The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When We Feel Alone in Our Darkness…

Welcome to the Overflow!  Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, I hope you’ll linger here where faith is spilled and souls are filled. If you like what you find and you’d welcome a trickle of inspiration in your inbox now and then, feel free to subscribe to my blog and I’ll send you a splash of encouragement now and then. (You’ll find a subscription box on the top right sidebar on my home page.) Or, if you’d rather, we can stay connected on Facebook or Twitter.  Of course, my favorite way to connect is the old fashioned way—face to face so I can see your smile.  I’m scheduling speaking engagements for the 2017/2018 school year, and I’d be delighted to bring a message of encouragement to a ministry event near you! (Contact me at if you’d like to explore the possibility of partnering in ministry in the year to come.)

Speaking of encouragement, I’m over at Proverbs 31  today talking honest and real about those hard times when we don’t understand what God is doing. If you haven’t read my devotion, feel free to check it out here and bring a tissue, ’cause we may just need to sit down for a good cry together. Also, I hope you’ll grab the free printable I’ve made for you called “Truth in Times of Tears.” (You’ll find it at the end of this post). It’s like a hug from me to you, a little something to buoy your heart when life gets hard.

But before you go, I’d love to tell you what I’ve been learning about finding faith in the dark times…

Her wails beckoned me to her bedside once again.

I’d lost count of the number of times I’d raced up those stairs in the moonlight. And this time, as I trudged to the second floor, I fought the urge to cry myself.

Nighttime was no longer a peaceful pause between dusk and dawn. It was a battlefield bloodied with tears and angst, anger and disappointment. Doubt screams loud when the noise of the day slumps still. And in that dark that settles slow after the sun sets, my youngest one grappled with great big questions.

Is God good?

Does He even care?

And if so, why won’t He answer my  prayers?

Night after night, I felt the ache of her heart in mine, and I wished for answers to quell her seven-year-old angst. But words fall short when discouragement looms long. And even my forty-four-years-of faith couldn’t make sense of the storyline God was scripting at that time.

Our family had put feet to our faith and nothing was turning out as we’d imagined.

We’d trusted and obeyed, listened and surrendered. We’d said yes to God’s dreams and no to our comfortable plans. But our leap of faith had landed us right in the middle of the wilderness rather than on a wild wide of wonder.

And so we’d waited and prayed, inhaled his promises and exhaled hope.

We’d cried out like the desperate father in Mark 9– “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

And we’d all wrestled with our own fledgeling faith in different ways.

The moonlight spilled quiet through my daughter’s bed room windows, and I wiped her stringy hair away from her flushed face.

Her words were a rant and a whimper, seven-year-old sadness and skepticism all blurred into one.

But this, I understood–

She wants to know how it will all turn out. She’s weary of the waiting.

I had no words left–for me, for her. Just a heavy heart and eyes that burned tired. And so I wrapped my arms around her trembling frame and asked, “Honey, what do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “My head hurts.” She placed her hands on her head as if she could squeeze out all the qualms that kept her awake.

“And my heart hurts, too,” she murmured. Then she reached for my hand and tugged me closer. “But it hurts most when I’m alone.”

Her words hung between us in that sliver of starlight slipping through the curtains, and I climbed onto the bottom bunk beside her as the night folded black around us.

I wrapped my arms around my little girl and placed my own hurting head on her pink pillow, damp with tears.

And as we lay there, I whispered the name of Jesus like a salve for my daughter’s aching soul.

Because we’re never really alone in our darkness when we cling to the Light of the World. (John 8:12)

And when there’s nothing else to say, His name says it all.

Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

When our hope runs dry; His name still reigns. (Philippians 2:9)

When our faith wanes weak, His name stands strong. (Psalm 124;8)

When our confidence is lost; His name calls us home. (Proverbs 18:10)


There’s no pain that can repel His presence.
No doubt that can repeal His faithfulness.
No anger that can douse His love.

And even when we can’t define what He’s doing, we can still depend on His name.

And so I sang it like a lullaby–one word to hush every worry and wondering, every doubt and disappointment.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

Her sighs stilled. Her tears ceased.

And as the name above all name hovered over our hurting hearts, hope filled the gap between our faith and our fears.
And that little girl who was wrapped in the arms of her mom who was wrapped in the arms of her Savior finally surrendered to sleep.

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)


If you’re looking for a little hope, I’ve created a free printable called “Truth in our Time of Tears”.  These are the promises I cling to when life gets hard and my faith grows weak. Just click the link here and download one for you or for a friend today.

And before you go, don’t hesitate to let us know how we can pray for you today. Leave a prayer request in the comments and we’ll carry your cares to the ultimate Tear Catcher.





62 thoughts on “When We Feel Alone in Our Darkness…

  1. Mary Manning

    Please pray for my brother who has turned completely away from God and for me that our Lord will grant me a soul mate, my life mate to journey through this life with.
    Thank you! God bless you!

    July 10, 2017 at 2:44 am
    1. Noelle

      Your prayer is exactly what mine is! Let’s trust God together. I was married for five years but my husband died of cancer. I was 27 years old. That was 19 years ago and I’m so lonely. I know Jesus is my everything and I turn to him daily but I still feel so alone. I need a husband.

      July 10, 2017 at 9:07 am
  2. Barbara Karabas

    Please pray for my biopsy Tuesday.

    July 10, 2017 at 2:55 am
  3. Liz

    Please pray for me to find strength to keep going forward as I mourn the passing of my best friend, my soul sister. Please pray God shows me his plan for me and guides my steps forward. I ask for healing of my broken heart, and for peace of mind and spirit to move through this grief and loneliness. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 3:13 am
  4. Diane Rodriquez

    Exhausted ..57yrs old raising my grandbabies 5 &3yrs old. Due to domestic violence. Feel lost at times during journey with them. I ask God what do I do?
    When my 3yr old has major tanturm crying without seizing and am at a lost . My personal journey in life has been difficult. Raised 4 children on my own . Now when i thought i was done raising am raising again. Why has He allow me to go through all this .
    I cry almost every night seeking for answers strength guidances faith .

    July 10, 2017 at 3:16 am
    1. My name too is Diane and I am also 57 years of age and helping my son raise his 2 children 7&6, since they are babies, pretty much. It gets hard and we are out for summer and trying to have some type of activities going on. I relate to what you’re talking about and will pray for you! Diane

      July 10, 2017 at 6:02 am
  5. Blessing Chidi

    Please pray for me for the fruit of the womb. Thank you. Remain blessed.

    July 10, 2017 at 3:23 am
  6. Sass

    Please pray over our business and the people in it. That it may be fruitful and we earn enough to support our family. It’s been a very stressful time over the last year.

    July 10, 2017 at 3:37 am
  7. Adriana

    Please keep my 18’year old daughter Alessandra in your prayers . She is not living at home due to issues with my new husband. She does not like him.
    My mom heart is broken, I miss her terribly and wish I could see her everyday.
    I pray God gives me peace and calm. I trust his plan

    July 10, 2017 at 3:48 am
    1. Ann

      Please pray for my parents. After 43 years of marriage my mother has asked my father for a divorce. My father is hurting and doesn’t want their marriage to end. Please pray that my mother’s eyes will open and rely on God, our Father to soften her heart. Please pray for my father and his aching heart. Please pray for me to know the right words to say to encourage them both. God is good and full of grace .

      July 10, 2017 at 4:21 am
  8. Sally stricklin

    I have lost 2 of my 3 children. A son who was 22, eight years ago. A 33 year old daughter just last year. The depth of my pain is indescribable. I have been a Christian since I was 8. But I still ask God why?? I know he has a plan…but it hurts none the less. I have always been the cup half full person…till now. I want my joy back, my hope and a life. I feel like a shell of a person.

    July 10, 2017 at 4:31 am
    1. Leslie

      I am so very sorry for your loss. We also lost our 21 year old daughter in a car accident an even after 20+ years oh how I long to hold her hand an talk to her again. One book that helped me was Gone but not Lost. I kept that by my bedside for years an the Lord used that little book to comfort my soul. You are in my prayers!

      July 10, 2017 at 8:41 am
  9. Lynn

    I would like to subscribe to your blog. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 4:33 am
  10. Please pray for my daughter Tammy, she feels so alone and that no one likes her. She is 41 and feels like life is passing her by. She lives along in another state. God help her feel your present in her lonlyness. God if it is thy will please bring a true friend and help mate into her life.

    July 10, 2017 at 5:02 am
  11. Tammy

    Please pray for my family to have faith and trust that Jesus Christ is the only way.

    July 10, 2017 at 5:29 am
  12. Ruth P

    Please pray for me as I face an emotionally destructive situation of slander.
    God is my refuge in all things.

    July 10, 2017 at 6:12 am
  13. Amy Hoover

    Keep my faith strong!

    July 10, 2017 at 6:30 am
  14. Irene

    My come is in assisted careand she falls 2 much.I’m using a walker and she uses a wheelchair . Tommorrow will have a meeting with practitioner,director.They don’t want get there anymore rue to fslle and safety.I’m scared don’t know what to do.I can’t afford another place, money matters.I can’t take care of her. I feel lost hopeless.I feel so scared!!!Please pray 4 me. 😩😰

    July 10, 2017 at 6:39 am
  15. Anne John

    Would like to subscribe to your blog. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 6:41 am
  16. Marie

    Please pray for my broken heart and the restoration of a relationship that I’ve been praying for for over a year. I pray that God brings a miracle to my life and transforms hearts to bring love back to my life. I know all things are possible with God and I cling to that every day – praying that today is the day He answers my prayers. Thank you for praying for me.

    July 10, 2017 at 6:52 am
  17. Sra. A

    Please pray for my family as doctors have done all they can do for my husband. He was airlifted of a cruise ship. My teenage daughters and I had to continue the trip home and then I went to Florida to be by his side. He has been in ICU since June 24. My girls have been home without their parents until things got worse and friends flew them down to see their father one last time. They are returning home today. My youngest is saddened, but accepting of God’s will. My oldest daughter is not. She feels like God is not answering her prayers to heal her father. Pray that she stays in God’s hand and does not turn away from Jesus. Pray for her comfort and that she will yield to God’s will. Pray for her broken heart. Pray for a painless, peaceful passing for my husband. Pray for my strength and peace. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:05 am
  18. N Joy

    I am in need of prayer. Please pray for me, that God would not feel so distant.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:18 am
  19. Karen

    Please pray for me. I am experiencing anxiety and just can’t seem to get over it. Mainly it’s from worrying about my daughter who is 22 and has a chronic health condition. But it’s not just that. It’s everything in my life I worry about. I know I am not supposed to worry but I just can’t seem to let it go. I need physical/emotional/spiritual relief and soon!!!!

    July 10, 2017 at 7:27 am
    1. Angela

      I, too, struggle with anxiety and need prayer.
      When in the midst of fear, God feels so distant.
      I try to cling to the promise that He’s always there, despite what I’m feeling, but it’s not always easy.

      July 10, 2017 at 9:49 am
  20. Marsha

    Please ask God to provide us patience and faith as we await a buyer for our house. We know he has led us to the new house we have selected and that our current home will make a wonderful place for a new family to love and create memories as we have.
    We are only trying to do whats best for our family.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:27 am
  21. Jessica

    Just please remember my family, especially my husband in prayer. Life has a way of not always going as we would like, but I want to always be in God’s will for our lives. You never expect somethings to happen and when they do it is hard to understand. Thank you for any prayers that are lifted up to our heavenly Father on our behalf. I am also praying he helps each of you in whatever situation you are facing and that his will be done in your lives as well.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:28 am
  22. Mary

    Please pray for my friend Grace, who has been going through difficult times along with unending disappointment for many years. She is facing health issues along with a dire financial situation. She is a believer, but her faith has been seriously tested. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:29 am
  23. Phyllis Borchardt

    Please pray for my husband and I as he faces health issues and an employment opportunity that works with his skills. God. Be praised for his Grace as he watches over us

    July 10, 2017 at 7:40 am
  24. Pam

    Please pray for my fourteen year old daughter. She needs God to bring friends into her life. Her only friend is breaking away from the relationship and she is lonely for friends. My heart is hurting so much for her. Teenagers are supposed to have friends and I don’t understand why God isn’t providing a friend for her. Please pray for both of us. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:48 am
    1. Kathleen

      Hi Pam- you couldn’t pay me enough money to go back and be a teenager now, especially with social media the way it is! Seemingly countless friends living life to the fullest while others are left out and seem to have no one. Have you looked into a youth ministry at your local church? Or if she has some hobby or volunteer interests you could try to drum up some other attendees by using sites like Next Door Neighbor? Praying for her and you!

      July 10, 2017 at 3:22 pm
  25. Andrea

    Thank you for your thoughts today. My heart hurts for so many of my loved ones and friends. Sometimes it is so overwhelming. I, too, have found that just simply saying out loud the name “Jesus” brings a peace and a comfort that nothing else can.

    July 10, 2017 at 7:51 am
  26. Mary Scoville

    Please pray that I can overcome my anxiety i am struggling with and get off a hard anti anxiety med to get off and that my hormones all get l straight which will help me feel better..jjst want to be mentally and physically ok again..and feel Gods peace figure out my purpose in life

    July 10, 2017 at 7:59 am
  27. Molly

    Please pray for my 5 month old who has cystic fibrosis. She is our first and it’s such a scary place to have to constantly surrender her to Jesus and it all to be out of my control. Pray for her to consistently gain good weight and have healthy lungs. Also pray for my marriage since the stress of life can so easily infiltrate it and words are exchanged that are said out of desperation and hurt.

    July 10, 2017 at 8:11 am
  28. Amy

    Please pray for my son. He is struggling with finding Gods plan for his life and with some depression. Thank you!

    July 10, 2017 at 8:22 am
  29. Dami A

    Please pray for me as I await results of exams Itook last month. Please ask that God will fortify my faith and take anxiety far from me. And that rejoicing will be my portion, according to His promises.

    July 10, 2017 at 8:33 am
  30. Donna N.

    Please be in prayer for me as I struggle with extreme anxiety…please ask God to see me through it and touch my soul and wash it all away.

    July 10, 2017 at 8:49 am
  31. Beth

    My husband and I are professionals who have both lost our jobs because he reported the unethical practices of his Christian company (after following Biblical protocol for approaching problems). We rented our home from them and have lost that as well. For 6 months we have trusted God to open doors of employment, but every door has slammed shut. We are sleeping on the floor of an empty house. We can’t get housing because we have no income. We can’t get jobs because we have no residence. We have no hope. I feel abandoned by God; daily I read the Bible but the promises mock me. I feel my faith is in jeopardy because I’ve begged God for His peace & presence but all I have is fear, anger, and bitterness, no matter how many times I turn it over to the Lord. Please pray for us. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 9:27 am
  32. Kim

    Please pray for my daughter who has a blood cancer and has been given 1-2 years to live. I just lost my sister last July to cancer and honestly don’t think I can handle losing another family member – especially my daughter. I also can’t stand to see her suffer!! I pray mostly for her soul, however, because even though she knows the way, she doesn’t always choose to follow it.

    July 10, 2017 at 9:37 am
  33. Becky

    Please pray for my heavy heart! My girls ages 11 and 8 have just returned back to their Dad in Colorado after visting with me in Texas for 42 days! I won’t see them again until Thanksgiving. Thank you for your encouragement that even when I can’t see what God is doing, He is always there!

    July 10, 2017 at 9:50 am
  34. Connie

    Please pray for my husband and kids.

    July 10, 2017 at 9:55 am
  35. Becky

    Please pray for truth and honesty and justice to come to reign in a difficult situation I’ve been praying about for over a year now. I’m looking for the renewal and restoration of this relationship and for redemption from the slander and false accusations that have been made against me. Thank you.

    July 10, 2017 at 10:02 am
  36. Please pray for my marriage. Being married to a man who has little faith has really played a toll on my spirit and our marriage. He seems to try to break my spirit daily. I find myself hiding my love for Jesus in front of him because of his comments to/about me which hurt deeply. He is making me doubt myself as a Christian woman in so many different ways. Please, pray for us

    July 10, 2017 at 10:03 am
  37. Susan

    Please pray for my friend whose husband is struggling with an aggressive cancer. Pray she has the strength to care for him and see blessings in each passing day. Pray he finds the strength to work through this awful sickness and yet turn to God for strength and hope for his future …

    July 10, 2017 at 10:21 am
  38. Courtney

    I am needing prayer over our home, which is undergoing drastic repairs & currently unlivable, our family (husband, 2 daughters, & myself), & my husband, myself, & our marriage.

    July 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Please pray for salvation for my granddaughter. Also my husband is having health problems pray it’s not cancer.

    July 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm
  40. Rollette

    Prayers for family matters and a job please.

    July 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm
  41. Vicky Nordeen

    Please pray for my family. We have all the pieces of the puzzle except for my husband who wants a divorce. I pray that his heart will soften, that he will return to God, and God will restore our marriage. Like Alicia’s daughter, it’s the hardest when I’m alone…when the kids are with their dad. I just need to be strong during the wait. I have given it all to God, and now I need to trust in Him and wait for his plan to unfold.

    July 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm
  42. Keshia

    Please pray for marriage and family restoration. What you wrote above is what I experience every single night with one of my 6 year old twin girls or my 7year old son. Their little hearts are aching and we are praying for the salvation and healing of my husband and their daddy. Please pray for our strength during this season.

    July 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm
  43. I need lots of prayer. I suffer from anxiety and depression ,joint and back pain, and shoulder pain . I also am type two diabetic. My husband has chron’s disease, under treatment. He is loosing weight all though he eats good. He is starting to have memory loss, I try to be helpful, I am a retired nurse. I try to have patience and love for him,but I really am having trouble handling this memory loss. I have to almost treat him as my son not my husband. We both are Christians. I need prayer

    July 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm
  44. Scared

    After a bad mammogram, I will have a biopsy tomorrow. Trying not to be scared… Thank you for your prayers.

    July 10, 2017 at 5:55 pm
  45. Jennifer Babcock

    My sister-in-law and I are both struggling with anxiety and depression after being treated for illness/disease involving a lot of pain and surgery. A lot of fear and what ifs. Please pray for us both.

    July 10, 2017 at 9:47 pm
  46. Elisabeth

    Wow, as I read this I started to cry, See I am a Christian and I’m married to a man that continues to commit adultery with different woman 1 being a friend, I ask God Why, I have answered prayer to everything except the one thing a family, I have everything going for me But I come home to a empty bed I cry myself to sleep every night and knowing my husband is out with another woman. Please pray that I would see a breakthrough that God would severe this ungodly soul ties.

    July 11, 2017 at 6:55 am
  47. Martha carper

    I feel frustrated that I can not feel safe in God’s plan. I feel scared that the path is going to create more loss and pain. I feel frustrated at my lack of trust durning this time. I love the Lord. I have feel like I might be being punished for bad choices. I feel double minded. That upsets me. I need patience and peace. I have no job, no marriage, no home, of my own, and getting low on my meds. I am scared. I want to have all these things again.

    July 11, 2017 at 9:29 am
  48. Laurie Kenton

    I don’t have a good relationship with my kids any longer and I just learned by fb my son had another child. It hurt me to the core. My kids where my world and all I feel is I am grieving their loss while they’re still alive. There father and I divorced 9 years ago and because I choose a relationship with a man who takes care of me but can be some what mean and they don’t approve of him and there father told them lies and there uncle told them lies so I pay the price. I love and miss them both each and everyday. Its hard to go on I feel like God has shot the doors and it will never open again.

    July 12, 2017 at 11:36 am
  49. Tatiana

    Please pray for healing my marriage, my heart from fear and strength to live.

    July 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm
  50. Ashley

    I’m so blessed to have a healthy family and two amazing little girls and feel guilty for my tears running down my face! So many others have real hurt and I am just dealing with minor depression but it is doing a toll on me lately! I’m trying so hard to be who God wants me to be and doors keep closing and disappointment slips in. I know with All my heart that God is laying out the best,more than I could plan, “next step” and I truly believe and feel his love for me but the unknowing and not knowing what he wants me to do or be is really creeping in! Please pray that my hurt lessens and that I continue to feel his presence even through the tears!

    July 12, 2017 at 10:08 pm


    July 13, 2017 at 7:34 am
  52. Lori Hillier

    Please pray for my daughter and my four year old granddaughter , my daughter is distraught over a devastating diagnose we received about her ltitle angel. Please give them both the reassurance that everything will be ok and we will all get through this. That our beautiful loving Abigail will be fine. Dear Jesus please her our pleas. Grant us strength. Amen. Thank you for all you have given us and done for us.

    July 14, 2017 at 5:21 am
  53. Rachel Lynne Sharrer

    Please pray for me as I have left my marriage of almost 10 years with my now 3-year old baby girl. It has been 3 years & I don’t know if I made a mistake. My family & church family believe that I was in an abusive relationship. I can see this in some ways; however, I struggle with guilt & fear. I prayed that God would help our marriage to survive & made the decision not to move forward with a divorce. However, I just celebrated my 35th birthday & can’t help but wonder if this is really how God wants my life to be. I am struggling with the fact that my daughter is likely going to be an only child & I didn’t like being an only child. I just fear everything. I don’t know what I am going to do when my parents are gone & I have no one to turn to here on earth. I am very scared of the future. I know that I am to trust God; however, if I have made a choice that has led me to this place in life God will not help me. I had been under the impression that my spouse was a believer in Christ & learned since this whole ordeal that he wasn’t a believer. I am so confused. I am so afraid of what this is doing to our daughter & what ramifications it will have on her life. I am also very concerned that I am sinning & that God won’t forgive me if I continue to live in this state. I am also very lonely when my daughter is away on Visitations with her dad. I miss her & I miss having someone to enjoy her with. It is very difficult. I am struggling to see God’s plan in this. I get very upset when I think of the endless earthly loneliness. I am very discouraged. I struggle with prayer bc I am tired of asking & pleading & begging for something that I don’t deserve or that won’t happen bc of my mistakes. I am not looking for another man & believe that God is the only one who can help me, yet I struggle to experience His comfort. I know that there are so many that are struggling much worse than me. I just want another chance & want my husband to be saved. I want my daughter to be saved.

    July 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm
  54. Shawna H

    I am a 56 year old widow who lost her husband of 24 years to lung cancer 16 months ago. I have cried more tears than I ever thought possible. I am testimony that God is always with us through great suffering but I am still feeling so empty. The only thing that keeps me going is Gods infusion of hope joy and peace. My family is supportive but the loneliness I feel when I am not surrounded by them is crippling at times. I literally have to push myself to do things. Please pray for me to get used to the lonely empty home at night and to learn to live life again.

    July 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm
  55. CBS

    Please pray for a complete healing for my family. My husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. Devastated, crushed, frightened, and anguishing for my children; I know my Savior is with me. I just don’t feel His peace, His mercy, or His presence.
    Thank you for your prayers.

    July 29, 2017 at 12:22 am
  56. Laura Burgoon

    Please pray in the name of Jesus to move my family to a new season of life. A season filled with joy and hope , Hope for a future, hope for a little bit of prosperity, Hope for personal healing from cancer. We have been in this season for over 10 years. Struggling with financial worries, cancer and little joy and hope. We have prayed so hard, yet HE is not answering our prayers.


    August 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm

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