How to Have Faith When Pain Overwhelms You | {Fiercely His #2}

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I’m so honored to have Alison on the blog today. Alison is one of my favorite bloggers because she writes TRUTH. She’s a digger of nuggets in God’s word and following her has been a blessing to me!

Sometimes pain feels bigger than my faith.

Sometimes I want to quit praying for healing, for answers, for the end of strange symptoms and unknown diagnoses.

Sometimes I want to give up giving it to God.

There are moments when pain threatens my faith - when my pain feels bigger than my God. It is in those moments that I must remember three important things. Are you hurting? In pain? Broken? These truths are for you too, dear one. Come rest in God's truth & take comfort in these three important things to remember! "

 

For most of my life, I’ve experienced one medical problem after another. As a child, it was stomachaches and headaches. I missed sleepovers because I didn’t feel well, stayed home from school more days than I can count, and wondered why no one else had to go the doctor as often as I did.

In college, I cried on the city bus one day headed home from class. I didn’t understand why everything hurt, why my energy was always so low, why God didn’t seem to want to heal me. I had joint pain, stomach pain, headaches, and intense fatigue.

Every time I went to the doctor, I left in tears. It was specialist after specialist. Many of them simply said, “Is it anxiety? It could be in your head.”

And those words – the idea that my pain could be caused by anxiety or that I might be bringing it on myself – was enough to make me scream.

I don’t tell you these things to make you feel sorry for me. I tell you these things because all of that pain felt bigger than my faith.

All of those symptoms and pains caused me to wonder why in the world the God of the universe wasn’t answering. Why did every blood test come back negative? Why did every trip to the specialist cost money and offered us nothing in return?

It was downright frustrating. And it was downright painful to be constantly hurting.

Fast forward to now and I’m still not healed. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with no cure besides a gluten-free diet. I’ve still struggled with pain.

Weight fluctuations. Intense fatigue. Burning pains in my stomach. Headaches. Joint pains.

I’ve undergone blood work for an intensive allergy test. The results came back positive for more foods than I can count. So, there is more experimenting and the mixed emotions of frustration and relief.

No, I am not dying. No, I do not have to live in a hospital room. Yes, I can still enjoy a mostly normal life. Yes, I am surrounded by people who love me.

I know that it could be worse. I’ve witnessed worse than what I am experiencing.

And still, in the quiet mornings when my body aches and my stomach burns, pain threatens to strangle my faith.

Maybe you understand this. Maybe you deal with the unknown, frustration, pain, or hardship. Maybe pain – or fear, or anger, or doubt, or whatever else – threatens to strangle your faith too.

There are moments when pain threatens my faith - when my pain feels bigger than my God. It is in those moments that I must remember three important things. Are you hurting? In pain? Broken? These truths are for you too, dear one. Come rest in God's truth & take comfort in these three important things to remember!

Here is the hope I can offer you. Here are three things I pray you will remember.

  1. Remember to surrender your little faith.

Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV) tells us, “…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

And Matthew 13:32 (NKJV) tells us that the mustard seed is “the least of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Our baby faith is enough. In the moments of frustration and doubt – when pain threatens to choke out your mustard seed faith – fight.

In the moments of frustration and doubt- when pain threatens to choke out your mustard seed faith… Click To Tweet

Fight by praying, surrendering, relying on God.

“Lord, my baby faith is enough. I’m working on my mustard feed. I’m fighting against the lies. I surrender this situation – and my little faith – into your hands. I trust you. Amen.”

  1. Remember that God has allowed this.

God has allowed the pain, or the heartache, or the anger. This is not because He is a mean God, or because He wants you to suffer. Rather, it is oftentimes through the pain and the heartache that God grows us.

Maybe you’ve suffered pain because God wanted to draw you closer to Himself.
Maybe you’ve dealt with sickness because God had something better in store for your life than you did – something you wouldn’t have experienced without the pain.
Maybe you’ve experienced brokenness because you needed to understand God as a healer.

All in all, your pain points you to something greater than yourself. It points you to your need for a Savior.

And this, dear one, is the reason there is pain in the first place.

So, remember this in moments of weak faith and strangled purpose. Remember that God has allowed your struggle in order to bring you to Him.

  1. Remember your future glory.

    I get to leave you with the greatest hope – the hope of our future glory. It sounds so simple that we often understate it.

    “I won’t experience this pain for long because someday I’ll be in heaven.”

    Let me stop you in your tracks and grab you by the shoulder. That – that “simple” hope that gets tossed around so carelessly – is the absolute sweetest promise from our Great God.

    One day our reality will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, no more doubt. One day our reality will be sitting at the feet of our Savior, basking in His love, and experiencing His grace.

    “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17, NKJV)

    Someday, you will hear the word “Come!” And that word will end all suffering and all pain. That one little word will heal you completely. That one word will fulfill all the promises of God.

    With that word, you will enter into the sweetest place of glory.

    Remember this. Get excited. Praise God in anticipation. This is our reality. And this guarantees that we can make it through anything this side of that glory.

    Yes, sometimes my pain feels bigger than my faith. There are moments I’d like to curl up, sleep the day away, and forget about the God who created my body with His breath for a purpose.

    Sometimes my pain feels bigger than my faith. #fiercelyHis @lifeofscoop Click To Tweet

    In those moments, I must remember to surrender my small faith. I must remember that God has allowed this. And I must remember my future glory.

Join me in remembering.

Alison is a fighter. #fiercelyHis

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Alison is a wife, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace and truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, camping with her husband, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – Life of Scoop – exists to encourage bold authenticity grounded in God’s grace. Basically, it’s some good soul talk in the midst of the mundane.

Follow Alison on: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. Also leave any prayer requests. I love praying for you!

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  1. Oh Alison, I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. Thank God for His Strength that He gives you daily….that you are able to encourage others and use your trials to draw other people closer to God.

    God bless you Alison and Shannon

    • Ifeoma, thank you for your kind words. I do believe that is part of God’s plan for my life – encouraging others because I truly understand. Thanks for commenting. You are a blessing!

  2. Jill says:

    Thanks Shannon for bringing us Alison’s words that so many need to hear. We often rely on our own strength, perseverance etc. instead of trusting and know God is with us and will continue to be present as we grow closer to Him through our trials. Love this & will share! Thanks ladies!

  3. Janie says:

    I myself at times feel overwhelmed, as if I would be destined to be unhappy, to worry all the time…its one thing after another, but just when I am about to give up there comes someone with a word of encouragement, with a word that makes me remember that God is not a man to lie or Son of man to repent of his promises he has for us.
    Thank you for your words in helping us remember that God is always with us and it is through trials, brokeness, etc…that we grow, and our faith endures.😇 May God Bless You!

    • You mentioned one of my absolute favorite Scriptures, Janie. Isn’t it such a comforting & beautiful promise that God is not a man that He would lie, or a son of man that He would change His mind?! What hope we have!
      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  4. Kiva Roussel says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Fantastic post filled with such wisdom, depth, and truth. Thank you, Alison!

  5. Alison,

    I so identify with you. It sounds like much of my life, only somehow God would give me breaks from the illnesses. Months and years of good health and a mostly “normal” life. Then it would hit again and take away a few years. It seems that is where I am now. Honey, I wish I could take it away from you and give you health and energy. Your heart and your faith are inspirational! Your faith story is a powerful testimony. I can’t wait to connect more … SOON!

    Thanks, Shannon, for hosting this amazing series! What a blessing it is!!!

    Hugs,
    Lori

    • I also can’t wait to connect more soon, Lori. I think God has surrounded me with sweet friends who truly understand the depth of pain and sickness because He knew I would need that. You are one of those sweet friends! You’re a blessing, and I am so thankful for you and & your story. <3

  6. Sams says:

    Thank you so much for this post Allison – I am in a similar point in life right now and totally resonate with you. Thank you for the reminder to surround the little faith we have and give it all to God!

  7. Karen Grosz says:

    Yes, your pain points you to something greater. I am sorry you have celiac. I realize that if you even have an eighth of a tsp of gluten, you will have pain and it seems it is extremely difficult to do. You have such a beautiful attitude. I know in my own health journey, I offer my ill health to God. My health is His to do with. It helps when I am feeling horrible. Yes, it is less and less as I live a healthy lifestyle, but I still have flareups. That is ok, God is in control.

    • Karen, thanks for sharing. Our health journeys are God’s to do with as He pleases! It’s a freeing perspective to have, and I’m thankful you’re able to lean into Jesus & trust His plan. 🙂

  8. Ruth says:

    Allison, I have to be on a gluten-free diet also. I waited and prayed for five years of extreme chronic fatigue, and went through the discouraging thought that maybe I would never be well. But God beat the doctors to the punch and showed me what to do even though they were never a help to me. Praise God that he is the Great Physician! I still have to be careful and be strictly gluten-free and very little dairy, but I can function so much better now. And I have discovered, like you, that I am actually blessed by God through all this, in that, I have come into a deeper relationship with God because of all the pain and trials that I have experienced. Getting to know Him better is the ultimate goal anyway; we just don’t recognize that as the truth unless God steps in and shows us that it is.

    • Your comment is beautiful, Ruth. Thanks for sharing! It is a blessing for me as well. I have a need to cling to Jesus, and because of that, I cling fiercely. 🙂 To be honest, I’m thankful for the daily reminders that I need the Lord. Left to myself, I would be selfish in my pursuit of Christ. Anyway… Thank you for commenting! I pray you have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Carrie Shane says:

    I so relate to this post. I have Lyme and there are days that is seems all consuming. I love your attitude and faith and am grateful for the encouragement. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Valerie says:

    ‘Pain points us to something greater than ourselves.” So true. I’m so sorry you’ve had to suffer for so long. You are a fierce fighter and an inspiration to so many. Thank you for your encouragement.

  11. A great reminder for each of us who struggle with getting to the place of big faith! I LOVE the idea of “praising your future”…because so much of what we endure is building and shaping for not only our earthly future and purpose, but our heavenly also. Grateful this was shared on #FreshMarketFriday! Crystal~

  12. Denelle says:

    This is soooo encouraging Alison! Thank you.
    It’s awesome to be reminded of our eternal future in Heaven, free from all pain and suffering. The hope of heaven, as well as knowing that God is sovereign and a loving God is enough to get us through anything on this Earth!
    You reminded me of this bible verse:
    “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”
    Romans 8:18

  13. Karen M. Roth says:

    Yes, I have identified with you completely. But also I want to thank you for bringing my mind back to where it needs to be…On My Master, Savior, Redeemer and Friend….So very hard to do on days like today….Let’s just say on a scale of 1-10 my pain is sitting at 26 and has been for the last year.

    I suffer from Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis, Psoriatic Arthritis (with Spondylitis in my Spine), Osteoarthritis in my Spine, Trochanteric Bursitis in my Left Hip, A benign Bone Tumor called an Enchondroma in my Left Femoral head, Psoriasis on my Scalp , eyebrows, elbow and in my ears, Familial Hemiplegic Migraines, and I might have the beginning of Crohn’s. This is not all of my physical conditions and I also have a plethora of Emotional Conditions and Mental Conditions.

    I have also just been told that I have Cervical Straightening in my Neck. Two Bulging Discs pushing on my Spinal Cord (C5-C6 & L4-L5) and I also have Stenosis in the same two places. I also have a swollen Lymph Node pushing in on the C5-C6 Bulging Disc. Just below the neck stuff, I have Arthritic Bone Damage that is moderately blocking off 2 nerve roots.

    I am on 23 different medications daily and I am still out of the very ones I need to help with my PTSD and Sleep and to stop the further damage of the Psoriatic Arthritis. All because I have been fighting a bacterial infection in my body for the past two years. My Doctor refused to give me an antibiotic which since I cannot take the PsA Treatment medication while taking an antibiotic I have not been able to start it at all. This doctor accepted another position and I am now being transferred to a new doctor. I am praying that he will be willing to help me get well. I am tired of the downhill spiral of pain and no sleep all because my doctor refused to help me get the medications I have needed for the past two years.

    I see the Spinal Specialist December 1st, the Pain Specialist the 2nd and the Neurosurgeon the 7th. I am hoping to put the surgery off until after the first of the year so I can spend the Holidays with Family instead of being stuck in a hospital three hours away with no visitors. I am not able to get established with the new rheumatologist until after the first of the year as she is the only one in the valley and is backed up on the Referrals.

    I am to go see the Breast Specialist November 30th, but I might have to cancel this appointment as I live in a rural community and I do not have a ride to get me there. Our van will not make it and neither would my hubby. The rest of the family all works as I have been reminded many times. I know no one else who could take me.

    In spite of all this, I do not ask, “Why Me?”. I always ask, ” Why Not Me?”. As I remember that I am not better than my Master and the world hated Him first before it ever hated me. Then when I remember where the ones who hate us are going to for all Eternity it breaks my heart and makes me weep even though I cannot cry without an increase in my pain as it triggers multiple Flares all at once.

    My greatest pain relief has always come from singing to my Lord and the pain relief can last for hours. I have often felt so good singing that I have forgotten to take my medication for a bit.

    I will admit I have had a traumatic past but – even though – I am a product of my Past –> I am not my Past<–. Selah….. In Jesus, I am an Overcomer and I can do ALL things through Christ who strengtheneth me! All because of the Amazing Grace Jesus imparted to me upon the Old Rugged Cross. Right now my favorite song is by Ray Stevenson featuring Gabe Real “Eye of the Storm” and the one by Laura Daigle “Trust You”

    Have a wonderful week in Him {{{hugz}}}

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