February 25, 2019

Not Alone

Devotion for the Week...

Jesus told us straight out, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows" (John 16:33). We won't all face the same things, but every single one of us will have problems of some sort. Unfortunately, some of the problems people face make them feel completely alone, separated from everyone, and like no one else has ever experienced the trouble they're facing. None of those things are true, but the feeling of it can be overwhelming.

I find that this is true, especially, of mental illness because of the stigma that has always been attached to it. People who are dealing with depression or anxiety often don't want to talk about it because it feels like a weakness or a character flaw in a way that having a physical illness doesn't.

Opening up to someone, though, can sometimes bring relief when you discover that the person you're talking with knows exactly what you feel. I saw that happen recently when I was a part of a conversation in which one person talked about his recent struggle with depression. Another person said to him, "If it's any comfort to you, I've been where you are and I came out on the other side." You could see the man's face change as those words sank in and he felt the hope that was in them.

I've been there. These are powerful words to someone who feels alone and lost.

I know a young woman who is walking the difficult road of infertility and who started a blog to document her journey in the hopes that it would help someone else to not feel alone. I know another woman with a chronic illness who posts often about her treatment on IG and FB and connects that way with others who have to have similar treatments so they can lift each other up. Connecting with others who understand the specifics of our situation can lessen the feelings of separation, of no one having gone through what we're going through. It can make us feel seen and understood rather than alone and lost.

Paul tells us that God "comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us" (2 Corinthians 1:4). His comfort is all around us, residing in people who understand what we are going through and can give us comfort through that understanding.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not alone. Reach out to others and you may be surprised by the understanding and comfort you receive.

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