68: Unspeakable Pain

68: Unspeakable Pain

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Unspeakable Pain

By Carrie O’Maley

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I had lost my faith in God after a year of disappointments. I lost my best friend and the future I had dreamed of for as long as I could remember in a devastating breakup, and then I lost two nieces. When I thought I could not sink any lower into my grief, I fell into a debilitating depression — one so bad that I found myself unable to get out of bed to face a world that seemed to have turned against me. I felt hopeless, as though my life would only get worse, as if I were not worthy of living a happy existence.

Many of my friends had fallen away, as a listless friend is not a fun companion, nor is it easy to try to break through a stubborn shell of despair. My friend Amy, however, did not turn away. Instead, she reached out in the best way she knew how — through the presence of God.

I had not been to church in many years, and I had stopped speaking to God, feeling as though He had lost my number. But on the first Sunday of the new calendar year, Amy convinced me to attend church with her. She sat next to me in a balcony pew, singing the beautiful opening songs, and then listening attentively to the sermon. When the pastor said, “I know some of you have experienced unspeakable pain in the previous year, and you are looking for hope, looking for God to lead you through a better year,” Amy squeezed my hand. In that short, simple squeeze of the hand, I felt God’s presence in my relationship with Amy.

It’s not always easy to see God in our everyday lives, but sometimes God makes His presence known through the caring acts of friends. I am forever indebted to Amy for re-introducing me to a God who stands beside me through the ups and downs, and reminds me to keep my faith and hope.

More stories from our partners