How to Have Faith When Pain Overwhelms You

Sometimes pain feels bigger than my faith.

Sometimes I want to quit praying for healing, for answers, for the end of strange symptoms and unknown diagnoses.

Sometimes I want to give up giving it to God.

There are moments when pain threatens my faith - when my pain feels bigger than my God. It is in those moments that I must remember three important things. Are you hurting? In pain? Broken? These truths are for you too, dear one. Come rest in God's truth & take comfort in these three important things to remember!

For most of my life, I’ve experienced one medical problem after another. As a child, it was stomachaches and headaches. I missed sleepovers because I didn’t feel well, stayed home from school more days than I can count, and wondered why no one else had to go the doctor as often as I did.

In college, I cried on the city bus one day headed home from class. I didn’t understand why everything hurt, why my energy was always so low, why God didn’t seem to want to heal me. I had joint pain, stomach pain, headaches, and intense fatigue.

Every time I went to the doctor, I left in tears. It was specialist after specialist. Many of them simply said, “Is it anxiety? It could be in your head.”

And those words – the idea that my pain could be caused by anxiety or that I might be bringing it on myself – was enough to make me scream.

I don’t tell you these things to make you feel sorry for me. I tell you these things because all of that pain felt bigger than my faith.

All of those symptoms and pains caused me to wonder why in the world the God of the universe wasn’t answering. Why did every blood test come back negative? Why did every trip to the specialist cost money and offered us nothing in return?

It was downright frustrating. And it was downright painful to be constantly hurting.

Fast forward to now and I’m still not healed. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with no cure besides a gluten-free diet. I’ve still struggled with pain.

In the quiet mornings when my body aches and my stomach burns, pain threatens to strangle my faith.

Maybe you understand this. Maybe you deal with the unknown, frustration, pain, or hardship. Maybe pain – or fear, or anger, or doubt, or whatever else – threatens to strangle your faith too.

If so, would you walk with me to Shannon Geurin’s blog? This woman loves fierce, and I am so excited to share 3 things we must remember in moments of strangled faith on her blog. Join me! 

There are moments when pain threatens my faith - when my pain feels bigger than my God. It is in those moments that I must remember three important things. Are you hurting? In pain? Broken? These truths are for you too, dear one. Come rest in God's truth & take comfort in these three important things to remember!


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10 thoughts on “How to Have Faith When Pain Overwhelms You

  1. I’m so sorry you have had to deal with so many health issues and the frustration of trying to figure it out for so long. Praying for you. So happy to hop on over to your post to read how you are a fierce fighter against pain strangling your faith.

  2. Another good one 🙂 (I went back to your blog for your THM link.)

    I get torn between praying for healing (I stopped) and accepting that God has a greater purpose for this that I can’t see right now. And remember my future glory.

    I write about chronic illness too but am just getting started.

  3. I know exactly how you feel, I’ve gone to the hospital several times and they tell me it’s anxiety when I know it’s not. We suspect I have Celiac Disease too but haven’t been able to be tested yet. Just last night I was in tears from the pain and wondering why, again, God hasn’t decided to heal me. This post has been so encouraging and had come just when I needed it, thank you!

    1. Oh, Mackenzie. I stand beside you. The unknowns are difficult – so difficult – but we have a God who knows all things. And we can trust Him. I’m thankful you found some encouragement here. 🙂

  4. I understand to some degree your suffering Alison. I too live in a fragile body with stomach aches and fatigue often. At the moment I am struggling with sleep difficulties due to the pressure and anxiety of senior school. It’s easy to become frustrated when God doesn’t heal me, but I know through this suffering He has a plan and is teaching me to trust Him more.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your stomach aches and fatigue, Denelle. It is comforting that God uses ALL things – even the suffering – for His glory!

  5. I understand – I’ve battled chronic illness (and a lot of pain that comes from it) for almost all my life. Mine is M.E. (known also as C.F.S. or C.F.I.D.S.). But God is amazing, and He has taught me so much through it. Even though it’s unpleasant and unrelenting, I pray that you will find the Lord is with you every step of the way. He will never let you go. Draw close to Him and learn from Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light, dear sister.

    1. Lois, thank you for taking the time to write such a kind comment! It is unpleasant, but we serve a God who makes beauty from ashes. 🙂

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