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!

120 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

      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.

      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.

        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?

        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.

      5. Shy

        How are you feeling now?

      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 …

      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

    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?

  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.

  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.

  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..

  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.

    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

  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!

  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

  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

  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

  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.

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