The ruined city lies desolate…. (Is 24:10).
Many of us, myself included, have suffered in silence.
When I was a teenager I suffered in deep, painful silence for nearly three years, because I was so afraid that if people found out my suffering they would reject me, think I was crazy and not want anything to do with me. I wrestled with depression, suicidal thoughts, despair and deep, painful sorrow and rejection.
The saddest part was I did all of this in silence. It was only me and my thoughts. There was no freedom there. My heart felt desolate, afraid and alone. It felt like my life was in ruins and no one would understand or help me clean up the mess, I told myself.
I think many of us are suffering in silence too. We live in a day where life is all about appearances. What matters most is not who we really are, but who we project ourselves to be. Therefore, the message of, “don’t let your struggles out into the open,” rings even more true in our hearts that tell us, “you’re the only one, everyone else has a better life than you.”
It’s easy to feel this way when we are bombarded with pictures of what, on the outside, seems to be a happy couple, family or person. Yet, chances are, they are suffering in silence too, just like you.
In fact, I would gesture to say that the majority of people you have looked at and desired their seemingly perfect life are suffering in deep silence too. I have yet to meet an honest person who has not expressed this very truth, that they are carrying or have carried some deep pain or suffering in their life.
The pain of abandonment, abuse, divorce, rejection, death of a loved one, neglect, never matching up to expectations, parents who weren’t there for you, a friend who betrayed you, someone who told you that you are worthless, the list goes on and on. These are the burdens we will carry into places of destruction and ruin until we set them free in the light of freedom and transparency.
I remember the first time I opened up about my suffering as a teenager. It was scary, but something changed in my heart that day- hope entered in.
Hope entered in.
This began a journey of healing in my life where the ultimate source of my freedom, restoration and healing came about from the restorer of broken hearts; Jesus Christ.
He understood and knew my suffering. When I surrendered my suffering to Him and gave him FULL access to my heart He started to build within me a beautiful city full of life, peace, joy, purpose and hope.
I no longer believed I was alone, because I had Jesus. I also had a family, the family of God, to stand with me in my suffering.
We see a beautiful picture of the family of God at work in the book of Job. As Job is experiencing deep loss and extreme personal suffering the Bible says,
“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”- Job 2:11-13
Jobs friends sat with him in his suffering. What if instead of when we hear about someones suffering, we got up, set out and sat with them in their suffering? Instead of sitting on our hands about it or starting the gossip chain? I think we’d see a lot less lonely people. I think we’d see people being set from their deep, personal suffering.
One of the reasons why we suffer in silence is because no one asks us questions at the heart level. No one seeks to understand and know us at the depth of who were are, so even though we are surrounded by people, we still feel so very alone. The bible says, “in humility, consider others, better than yourselves.”- Phil 2:3
What if we started engaging people at the heart level? To try and understand the suffering they’re carrying, so that, with God’s help, we could help them experience the freedom of transparency? What if we started caring more about someone else’s needs above our own?
Maybe, just maybe, like it did for me, hope would enter in. I think so. Go ahead, look for someone to love and care for into freedom today, in Jesus name!
***If you are suffering in silence and have no one to talk to, please know that you can talk to me. My inbox is always open :)*** (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lord, I have suffered in deep, painful silence and so I know if I have done it, others have to. Lord, if there is someone suffering in silence today would you, by your grace set them free through their courage to share with someone their burden? Father, if someone feels alone, would they know at anytime they can reach out and talk to me? I promise Lord, not to turn them away, just as you have never turned away from me. Lord, set captives free, and restore the broken hearted, in Jesus name, amen.