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Hurting . . . Alone?

God's silence doesn't mean God is absent.
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How can we take back our peace of mind—even in the worst circumstances? At my lowest point I realized I was allowing myself to become a prisoner to my dark thoughts. My fear and worry were only making the situation worse. When I faced that reality, my first response was to be honest with God. I admitted, Lord, I'm afraid. Coming clean with my fear and vulnerability helped me acknowledge that I'm not in control. Then I was able to pray, Lord, even though I don't understand why this is happening, I know you are at work in my life. I'm going to take captive these anxious and fearful thoughts and give them to you. I'm going to trust that no matter what happens, you have everything under control.

Sometimes I had to literally force out the words through clenched teeth: "I trust you, Lord." But eventually I also began to pray, "Thank you that nothing can ever separate me from your love. Death can't … and life can't" (Romans 8:38).

Whenever dark thoughts tried to penetrate my mind, I asked God to help me focus on praising him. And the more I chose to worship God, the more naturally that worship began to flow from my lips. Praise and fear simply can't coexist. Worship drove the dark thoughts away! Praising God enabled me to see the bigger picture of life and God's character. Worship escorted me past lying emotions and returned me to God—the source of all hope, comfort, peace, and joy.

Making Trust Tangible

God knows how quickly we tend to forget his faithfulness and his provision—especially when the clouds of darkness threaten to overtake us. Throughout the Bible God had his people build tangible reminders of the ways he showed up to protect and save them (for example, see Joshua 4).

When I struggled with my mysterious illness, I decided to create tangible reminders for myself: sticky notes and index cards filled with encouraging Scriptures. I chose passages like Psalm 34:6: "In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles." And Psalm 145:14, 17: "The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads …. The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness." I wrote the verses in bright colors that popped off the page, then I posted them on my bathroom mirror, kitchen window, over the car radio—any place I found myself throughout my day. Those verses helped me dwell on God's promises and God's character rather than on the bad circumstances I was in.

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Dynelle Lentz

November 14, 2012  8:31pm

Life can fill with so much heartache. Especially, when it effects our health. I also have Fibro, along with many other health issues as a result of third disease. It has been a long hard road that causes me to loose hope. It seems like every year it is something else. It is difficult for me to be positive. I was praying out to God just yesterday while fishing in the cold and pouring down rain with no response. God are you really there? Although I know the answer is with me always. I wonder how much more can my mind and body take. Its funny because my friend nicknamed me Jobnelle I have to giggle. Whatee can a person do. I'm waiting patiently for the Lords response. I know he loves anares for me just as he does the sparrow.

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Donna Wright

November 11, 2012  2:53pm

Thank you. This so reminded me of me. Your story made me feel less alone. I'm still having strange unexplained health problems. I have been for tests with the results coming back fine. God bless you. I sense His love for you!

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Judith I. Napoli

November 10, 2012  9:07am

I enjoyed the article greatly and can identify with every aspect of it. I too am a fibromyalgia sufferer and have been on a long journey of understanding God's plan for my life. He has guided me each step of the way over the past 14 years. I have the assurance that even in the "lonely, where are you?" God times that God was indeed there working out every detail of my life. I can tell others from my own experience to never give up and keeping pressing in to God! As you seek Him, you will find Him!

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