My friend seemed on top of the world.
From where I was standing, it looked like she had the perfect life. At church, she was always joking and laughing. Whenever anyone asked how she was doing, she’d boom: Oh, I’m great. Everything’s going well. The kids are loving school. Hubby and I are planning a date night in the city this weekend.
Then, without missing a beat, she’d change the conversation before anyone could ask more questions. How about you? she’d ask, smiling, How are you doing?
In reality, my friend was heartbroken.
Her smile was a mask for crushed dreams and hidden anxieties. She was mourning a recent miscarriage. Her husband was distant, working late night shifts and locking himself in the study when he was at home. And although her kids were great at school, they constantly rebelled against her behind closed doors. On top of all that, her mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Have you ever felt like my friend: smiling on the outside, fractured and broken on the inside?
Perhaps you feel like you have to keep up the facade to please other people. Maybe you’re worried you’ll be judged if you say how you really feel. Or, worse, you’ll be pitied.
The Bible tells us it’s okay to feel upset, anxious, worried, and even angry with God when things fall apart. It’s normal to experience grief and pain, even if you’re a “good Christian.” Good Christians aren’t exempt from heartache. Just look at the stories of King David and Joseph in the Bible (1 Samuel 17-20 and Genesis 37-45). Both men were chosen by God to do big things, but they also experienced pain and suffering.
It might feel impossible to voice your pain. It’s hard to sort through our messy emotions. But the Bible can help you understand your emotions, bring your pain to God, and find healing at the foot of the cross. Start the healing journey now with these 5 verses:
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed with grief. Jesus felt grief too. When his friend Lazarus died, Jesus cried.
Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”
Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. “Where have you buried him?” he asked them.
“Come and see, Lord,” they answered.
Jesus wept. — John 11:32-35
God knows that there will be times in our lives when we feel pain deep in our hearts.
Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.
He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,
the time for mourning and the time for dancing. — Ecclesiastes 3:1,4
God is with us in our pain. He is there to listen to our troubles.
Trust in God at all times, my people.
Tell him all your troubles,
for he is our refuge. — Psalm 62:8
You know how troubled I am;
you have kept a record of my tears.
Aren't they listed in your book? — Psalm 56:8
But God doesn’t just sit with us in our heartache—he offers us hope. Jesus asks us to give our burdens to him. He will carry our pain for us.
Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light. — Matthew 11:28-30
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