To the Heart Searching for Comfort

We said “I do,” and we sealed it with a kiss and were introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. Nieves.” We were whisked away on a Caribbean honeymoon, where we saw shooting stars from our balcony and breathed in the ocean air. But when we came home, home wasn’t what I’ve always known. Home is now a cute little townhouse in a growing city in South Carolina instead of the house where I grew up in a small, quiet town in northern Indiana. Home is now more than 600 miles away from my family, the church that knows me, the coffee shop on Main Street, the lake cottage that’s stolen my heart and countless summer days . . . and I wasn’t prepared to face the sadness my soul feels. I cry hot, streaming tears at night when my new husband’s asleep, and I try not to let him know what’s welling up in my heart . . . I keep pouring big cups of hot coffee and lighting vanilla candles and turning on my new mixer to make a batch of blueberry muffins or banana bread, because I’m reaching for anything that will feel like home. Each day I’m reminded that my roots that went so deep in Indiana don’t feel so deep anymore. The lie the enemy wants me to swallow is that I have lost my roots. That I don’t have a purpose or a community or the social skills to develop a new community. The enemy tells me that going out on a limb to make new friends won’t be worth it. And the enemy tells me I should keep on thinking thoughts of depression and loneliness and heartache. Have you been there? Are you there right now? Maybe you’ve moved, too, or changed schools, moved away to college, or lost a relationship . . . and you’re grasping for truth amidst lies and for comfort amidst pain.

Grabbing On to Hope

We desperately need the Word in seasons of trial and hurt. It allows us to grab on to hope. It revives the heart and showers buckets of grace on our dried-up souls. When the enemy wants to paralyze us with our emotions, the Word reminds us of the truth. And this is the soul-watering truth we need: God is our Comforter. Take these truths, and let them wash over your tear-stained heart. They’re washing over mine. If you’re in Christ, His Spirit, the Comforter, indwells you.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:26–27).

Jesus understands our weaknesses, and He’s waiting with grace when we run to Him in our need.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15–16).

He comforts us so that we can turn around and comfort others through His love.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer” (2 Cor. 1:3–6).

Grab on to these verses in hope. Pray through them in faith. Commit them to memory, so that when the enemy tempts you to embrace despair and self-pity, you can stand strong, knowing the joy of the Lord is your strength and your shield (Neh. 8:10, Ps. 28:7).

When Truth Invades Your Life

When we allow God’s truth to replace our swirling emotions, things change.

When we allow God’s truth to replace our swirling emotions, things change. When we pray for His comfort to overtake us, we’ll find ourselves renewed and set free—in really practical ways.

  • We can stop depending on the quick-fix comforts, because we’ve got His comfort. It’s so much better. (Move over, ice cream!)
  • We can go out on a limb to make new friends, because our identity is in Christ and He calls us to cultivate community with others, especially in the Church.
  • We really can dry our tears, not because we’re kicking our emotions out of our lives, but because we’re allowing our emotions to take a backseat to truth.
  • We can embrace where God has placed us. He knows what He’s doing. It might really hurt, but He’s got a plan that goes way beyond me. And I want a heart that says, “Yes, Lord.”

The ache of missing home is still in my heart. I doubt that it will ever go away, just like whatever hurt you’re experiencing now won’t magically disappear. But we have the Comforter residing in our hearts. Ask Him to comfort you. He will. He promises to. Are you walking a difficult path? Have there been tears and sleepless nights and desperate prayers for relief? 

About the Author

Samantha Keller

Samantha Keller loves lazy lake days, strong coffee, and writing about the ways Jesus transforms our everyday messes into beautiful stories. She digs the four seasons in northern Indiana, is probably wearing a Notre Dame crew neck.