By Nate Stewart, National Director of Mental Health for Celebrate Recovery
I consider myself an independent person. I am comfortable by myself. Over the years, though, I have come to realize that there is a significant difference between being by myself and being alone. One of the hardest parts of my mental health struggle is the feeling of being all alone.
At times I feel like I have no one to reach out to for help. Sometimes I feel like no one understands what I’m going through. When I’m feeling like that, I really don’t want to be alone.
Thankfully, I have come to an understanding about God that has helped me through those times when I am feeling alone. God is not some distant being who cannot relate to me. He is someone who does understand because Jesus, who is God, came to Earth and lived among us.
For me, one of the most powerful verses in Scripture is John 11:35, “Jesus wept” (NIV). These two words speak so much to me. “Jesus wept” does not mean he had one little romanticized tear running down his cheek. He bawled. He felt the pain and sorrow that come with tragic loss. God understands our grief.
As Jesus hung on the cross, taking on the weight of the whole world’s sins, he showed us that he understands despair. Matthew 27:46 tells us, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”) (NIV).
If ever you are feeling alone, remember that you are not alone. God is there. God is with you. God understands. God will carry you through your pain. This doesn’t mean that the pain will go away. It means you can have a hope that goes beyond that suffering, that worry, that confusion, that fear.
In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have [trouble]. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (ESV, emphasis added).
I don’t know why I struggle with my mental health. But I do know that I never struggle alone. Jesus wept as I have wept. Jesus cried out as I have cried out. Jesus has overcome, and it is in him I find peace.