When I asked God this morning what He would like me to write about today. The thought that immediately came to mind was, what do I do when I’m struggling to help me get through it, not just live with it. So if you’re struggling today, I hope what you read below will be what you need at this time. 

We all go through times when it’s tough for various reasons. From waking up and feeling tired and heavy about something you’re not totally sure why—to having a lot of things going on in your life or your loved ones around you that are not easy to cope with. Some things can be sorted out quickly, but other circumstances may be with us for some time and we don’t have an end date to count down to. (E.g. a medical diagnosis or the war in Ukraine). But how we respond to the things around us, especially the ones we can’t control, is something we can change for the better. It’s all about perspective and where we are looking and directing our efforts.

I’m not saying I have all the answers, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way which have helped me when I’m struggling or come to mind as I prayerfully write today.

Be honest.

It’s good to be honest with yourself, God and others that you’re not totally fine but actually struggling. You may know what you’re frustrated with, or you may have a few things or not exactly sure what. But the first step is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Because you are worth the time and energy to spend on yourself.

Talk to God

A few days ago, I heard a great quote about going to God as our first resource instead of going to him as our last resort. God loves us. He wants us to thrive and partner with Him in everything we do. Not just ‘spiritual things’. So I’ve made it a habit to go to Him first. To ask my Heavenly Father what He thinks about the stuff going on in my life. I share all my “why” questions and ask for His perspective. 

I believe God wants to talk with me about the little things as much as He does about the big stuff. So when I’m struggling, I ask for His help, grace, strength, perspective, ideas—anything that will help me not stay in the same place with the situation I’m struggling with. I invite God to join me where I am and for the Holy Spirit to come fill me, so I’m not alone with it today. 

If you take a look at the book of Psalms, many were written by David. He is a perfect example of how honest he was with God when he struggled. If you’re having difficulty putting into words what you’re feeling, perhaps look through some psalms. You may find some words to help you express your thoughts and emotions.

Take encouragement from Psalm 55:22,

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;

He will never let the righteous fall.”

Share with a friend

Sometimes when I share with God, He asks me to go and talk to a specific friend about it. That can be a scary thought or a relief. Especially when I meet them that day unexpectedly. Sharing a struggle with another person can sometimes be enough. To be heard and validated that yes, it’s hard, but it’s going to be ok, can be all I need to be able to face what I’m struggling with. 

Other times it’s scary because there are consequences that now need to happen because I’ve shared it. But it needed to happen. So it was time to be active in responding to the situation and the next step in mending what needs attention. 

Or just share what was going in my head—what seemed like such a big thing. When shared, it suddenly seems smaller, manageable and not so scary. Bringing a struggle into the light, making a secret known, takes away its power over us. The enemy would love to keep us silent and alone because it stops us from building relationships and life in that area. But, when wise others know it, then God’s kingdom principles and life can cover it for us, and the enemy has lost his hold over us in that area. That’s why confessing our sins or limitations can feel so freeing to us. Because we’ve been trying to hold in the truth that needs to come out. Not by someone forcing us but in our own time and way. 

When we can admit to ourselves, God and a trusted friend what we’re struggling with, we can often feel relief. We aren’t alone in this area anymore. We have help and someone to share our burden with.

Come in the opposite spirit.

We can all get in the habit of letting our brain go round and round with a negative thought or series of thoughts that drag us further down. It’s hard to just stop going into that pattern of behaviour. The best way to change a habit or behaviour is to replace it with something good.

Ask God to help you realise when you’re in that mindset. So you can quickly become aware when you’re starting to think about what’s stressing you. And try one of these activities instead.

  1. Being thankful. Write a list of 10 things you are thankful for. Then read them out loud. The act of speaking them out and thus hearing what you are saying is powerful.
  2. Put on some worship music or take a psalm and use the words to worship God. Sing out, pray out, and declare who God is.
  3. Pray a blessing over the situation or people involved in whatever you are struggling with. Speak life and blessing over them. 

You are speaking light and life over the situation by doing any of these things. Then you are filling your mind with words of truth and love. You are choosing to focus your attention on God and inviting Him to join you in it.

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

John 1:3-5 

“Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.” [The Message Version]

Ask for help or feedback.

If you’re struggling because you don’t know if what your doing is correct or what’s being asked of you. Then doubting yourself and trying to work it out yourself is tough. So, ask for help. Ask your team members or leader, or someone with experience in that area to look at what you’re doing. To help you figure out what you’re stuck on. Or if the way that you are doing something is what is being asked of you. It’s better to check in earlier than wait until you’ve finished and just hoping it’s correct (when it could actually be wrong). And you should have listened to the little voice in your head to check if it’s right. 

By double-checking with someone and finding out that what you’re doing is correct, you can immediately silence the voice in your head, which brings doubt and confusion. So don’t give it more time than necessary. But believe in yourself too. You can do it. It’s just not always easy to do it.

We’re not expected to do everything perfect the first time or while we’re learning to do something. We are welcome to ask questions and check we have all the details we need to do the job we’ve been asked to do with the correct goal in mind. So ask questions or opinions it will help you learn and do the best you can.

If you can’t change that particular situation, do something else

I often feel frustrated when struggling with something, but the specific issue is out of my control, or I’m waiting on someone else for longer than expected. So I have energy and want to do something. If I can’t use it to work on the thing I want to, I look to see what else I can do and use my energy to be productive in that area instead. 

The enemy would love me to stay in that frustrating place, paralysed into inaction because what I want to do/ change can’t happen yet. It’s a vulnerable time for me because, in my head, I could go round and round with negative thoughts. Instead of stopping and saying, “Ok, so I can’t do anything about that yet. But what can I do in another area?” Most of us have a list in our head of things we know we could be doing, fixing things, starting things… When I’m frustrated, I have energy; I want to be active and do something. So I ask God, “what could I do instead?” Something will come to mind pretty quickly and I have a choice. To change course, focus on doing that instead, from fixing a broken thing, reorganising a messy area, or doing another section of an ongoing project.

Try not to compare yourself with others.

The enemy would love you to compare yourself with others, especially those who seem to be doing well. Why? Because the devil would love to put you down, limit your expectations and belief of yourself, so you don’t BE who you actually are In Christ. You may look at the other person and think they have it all together. When in reality, they are probably struggling with something too. Like a duck looking beautiful above the water, we forget that their feet are moving as fast as they can under the water. 

Put yourself in a friend’s shoes.

Ask yourself this. If you were listening to someone else sharing what they were struggling with. What advice would you give your friend? Or, if you can imagine sharing with a wise friend, what would they say to you in response? 

Are you open to doing what you hear them say? Perhaps you know what you need to do but need someone else to confirm it? 

Get active outside.

It’s amazing how doing something physical, especially outside in nature. When we smell the fresh air and change our physical environment… it instantly changes our attitude/ emotions/ thinking. It may start as a distraction to looking at living things in nature. Seeing how birds, insects, and animals are going about their daily lives oblivious to what is happening in our life. 

Going for a run maybe something you love to do. (Well, those who know me know it wouldn’t be a run for my personal example, as I don’t run). But active exercise is excellent. When I lived in Scotland, it was sailing, just getting out on the loch and being. Listening to the water ripple by, the birds singing and the beautiful scenery took me away from all the bustle of work and my responsibilities. While, here in Switzerland, it’s going for a walk in the forest or seeing how our ducks, chickens, cows or baby rabbits are doing. 

Thinking and processing what I’m struggling with while in a totally different environment makes a big difference in my perspective. It’s like looking in on it, not being surrounded (and perhaps overwhelmed) by it. I am incredibly blessed to be living in a place where just over the fields is a spectacular view of the French & Swiss Alps. On good days the vista is breathtaking and shouts of how big our God is. 

So find some spots near you to be favourite places where you can enjoy the beauty of creation and nature and just be you and God.

How do you eat an elephant?

Well, you don’t try to eat it all at once. The answer is piece by piece. So if what your struggling with is overwhelming you. Ask God to show you what small part you could work on today.

Then chat with someone to help you make a list of it all and think through the order to do them in. What parts need to wait or other bits to be done first, does anything have a time limit or more important to be done sooner? Getting it all down on paper will help. But then organising it to give you some structure will help it not seem as big as at first.

Lastly, be kind to yourself.

Today, I am tired. I’ve not slept well for a few nights. I don’t have kids or specific reasons why I’ve not slept well. But, my head knows the reality. I haven’t slept well. Therefore I’m tired. I pray tonight I will sleep better. But I’m not stressing over it or letting my mind run with any kind of what if’s… 

To be kind to me means I’m not going to get annoyed with myself or speak negatively towards myself. I’m going to drink some coffee and make sure I eat healthier today to help my body cope with being tired (i.e. not so much sugar or junk food). I will go for a gentle stroll at lunch to be refreshed by the beautiful day outside. I will try to give myself grace and not push myself to go faster or do more extra things because I don’t have the energy today. I will prioritise the things I need to do today, so I have the energy for those things. It’s ok. I will do what I can today and it will be enough. I will try to finish work on time and relax in the evening to prepare for going to bed early. I will try to do more of the things I enjoy and relax, so hopefully, my body will move towards sleep earlier.

In a hectic season last year when it seemed like I didn’t have time for everything I wanted to do. A few friends had similar words for me: God was giving me a Get out of Jail Free Card (yes, like the one in Monopoly). One creative friend actually made me a beautiful little card to have it physically and not just metaphorically. So when things were too much and I couldn’t do everything as well as I wanted in my heart to do, I could ‘play’ this card to myself and God. To ask God to cover what I couldn’t do and trust Him to make up the difference. And to give myself a break and not be annoyed with myself for what I couldn’t do. 

I’m not saying I’m a perfectionist, I’m so not. But I often try to do more than I have the capacity for because I want everything to be done as well as possible. And I’ll push myself to perhaps more than I can within the time and energy I have. So learning to give myself grace and be ok with less has been a slow learning process for me. But one that has released me to be happy with what I can do and leave it at that. Of course, I can always grow and get better, but it’s my best for where I’m today. And that is good enough for God; thus should be good enough for me too.

So if you’re struggling today, it’s ok. Ask God what He would like you to focus on today; be thankful for what you have around you and with Him. And give yourself permission to be gentle and kind to yourself. You are loved for just being you, not for what you do. 

My prayer for all those who are struggling today:

Father, I pray you would draw incredibly close to those struggling today. I pray you will show them your perspective. Of how much you love them, are proud of them and want to help them in every aspect of their life. Nothing is too big or too complicated for you. As they share their struggles, heal their pain, and let them know they are not alone and you are for them. Fill them with your peace, confidence and hope. For nothing is impossible for you. Give them the wisdom and discernment to know what they need to do. And to be able to trust you with the rest. Grant them breakthroughs in the areas they need to see changed and understand what you are showing them through this process.

I pray for your light and life to fill them now in Jesus’ mighty name.



If you’re struggling with the question of whether God wants to talk with you when perhaps my previous blog: #22 Does God want to talk to me, will help. Or #24 How do you know if you have heard God’s voice.

When I’m working through some things and just want some simple worship music in the background (without words), then I’ve found a YouTube channel I love to use: SoakingInHisPresense