Written By Jade Mazarin, USA
Jade Mazarin is a board certified Christian counselor in Vero Beach FL, offering sessions locally and long distance. She is the author of the book, The Heart’s Journey toward Freedom: Releasing Attachment and Finding Yourself. Her website is www.jademazarin.net
I began graduate school for counseling, excited for a wonderful new life season. I’m glad I didn’t know what was actually coming.
That winter, I became very sick with an illness that doctors couldn’t diagnose. While battling flu-like symptoms and intense dizziness, I ached for my old friends and family who were states away. It took several months to gradually improve, though certain symptoms lingered and depression from loneliness began to appear.
As time passed and friends continued to be absent, the pain in my heart deepened. Soon afterward, strange and intense anxiety came into the picture, and all I knew was that I was walking through the darkest wilderness I’d ever encountered.
My God, whom I had always loved and trusted, seemed silent and unresponsive for the first time since I had known Him. I remember gut-wrenching tears as I prayed, begging Him for help and the ability to at least feel His company. I felt so alone, far from all loved ones. While I knew He was with me, I couldn’t feel Him at all.
Yet, I knew from past experience and from Scripture that God loved me, so I continued to seek Him. Slowly, He began revealing things to me—important truths, like lamp posts to guide my heart a step at a time through my journey in the wilderness. Here are the truths that helped me:
1. God remains in charge
I knew that the daily lies I battled, and the crippling fear that consumed me, were evidence of a spiritual battle. But as I focused on the dark forces at work, I found myself doing worse. Instead of leaving me to dwell in this dark place, God put this message on my heart: “I AM in charge of this time.” I felt God lead me to focus on Christ’s victory over any challenge this world can offer (John 16:33).
The Lord of all is present. Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). When we walk through chaotic times, God only embraces us more tightly. Whether we feel it or not, He protects us more than we know. Nothing can happen apart from His perfect will.
2. God empathizes deeply with us
Scripture calls God the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Jesus displays this tender heart of God when He sees that Lazarus has died—surrounded by Lazarus’ mourning family, Jesus wept (John 11:35). Jesus didn’t simply feel sorrow, He actually sobbed. And consider this: He wept even knowing that Lazarus was about to be raised from the dead.
God is fully present in every moment with us. Even when He knows things will turn around soon, He feels for our current experience with all His heart.
3. There is a purpose to our pain
God has a purpose for what He allows, though it rarely makes sense to us in the moment. We are instructed not to “lean on our own understanding,” but to “trust in Him with all our hearts” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Since God cannot be anything but good, there must be reasons for our circumstances that our limited minds can’t grasp; and we know there is an ever faithful love undergirding all we experience.
God impressed upon my heart that He would use this time for good (Romans 8:28). But how could this dark, scary, wearisome situation actually be beneficial? I didn’t know exactly. Yet because I knew God’s character, I dared to consider it. I often voiced this prayer: “Lord, use this time. Bring fruit out of it. Don’t let me go through this for nothing.” Faith makes the assumption that because of God’s unchanging goodness, He will not allow us to cry in vain. He must use everything for good.
4. The suffering is temporary
I relied on the belief that my situation was temporary. God continually encouraged me that “weeping may remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). I clung to the idea that this pitch-black tunnel—though it felt continuous—had a light at the end that I was destined to reach, even if I had no idea when. It doesn’t matter that we can’t imagine it. He does more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:16).
God continually urges us to have hope. Even if our circumstances don’t change in the way we desire, God can give us unexpected gifts in the waiting—a newly refined soul that is more inclined to His peace and joy, surprising blessings that come in various forms, and a depth of intimacy with Him that is the greatest jewel of all.
Coming Out of the Wilderness
Since I had no one to rely on and no inner strength to hold me up, I had nothing but God. I poured the depths of my heart at His feet. I read and prayed for peace and contentment without ceasing, with child-like honesty and hope. I sat and just considered His heart toward me.
After several months of this seeking, I began to feel my best friend. The more I sought, the more I experienced Him. It was a gentle, intimate, secure Presence around me. I felt His own delight in our communing. His attentive love graced me, as if I were the only thing on His mind that day.
It took three years in total, but God finally brought healing, as well as the deep friendships my heart longed for. These people exceeded my hopes and were like family to me. But interestingly, there were times when I longed to be with God over them. I found an even deeper closeness with the One who created me, who could understand and even feel the emotions of my heart, without me saying a word. That was a closeness I knew I could share with no one else.
It’s been a few years now since God brought me out of that wilderness. Yes, God was lovingly in charge during that dark time. Yes, the suffering was temporary. And yes, He used it for good. But I had to be willing to listen, embrace truths, and keep seeking Him along the way.
Remember this: You will in fact pass through this time, with good things you didn’t see coming. A new season is on its way.
God is faithful to His beloved children. He couldn’t even imagine being anything less.