Jump directly to the content

Hurting . . . Alone?

God's silence doesn't mean God is absent.
Average Rating:

Constant numbness took over the left side of my face. Intense shooting pain traveled up the back of my neck and head. Overwhelming worry and fear trapped me. Was it a brain tumor? I shot up prayers for health, healing, and understanding, but God seemed strangely silent.

I made an appointment to see my doctor, but in the meantime, I desperately wanted an instant fix. I wanted the numbness to go away and life to return to normal.

Friends and family who tried to offer support or comfort seemed only to make things worse with such comments as, "Everything will be fine. God is in control!" and by tossing random Scripture verses at me. I knew they meant well, but their words hurt. What if everything didn't turn out fine?

Even after the results of an MRI confirmed the absence of a brain tumor, I continued to feel anxious. The illness was still a mystery and God was still silent. I felt as if God had abandoned me.

Painful Memories

I was desperate for a diagnosis, but my doctor had exhausted all her resources without reaching any conclusions. I cried out to God, "Help me! Which direction do I take for answers?"

As I pleaded with God, a memory came to mind: the painful struggle I went through after my second pregnancy ended in a stillborn birth. God had seemed absent then too. Each day during that difficult time I would plead for God to help me, and yet I remained in profound anguish.

Over time, I became aware that I had a choice to make each day. I could either stay with God or I could walk away. I'd already lost so much—I didn't want to lose God too, even if he remained silent. So I determined to stay with God. It didn't matter how my emotions changed or how I felt each day; I stayed committed to him.

Revisiting this terrible time in my mind brought the truth back into focus. God had delivered me out of bitter grief. He would deliver me again. God had already proven himself to be faithful. And so once more, I made my choice to hang on to him—even if I felt alone.

Even Through Clenched Teeth

All of us can face anxiety when negative circumstances occur, such as an unexpected job loss, impending foreclosure, abnormal behavior of a spouse or child, or like me, a sudden health crisis that hits us out of nowhere. In those times, it's dangerously easy to become consumed with dark thoughts. Often we visualize ourselves in worst-case scenarios in which God's presence and power seem to be absent. We make the scene larger and the situation more demanding than God could possibly handle. We see ourselves alone in an unwanted place. And those mental images that consume us end up stealing our joy and leading us away from the one who is our hope, our comfort, our Savior.

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 3Next PageLast Page

Subscribe to TCW at this link, and sign up for our free e-newsletter to become part of a community of women striving to love God and live fearlessly in the grit of everyday life.

not a subscriber?

Subscribe for only $9.95 yearly!
Start here for complete access to Today's Christian Woman—a mentor to help you love God more deeply and live fearlessly.

Next Steps

Downloadable resources to go deeper

Growing Faith in Your Growing Teen

Your key role in nurturing your child's spiritual development
Transformation in the Midst of Suffering

Transformation in the Midst of Suffering

How pain and heartache can actually strengthen your faith

ratings & comments

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–3 of 4 comments

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.

Report Abuse

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!

Report Abuse

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!

Report Abuse

Rate and comment on this article: *



1000 character limit

* Comments may be edited for tone and clarity.

More For Women
Gifted for Leadership

gifted for leadership

The Leadership Journal blog inspires and connects women leaders in church ministry
Her Meneutics


The Christianity Today  women's site provides news and analysis for evangelical women