Have you ever buried difficult emotions only to find them bubbling to the surface later? When life is overwhelming, sometimes I feel guilty for not responding to trials with faith that anticipates positive outcomes and trusts the promises of God. I tend to stuff anger, sadness, fear, and discouragement when I associate these emotions with having weak faith. During our summer vacation, I told God how I felt about my struggles. Sharing my burdens helped me shift my focus from my problems to God’s power. I learned how biblical lament is an instrumental part of strengthening our faith. God cares about our emotions and wants us to share our hearts with Him. When we do, we’ll discover that God is our safe place when pain is overwhelming.

God is our Safe Place

We arrived at our favorite beach early in the morning. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe mirrored the surrounding forest. But even though we were on vacation, I couldn’t relax. I felt spiritually numb—like my faith needed resuscitation. I took the kayak out, paddling toward the coves, hoping the glistening blue waters would revive my lifeless faith. 

Staring at the aquarium of boulders beneath me, stuffed emotions like stacked rocks surfaced. Nobody was around, so I told God how distant I felt from Him. Before I knew it, I was telling God everything I was angry, hurt, confused, frustrated, and worried about. 

What do we do when we're struggling with difficult circumstances? Discover how God is our safe place when pain is overwhelming!

I lamented relationship struggles, blocked dreams and aspirations, past trauma, confusion about His calling for my future, and loneliness parenting teens who don’t want to talk or hug. Recently, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, causing scar tissue to grow inside my trachea. Two weeks before this lake conversation with God, I underwent surgery to open my airway, which was fifty percent blocked. Lingering anxiety over struggling to breathe, getting the correct diagnosis, finding a qualified Kaiser surgeon, and the prospect of needing repeated dilations for the rest of my life.

It was all taking a toll on me; my problems were like boulders crushing my joy.

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