September 30, 2022

Guest Column / Debra Tomaselli

A reminder that God knows what you’re going through

Debra TomaselliI keep hearing voices in my head that say I’m not enough. …

The opening lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say” hit home. I kept listening.

Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up. …

I can’t measure up. That’s me today. Definitely me.

My life has been disrupted. I’m stressed, besieged and fighting. I’m misunderstood. I can’t find peace. There’s no empathy. I feel alone and isolated, misjudged and worthless.

I’m in the desert. God where are you? I can’t feel his presence, and the absence of God is hell.

I’m there.

I’ve lost my peaceful center … my guiding light … the serenity that surpasses all understanding. Gone. Just gone.

Somehow, I’m convinced someone is mad at me. I think they’re fed up. I am sure I’m falling short. I’m sure I don’t measure up. I’m sure that nobody understands.

This particular Sunday, the interior battle is real. I headed to Mass, but I couldn’t pray. My thoughts were racing. My stomach was churning.

“Come to me all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

Fear consumed me. I listened to that voice in my head, saying I’m not enough.

God, I prayed. Please be with me. Please give me guidance, strength, peace. Please help me. I’m sorry for my mistakes. Help me to improve. Help me to be generous with my time. Help me to be understood. Help me to love and feel love.

Mass ended, and I headed toward the side exit of the church, which took me against the crowd. Maybe my countenance looked strained. Maybe my stress was evident. Maybe I appeared tense.

I don’t know what it was, but something caused an older woman coming from the other direction to look me in the eye and speak. I’d never seen her before but her words astounded me.

“I know what you are going through,” she said.

I snapped to attention. “What?”

I didn’t even know this woman. Who was she?

I wrinkled my nose. “What?” I searched her face. Incredulous. How could she possibly know my thoughts?

“I know,” she said. Her words were punctuated with confidence. “I know.”

My mind raced. Who was she? How could this stranger know what I was going through?

“How?” I stammered. Really. How could she know?

The woman patted her chest.

“I can feel it,” she said.

With that, the crowd pushed us along, and she was gone.

This brief exchange startled me.

After all, I’d prayed for understanding.

And God’s response: “I know what you are going through.”

He reached me. He used this unknown, unnamed woman to deliver his message.

And you can believe he’s reaching out to you too.

Listen. Just listen.

He walks beside you. He loves you. He leads. He guides. He understands.

“I know what you are going through,” he says.

He knows.

Still singing that tune that says you’re not enough? Don’t believe it.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at 

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