems for you? Even our earthly parents don’t solve all of our problems. They sometimes let you stumble and fall, as a method of teaching, and for personal growth. A child won’t learn to ride a bike if the parents won’t let go of the bike. It is possible that a hands off approach can work. Yes the child will crash the bike without support, but that in and of itself will teach the child. God is the hands off kind of father, letting us learn on our own, through mistakes, through our trials and tribulations. Suffering is a learning tool. A tool that no one likes. As far as God not doing anything for us, look again. God already did do something amazing, wonderful, awe inspiring for all of us. God gave us His only begotten son, Jesus. I know that doesn’t fix the problems in our lives. It does give us some comfort to know Jesus died for us. So we may be forgiven our sins and have a path to God’s side in Heaven. God is eternal and that is what He works toward, eternity, not our blink of an eye (God’s blink) life time. Yes it is easy to be mad at God, but that anger won’t accomplish anything but make you even more miserable. So it is up to you, God won’t force Himself on you, so you must choose for yourself. God through Jesus, in Heaven, or Satan in Hell. I don’t know if this will help you or not but I leave it up to you to take this as you may. God is waiting for you to choose. I can only tell you that God is the preferable way to go. No matter how difficult it seems. Thanks and may God bless you, in Jesus name, Amen.

  85. Brenda Chen

    Diogenes Little,

    Please read back to Genesis in the Bible. Please. Adam and Eve were the first two beings on Earth. They sinned and God cursed them and their descendants into suffering. Everything belongs to God in the first place. He created everything: the water, birds, light and darkness. So why did we suffer? Why did the ‘good’ outweigh the bad? Because we are sinners. In essence, we are sinners because we come from Adam and Eve. But God so loved the world, that we were saved by his One and Only Son so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16). God takes care of us, whether we think so or not. God does things for us because what we do only ends in suffering and pain (speaking from experience). Spiritual warfare is reality. Incessant prayers are needed for change. Look for a church, I have one that we would be delighted in to take you in.

    1. Brenda

      God is good. Amen.

  86. For ongoing Prayer support go to: https://wgcp.us When God’s Children Pray is a worldwide Prayer Gathering that can and will support you if you only reach out.

  87. Ap

    Wow thank you, I needed to see this today and I’ll remind myself of it when I need it. There truly can be a peace when you realize God is there even in the darkness. Even when the darkness doesn’t go away. Thank you for seeing God in the midst of your depression and helping others, God is using you. His grace is sufficient for us, thank you for the reminder.

  88. This is the chorus from the popular hymn written by Rev. Edward Mote in 1834. The basis of it is the parable Jesus told in Matthew 7:24-27, where He compares our ability or inability to receive His Words by faith and find our life’s stability in them. The song says:

    My hope is built on nothing less
    than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    Refrain:

    On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
    all other ground is sinking sand,
    all other ground is sinking sand.

    When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    in every high and stormy gale,
    my anchor holds within the veil.

    His oath, His covenant, His blood
    support me in the whelming flood;
    when all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.

    As we move into a week of potential turmoil, we must hold fast to Jesus, just as this hymn reminds us. We must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must stir ourselves up in our most holy faith and believe that evil will not ultimately prevail.

  89. What we have to guard against is hope deferred. Here is a likely progression of unchecked hope deferred:

    Discouragement
    Confusion – we begin to question ourselves, dreams, words from God, and even His promises to us
    Unbelief – this is experienced when hope is lost and expectations are gone; was God teasing us? (Of course, we know that it is not in His nature, but when we are being honest, we go there.)
    Disillusionment – which usually involves questioning even the character of God.
    Bitterness – with deep feelings of resentment we blame God, others, the prophets, our spouse, our parents, and maybe even ourselves
    Cynicism – a complete loss of faith and hope
    If you find yourself as I described above, what do you do?

    Maintain Proper Perspective. Perspective is critical when it comes to emotional pain, it isn’t what happens to you that controls you and ravages your heart. Rather, it is what you believe about the situation that controls you. Take a step back. Tell yourself the truth. God is going to take care of you. He’s going to take care of your family, your job, your children. God does not tease or trick His children. He is faithful and His faithfulness to us never changes.
    Draw Near to God. Spend time in His word. Psalms 107:20 tells us God’s word is actually a medicine and can heal your heart. The psalmist David drew near to God for victory over hope deferred. Use Psalm 27 or perhaps even compose one of your own to draw near to the Lord. If you quieten your soul and draw near to Him during your time of pain, of which simple worship and devotion are 2 keys, you can begin to experience change.
    Speak to Your Heart. Declare over yourself what God says about you – that you have peace, joy, hope, and a healthy heart – even when circumstances still seem to contradict Him. “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-23 TPT)
    Embrace Biblical Faith. In spite of what you feel or what circumstances tell you, choose to believe what God’s word says. Faith isn’t positive thinking, denying the reality of your circumstances; faith is denying these circumstances the right to remain in control of your thoughts, your words, your hope, your life. Exalting God above your situation changes your perspective.
    Apply the Power of Hope. Psalm 103.8; 9:9-10, 33:18-22; 138:7; 89:1-2; Romans 5:5; 8:38-39; Jeremiah 31:3; 29:11; Isaiah 40:29, 31; John 8:36; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:13; 1:6; Romans 8:31; Ephesians 1:7; 2:6, 10; 1 Peter 2:4, 9

  90. Tony

    I’ve read most of this blog lthe reason why everybody in this entire blog is struggling is because you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost that was spoken in the book of acts and what I mean by that is pretty clear and you will receive power when that the Holy Ghost has come upon you you must repent and baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. No exceptions without this you will not be saved and you will not have the peace of God you cannot overcome this world you cannot overcome your mind you cannot fight spiritual warfare without the Holy Ghost!

  91. i wish there was someone to just talk to that wouldnt brush me off or tell me to do something that is so vague or just a passing answer, you know the kind where one asks you how you are doing only if your really told them they wouldnt care and dont want to care

    i have so many more doubts about life now that ever before,,,i truly believe that if i were gone it would be a mention in the day and then life for all would just go on.

    I dont think it would take 30 seconds out of anyones life, maybe that is what i am really worth.

    1. Bill while it is very true that some people may not care if you live or die, The Word Of God clearly defines your actual worth: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32 You & I will choose what we believe, embrace, & cling to and what we reject. Personally I believe & live, move, breathe, and have my being exclusively on the basis of God’s Word. I Hope that you can learn to do the same. Know this: I will Pray For You each day & every night from this day forward. https://godsplan.us

    2. Emily Reed

      Hey Bill. I know I’m just some random person on the internet, but God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Lean into him. You might have been told that God has a plan for you repeatedly, and it might seem like that plan isn’t being put to action right now, but it is. God is letting you experience these feeling right now because he know you can handle it. He knew that you would be able to conquer these feelings even before you were born. Jeremiah 1:5 > “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nation’s.” Trust in him, because he knows.

  92. Anonymous

    We all are living in a broken world. The world is broken because of sin. Sin is a choice. You can’t blame others for your choices. Everyone has problems. You don’t know cuz you’re not them. God knows the heart. He alone knows. Anger comes from pride. Why did this happen to me? What makes you above anybody else? Humble yourself before God. Read His word if you truly want to know him.

    1. Helen

      This is the most thoughtless and ridiculous reply I have ever read. You are an idiot and should not reply.

  93. Imagine being underneath the cross. Three crosses. Jesus in the midle.
    Jesus a man brutally murdered.
    You whoever you are whatever your situation. And there are some horrific places to be in. As you are underneath brutal cross of death.
    Look at Jesus.
    Ask your self would you really abandon Jesus in his hour of need.
    Yesterday tomorrow now.
    Abandon Jesus?
    Forget religion people telling you must be born again. This is irrelevant.
    The center of everything is here.
    Christ has no obligation to anyone.
    This is the son of God.
    Stand underneath the cross and watch.
    Abandon Jesus?
    Amazing Grace.

  94. El ke fue el amor de tu vida

    Hi I never going to be abandoned by my Pather and as more that I know about hem the more I field closer to the thru, one thing I know by fact that no meter what, a Pather don’t abandon a son and I croze my heart no woman, gold, posetions or nothing nothing that all will make me live my daughter I will fight, blead, or do whatever it takes but a parent never live a child with out no reason, that’s why I can azure that our Pather will never ever live us, we are the ones who seperate, who forget, we are the ones who make the mistakes the ones who take desitions with out consulting the ones who do rong. because he was always there for us if we make 1000 mistakes he supported us 2000 times, but some times we are so selfish and blinds and so in matures the we don’t care we just do things to make people happy or just to stupidity to prove we can. But we don’t have the strength to say we sorry or to accept how careless we are, so much that we forget about who was really there for us who were really love us OMG how inosents we are some times and we belive we are the Queens or Kings of the world and I say jaja poor little things cause whit out fade or lieng all the time or making dumb scusses we are going to field better or be really happy, we are so blind that we don’t see that if we fall ones with something we go and fall again with the same things. maybe not now but latter we will realize all the good we use to have is gone, that’s why it heart more the second or third time but we are so cowers that we preferred to lose all than say: sorry I was rong I make a mistake. Remember what ever we do good or bad has consequences I believe is time to stop filling sorry, stop being embarrassed, stop stupid scusses and confronted reality and not to recover the lost cause that will mabe don’t come back but that little great sincere and pure love that we just move away from us like rough meat. cause that if we don’t recovered now is going to go away for ever. God or Jesus or the Holy spirit will never live us we are the ones to turn our backs live and heart what really matters for one stupid mistake that we live in the pass and all just to show them you are better than God’s grace, poor little insignificant creatures we are and more wen you don’t take the time to take seriously and value what was always there just waiting for ours lefts overs with that little was anougth, but we believe that we were bigger that our Pather and we just dom everything to the trash. We are the ones who forget about what really matters just for fun God forgive us and bless us for being so ipohicryses and bad human beings. Let’s don’t forget we’re we are coming from and see that we’re we are coming from is also there for us without deserved to be disturbing.(PARENTS )

  95. Emily Reed

    This. Man. This, whew I don’t even know what to say. This helped me in so many ways, thank you Jesus for this amazing woman, Sarah. I read this write when I needed to read it. I wrote so many things down that you said. I don’t even know what happened, I just started sobbing and I thought I was doing really good. I just applied to help kids at a Christian summer camp, literally yesterday. My heart is breaking, but I feel like God is showing me that it won’t be easy. The interview went really well, but my main thought during my “breakdown” just now was that if I couldn’t handle myself right now and couldn’t care for myself then how will I care and love these kids in May? I honestly don’t know what will happen. I’ve been praying and reading the Bible but I’ve really just started to go deeper with my faith. The people interviewing me asked me what my first option would be and I said team leader. Team leaders will work directly with the kids. (Also I forgot to mention that this camp is mainly for kids in Iowa who are at-risk. They come to this camp called Wildwood and spend 5 days there.) My dream is to help kids and lead them to Christ. They also mentioned that they would like me to consider an option where I am a “leader for life”. This option is where I will spend half of the day receiving the teaching and then I will lead kids the second half of the day. The third option was the kitchen crew. I’ve never been to this camp before, but I’ve applied 3 times now. I’ll be 18 in April so I can officially stay the night at the ranch with the kids. I said that I would like any position but I would love to be a team leader. I really want to be a leader, but of course I’m praying and leaving it up to God. Now I’m thinking that the “Leader for Life” might be better for me but I don’t know. It’s up to God and the people who actually work there. I want to be hired so bad, and I’m worried that if I don’t get this job, I’ll take it as there’s something wrong with me. I’m trying so hard to prepare myself. I’ve been so exhausted with everything. Thank you so much for sharing this and also, I’m so sorry for just pouring my heart out on this comment when nobody on here knows who I am. I haven’t really expressed my feelings and I didn’t really know this is what I was feeling till I started typing it. Again, I’m sorry this is so long, but thank you so much for posting this. :’)

    1. Jasheta Brown

      May the Lord bless you for sharing your heart in your reply; no need to be sorry for expressing your true feelings as the Lord meets us where we are. I pray that He’ll bless you with the job you desire and that no matter what, you’ll continue to walk in faith, trusting Him to provide all your needs (Phil.4:19). ❤🙏

    2. Emily Reed

      Update: I got the job!!!! I’m going to be a kitchen staff. I’m so excited and prayers would be very helpful. :))))))) (Also, thank you Jasheta!! Thank you so much for commenting and your prayer. It means a lot. :,)

  96. eric rolf bjorkstam

    The world sure can let us down sometimes, Enduring the pain of false friends,, i am a 62 year old man with no woman, very lonely, over the last year i spent time with a woman as friends doing wholesome things and another guy who helped me with my computer, they both seemed like sincere people. Wrong, he turned out to be a degenerate and she has sex with men for money. It all has been difficult to get over this awful ending with two people i thought were friends, don’t give two hoots about him but still feel the need to help this woman,, now that she knows that ‘i know’ she won’t talk to me anymore, it is or could be a dangerous situation, for now i have to let it go,, there is a verse in the book of John, ” In the world you will have trouble, take heart, I have overcome the world”. I long for a better world. I am filled with sadness and loneliness. Thank You ,, i believe you care as does our Lord God.

    1. eric rolf bjorkstam

      Just a reply to myself,, still sad,, and hurting ,, so alone,, tears in my eyes,, do not want to live like this anymore, that is all, goodnight,,

    2. Joe

      Hi Eric, I can only imagine how you feel right now. I also have what feels like endless pain from lack of connection, understanding, and trust. One can only endure being shut down by women so many times before one loses confidence. As a 31 year old man, why keep trying when it only brings greater pain and further suffering, right? Also I’ve been cheated on, lose ‘close’ friends time and time again, some family looks at me like I am an exhibit, and no significant other either. To relate with your comment above, I even relocated, made great efforts of meeting new people and the next person I considered a ‘friend’, tried to ‘Break and Enter’ my apartment. That’s a story for another day, but in short God did not leave me. Just the opposite, he was there in spirit! I can explain in depth if interested in email. Anyway, I have not been able to be open to others since. The amount of pain in my soul is crippling and severely depressing. How does one forgive endlessly? I am no saint.
      I talk to God and my conscience more than anything through prayer and meditation. At times it feels as if my heart is being choked from above and below as it suffocates my essence and all my love. Its as if my soul is drowning, trying everything just to stay afloat and it seems like no one can understand, just as I cant fully understand your situation. Heartache is the worst pain I have personally experienced. I’ve broken many bones, been jumped, several concussions, and people laugh when I tell them a broken bone isn’t that bad as it will heal in a couple months, but the pain in my heart/soul seems to last forever, enduring agonizing pain endlessly it seems. I want it to subside, I cant simply put a band aid on it, or can I? I know I have many good memories and I have a blessed life but all I can recall are all the times people have double crossed/stabbed me in the back. I just want to remember the good memories but cant seem to find them. All I can say is maybe we can help each other. A potential friend, a peer, an open ear, someone to talk to. jjuliano99 at gmail if interested friend or anyone else who is reading this also seeking help. The only way through this is helping each other. Sarah’s article was uplifting for the moment I needed it, even if its just to get by for one more day. As I read through the comments, it helped me realize I am not alone and you are not alone although we both know the feeling too well.
      I hope this resonates with you and may we both find what we need in this life or the next. I hope you reach out. In grace – Joe

  97. Jasheta Brown

    Sarah, thank you so much for writing this article. It encouraged me to trust the Lord & cling to Him even when I’m angry & I relentlessly struggle to accept His will for me personally. God bless you!❤🙏❤

  98. eric rolf bjorkstam

    Just a reply to myself,, still sad,, and hurting ,, so alone,, tears in my eyes,, do not want to live like this anymore, that is all, goodnight,,

    1. adreanna hill

      i feel that but we all need to hang on i know it hared cuz i am stuggleing to so i know i you feel

  99. adreanna hill

    life is hared for me my mom and dad id dieing and me and my brothers are acting like its nothing so they wont see we a scared i am loseing my faith and i want it back

  100. Mary G.

    A lot of beautiful comments here, by some very kind souls. I would like our gentle God to remove me, peacefully, from this life, this evening. I appreciate all the well intentioned supporters who want to save me. For some, such as myself, we are not interested in living any longer. It’s not a matter of meds, therapy, etc… I simply do not want to live any longer, and haven’t for a while now. Taking my life is not something I want to do. My family should be spared such agony. I therefore appeal to our kind and loving god, take me, peacefully. Please, with all due respect, do not say my thoughts are irrational, or that Satan has a hold on me. I am an adult, and I do understand what I am saying, and why. Thank you.

  101. I seriously hate the fact that a Christian like you or any other sincere follower of Christ should suffer constantly, without the darkness ever being lifted or ever being able to experience any happiness. It’s simply not right. If we can never experience any true happiness or fulfilling joy in life then what is the point of existing? What kind of existence is that which God would allow for those who are committed to him? How is it acceptable for an all-powerful, sovereign, loving God that many of his children get to live life abundantly with laughter, love, and prayers answered while so many others have to ceaselessly endure a life of misery, forever in the clutches of debilitating depression or insurmountable sadness? Why is it that some get so lavished with the wonderful goodness of the Lord’s blessings while some of us only learn about that goodness through other people’s testimonies? Not only does that not accord with a lot of scripture and the character of God described therein, it seems frankly cruel to me that humans are designed in such a way that we have an intrinsic desire for happiness and without ever getting to have any happiness or joy the will to live is severely impaired if not altogether destroyed. Of course, I also think it is wrong that there are people born deaf or blind or physically deformed. I absolutely hate the life God has given me and perpetuated when I have needed Him the most. If this is the way He intends for me to always live then I will most certainly kill myself at some point. If that’s not the way God wants me to handle it, then He shouldn’t have designed me in such a way that I would hate living permanently in this type of condition and then allowed me to do so despite how much I served Him, sought Him, and obeyed Him. Seriously, I’m not ok with that at all. I refuse to accept a life of neverending sadness and depression.

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