Purposeful Faith

The Problem With Hiding Our Struggles

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

“Mama, the monsters are coming at me,” my son said.

He stood by the bed with his face inches from mine, hands animated. My mid-REM cycle brain lingered between sleep and reality.

“What?” I asked. I saw that my son was disturbed by something. After realizing I was going to have to get out of bed, I stumbled to his room. I gave the bunk a full examination before telling him to get back in.

Five minutes later, he reappeared. The monsters were still there.

For some reason, the miracle of a flashlight never occurred to me. Thank God for my husband who came to the rescue with not just a flashlight, but a headlamp. Under the pillow it went.

Sweet, uninterrupted sleep followed. The next morning, I realized this tool I took for granted revealed the truth: the “monsters” were in fact shadows. There were no creepy things waiting to grab him in the night. He was safe.

It’s amazing what a little light can do.

Even in the darkest place, a flicker of it can go a long way.

Recently, I needed some light of my own. But for months, I didn’t tell anyone. I went through a dark season where I listened to one lie after another. Lies telling me I wasn’t enough. Lies telling me I should do better as a mother, wife, writer and friend. Lies telling me I wasn’t going to make it.

I thought, “If I can just make it through today, things will get better.”

Good days came and went and when the darkness hit again, I thought, “I’m just having a bad day.”

Somehow, bringing my struggle out into the open seemed threatening. I convinced myself if I could carry it a little longer, it would go away. I thought telling someone would make it my reality.

But in truth, it already was.

One day I sat in church operating the media projector while the worship band played Healing Is Here by The Deluge. My eyes were wet with tears as I mouthed the words.

Sickness can’t stay any longer

Your perfect love is casting out fear

You are the God of all power

And it is your will that my life is healed

Did I believe that? Did I believe God wanted me to be whole, complete, and fully secure in his love?

As I sat there asking myself this question, a miracle took place. The pastor called a sister forward to pray over the offering, but the Spirit had something else for us that day. A rescue. A release.

“There’s someone here who’s suffering from depression,” she stated without hesitation. She said God wanted that person to know his healing power was for her.

The tears ran freely down my cheeks. But still, my butt remained glue to my seat. In the next half hour, our church literally became what Jesus referred to in Matthew as “A House of Prayer.” Service stopped. The sermon was postponed.

This woman’s husband stood up and extended a second invitation, and I knew I had to go forward. And as a stood there at the front of the sanctuary with my head bowed, her hand reached through the crowd and grabbed mine.

Music played in the background while this sister prayed over me, naming lie after lie that I’d listened to for months. It was a God-ordained moment.

And what I realized was this: Even when no one else saw my pain, God did.

“…for your Father knows what you need before you even ask him.” Matthew 6:8b NIV

I finally understood that hiding our struggles does not diminish their power. It increases it.

But when I gave my problem a name, I was able to take the first step toward healing. I said, “I’m not going to let this rule me anymore.”

When we bring our darkness into his Light, he shows us truth.

Like my son with his headlamp, we can see the shadows aren’t able to defeat us. Though they lurk, they can never stand a chance against his perfect love.

Friend, no matter what you’re going through today, know this: God sees. Bring your fears, your problems and your sickness into his Light today. Tell someone you trust. Take a step forward.

His healing power begins when we reach for his hand.


Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.



About author View all posts Author website

Abby Mcdonald

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • When our children were younger they were afraid of monsters in their bedroom at night too. We used room refresher to spray away the monsters every night. Later as they grew up I wish it could have been that easy to scare away real life monsters or situations but that’s what our faith in God is all about for myself. I trust in God’s love to help us through everything and anything in life.

  • Abby, I am so glad you stepped up, never sit back and let that take hold. I have seen that ruin people’s lives. Bonnie Gray is doing some things you might like also Dr. Michelle Bengston.

  • Abby, so glad you wrote this. The enemy wants us to keep our fears hidden, our pain hidden. And like you said, hiding those secrets gives them power. Thanks for encouraging us to shine light on the lies that have hold of us.

  • This happened to me about 8 weeks ago! I have been saved about 8 years now. And 14 years sober from a life of meth and drug addictions and working in the adult industry! I have been attending a non denominational church these last 8 years and have been fighting with all I have to serve God and love others but the Holy Spirit has been promoting me to know him more and the power of God that has been missing in my life!
    I was lead by the spirit to a small church where the pastor called out that there was someone there with a disc out of place causing bad back problems! (In June of this year I was diagnosed with spondylitis thesis) and my mom pretty much pushed me up there for prayer! When the pastor layed hands on me and began praying he said “depression leave her now” I began sobbing and shaking and fell to my knees and felt stuck to the floor! I stayed there sobbing and thanking Jesus for whatever was taking place! That day I not only walked out with a completely healed back but a Joy inside of me that i have never felt!! A boldness that has come over me and a deep passion to heal and set others free as well! I have never felt the power of God so strongly in my life!! It has given me a much deeper love and intimacy with God and I share this encounter with everyone? love hearing other stories of God’s love! He is so good and I just want everyone to encounter him and be set free!

  • Wow! Thank you for writing this blog, which is written so beautifully ❤ This hit home because it was me a few months ago who was drowning in my depression secretly. I love that you said “In our darkness, we find His light.” because that is exactly what happened for me! I was going through such a hard time but God met me where I was at, healed me, and still is, day after day.
    God bless you!!

  • OH, Abby! So beautiful! Your words and your message are like a soothing balm for hiding, hurting souls! Thanks for sharing your struggles and your hope! So many need it! Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *