You know that time when you shared your heart with that friend because the struggle you were facing seemed to be too big to handle on your own? You needed a sounding board and someone to hear all the anxieties and worries and tell you that you were not alone?
Maybe you didn’t need advice or even someone to respond, but just to know that someone else knew your struggles and was there if you needed them. I have been in that place more times than I can possibly count. Sitting in my not so quiet house longing for someone to talk to and hear my struggles. Someone who could tell me that while they may not be able to relate, they understand the place I am and I am not alone.
I am thankful that God has sent those people into my life this past year to fill the void left by losing Ben. While it will never be the same as having him here, I appreciate their willingness to listen, their attempts to relate, and their loving me through whatever the struggle was. And most importantly, their praying for me to find peace in the midst of whatever that struggle was.
Somehow, when we are able to voice those struggles and concerns with someone else, it seems to lessen the burden that those struggles have on us. Even when they can’t relate, having someone to listen keeps me from feeling alone.
But more importantly, I have also learned to rely on my heavenly father this year in those quiet times when there is no one around who can relate or understand. He also reminds me that I am not alone in that place. All throughout scripture I see people who thought they were alone in their struggles and pains and needed to be reminded that God was with them no matter what they were facing.
The book of Joshua is one of those places that I keep going back to these days. Repeatedly throughout the first chapter of Joshua as we see God outlining his plan for Joshua and reminding him to not be afraid because He would be with him.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.
I am not alone. Even on the days when it feels like no one understands, no one can relate, and no one feels my pain. There is a heavenly Father who is right there, understanding, relating and who lifts me back up so that I know I can continue to make it through. And I am grateful for those friends who have surrounded me this year and have pushed me to remember that even when they are not with me, HE is. And He will never leave me alone.