Helpless

“I just hate feeling so helpless.”

A friend texted me this a few weeks ago… I had a lung infection that wasn’t improving and it left us both feeling in the same boat.

The helpless one. Without a paddle.

For me, it was a month of frustration and hitting my head against a brick wall. For her, it was years of watching me go through it and knowing there was nothing in the arsenal of “say or do” that would change a darn thing.

I texted her back something I had honestly never thought before, until the words had escaped my fast moving fingers: “I feel helpless, too. But maybe I just need to remember that I’m supposed to be helpless. I’m not supposed to have control over it.”

And suddenly I believed what I had just written. I felt a bit of relief and let God take it off of my shoulders. Which made sense, since my shoulders weren’t the location it was ever supposed to rest in the first place.

I had realized a long time ago that worry was a result of not trusting God… I drew a line in the sand and chose God over the worry. Anytime it would creep in I would literally stop and remind myself that God has never left me alone and was not about to start now. I landed on the day when enough was enough and worry [fear] got taken off the table.

It was time to do that with feeling helpless, too.

Oh, don’t get me wrong… I still feel helpless. But that’s not such a bad thing anymore. Instead, it’s a burden released to the One who can shoulder it for me. I’m not fighting the feeling of helplessness because it no longer means that I’m weak. That I need to fight harder. That I need to figure out the riddle when there is no real answer.

No, I still feel helpless. And I am strangely comforted by the fact that it’s not my job to figure it out. I can find strength in being helpless because I know that God is the one in control of it. Not me. Not my friends. Not even my doctors.

He knows what to do. He knows how to handle it. I’m just along for the ride.

My only job is to trust Him. And I can do that. THAT is in my control.

Apparently, it’s the same lesson just being looked at and learned from different angles. And it always comes down to trust.

So tell me, what makes you feel helpless? And can you lay it in the arms of the One who is strong?

By Sara, Gitzen Girl

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  1. 1

    I am also endorsing the motion that is only God who can let us be free from all these heaviness, but we need to cross the road of Jesus is all yours now!! take over. Rather stop burdening ourselves with a lot of thinking which does not even brings anything to fulfillment.
    Just trust the Lord.
    Bliss

    • 2

      yep. it’s up to us to let go… He gives us that freedom. and when we do let go there is a freedom in our very being…

  2. 3

    This was very a very timely message for me – thank you.

  3. 5
    Sherri says:

    Helpless with a big fork in the road right now for me/my family. We are in a ‘perfect storm’ circumstantially and have been standing on nothing but Trust & Truth. It’s daunting and the days are stretching into weeks. Most hours of the day I can stand still and Know. Know that I am not helpless, that My Provider My Father will meet us right here in this particular storm too, just like He has all the rest. It helps calm the knocking knees to read you everyday, your faith is contagious. Thank You.

    • 6

      praying for you sherri, and understand the loud knee knocking feeling. it’s in those moments we have to choose faith and trust even when we don’t feel faith and trust. but it’s worth it. keep leaning into Him.

  4. 7

    Recently we made the decision to expand our family and pursue domestic adoption. Truly, there are many things that make me feel helpless in this process. Being matched with a birthmother. Provision for the adoption. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. The “Martha” in me wants to DO something. But there is nothing to do. Except trust in God’s perfect timing and provision. We are obediently followed His call and He will see this task completed. Thanks for the reminder that it is ok to feel helpless. God bless.

    • 8

      I was thinking Mary and Martha right before you said it :) … it is so hard to let what we want to be in our hands to be in someone else’s. but it does help to remember that ultimately it is in His hands. and the right moment for your family will come. i’m excited and hopeful for you!

  5. 9
    Beth Williams says:

    What makes me feel helpless… aging parents & their health issues. During that time I just prayed about the situation and let God handle it in His time and way.

    Everyone, especially women, need to know & understand that God is in Control & to give their problems – helplessness to Him!

    • 10

      it is in us as women to want to fix things… to make them happen. i realized that when my dad died this year – we have no idea. i always dreaded them getting older and the worry over my parents, and then to have him gone when he was young and healthy… it was a huge reminder that none of it is in our hands or our plan.

  6. 11

    right now, my marriage and where it seems like we are heading… my emotions, why I’m feeling “trapped” by them… you know, all that mess.

    • 12

      all that mess… ((hugging)) you in all of it. and grateful that even when we feel trapped, He sees a time when we won’t be. I keep telling mom that I know we can get through all of this because God knew it was coming to us. He saw it happen and He sees that we will make it to the other side. He knows we can handle this because He sees what will be. He knows you can live through whatever is in front of you, friend. He sees it… we just have to trust and believe and keep stepping forward one step at a time.

  7. 13

    Teenagers can make me feel helpless. When they were younger I could structure our lives in such a way that light and love surrounded them….I could “protect” them from many of the influences that are out there.
    As I watch them make choices that I know will lead to heartache it breaks MY heart and causes me to worry. I know they have their own story to write, and although I long to write it for them….I can’t. God knows the path He has chosen for them. I need to trust in Him so much more.
    Thank you for this reminder that even when I carry the worry on MY shoulders it doesn’t help. I need to release it to the One who longs to carry it for me.

    • 14

      I can’t imagine how much you want your kids to learn through your experiences, or how hard it must be to realize that they only grow through their own experiences. the fact that you see this and are loving them so well through their own journeys means that you are a great mom already :)

  8. 15

    My heart cries for another child. Aches, actually. It’s a desire that’s so deep it is no longer a *desire* and I can see now that it’s more than that. Right now I am at a place of TRUST. Trusting that God has a plan, that the desire I have for another child is a *vision*, and that the now – the process of waiting – is so important. So. Very. Important. I feel incredibly helpless not knowing the future, or whether this {vision} is a promise. But I must trust. And in this waiting – this trusting – I am knowing Him so much more deeply. And I see the Grace in these days…in this waiting…in this heart cry.

    • 16

      i think so many of these things ARE about the journey more than the end result. He loves you so much and through this desire is bringing you closer to Him. that is a gift in and of itself… it’s beautiful that you see that.

  9. 17

    I’ve felt helpless so many times in my life. I think it’s natural. I love how God swoops in and moves us through it. Such is the building process of our faith!
    I guess another way of looking at helplessness is that when I’m not feeling it–that might be my turn to encourage or help someone else who is feeling it!

    • 18

      “I guess another way of looking at helplessness is that when I’m not feeling it–that might be my turn to encourage or help someone else who is feeling it!”

      what a beautiful idea!

  10. 19

    I begin to feel helpless when a variety of situations crop up that make me feel “out of control.” The great irony of course, is that I am not in control of any of these things and that is when I start to develop the urge to surrender and trust. It would be so much easier to live in surrender… thank you for sharing so candidly and giving us all tools to keep moving forward. ” I can find strength in being helpless because I know God is in control of it.” Amen.

    • 20

      it is so much easier to live in surrender… it’s the moments i’m not in surrender that all the fear creeps in and i realize it’s because i’m trying to do this as me… instead of as an instrument of Him. the trick is that it is a daily choice… not just one made one time.

      why must everything take so much practice? :)

  11. 21

    I loved your text that you sent. I can so relate, except I *always* want to be in control. But I have been thru some stuff this past year where God is trying to teach me to let go and let Him, an yet it is so hard. I am such a stubborn woman. Thank you for your words today!
    Bernice
    Begin again, each and every day

    • 22

      i think we are all stubborn women :) I just replied in an earlier comment that it’s a choice i have to make every.single.day to live surrendered. because it’s in our very nature to want hop out of bed and make the day what we want it to be. and every day, before we hop up, we have to surrender so we make the day what He wants it to be.

      over and over and over again :)

  12. 23
    Jerilee says:

    This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear this morning! Thank you so much for sharing! God has spoken to my heart through you…

  13. 25

    I felt helpless as I watched my husband drift further and further away from me and from our girls. I felt helpless as work seemed to become his god, his focus. I felt helpless to fix what needed to be fixed, there was still a deep core of love in our marriage, but somewhere something had happened. I had been praying for months asking God to heal it, to make it better. Feeling completely and utterless helpless and hopeless, one day, sitting on my bed, I prayed and asked Him to show me what I needed to do to help my marriage. What has happened since that moment has been nothing short of miraculous. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t without phenomenal pain and heart-breaking confessions; but it has been beautiful and glorious. God was never unaware of what was going on. He was never hopeless or helpless; He was right there waiting, watching, preparing, comforting, guiding, loving, convicting, forgiving. I have learned, as have you, that when we are helpless, we are prime candidates for God to show His glory. I could never have “fixed” my relationship with my husband the way God has. I’m so very thankful that I was helpless to do it, and that my God was faithful to help.

    • 26

      What you shared here speaks to me in such a personal way. I’ve been wanting to avoid the pain my spirit feels about my husband seeming so far away from God. His harsh tone and perfection-seeking attitude toward each day he lives, makes me want to run, and makes me want to run with our son out of fear that our son will be hurt badly by his father, or wounded. But God keeps speaking to my heart that His power is greater than my husband’s, and He is the ultimate Father over our son – whom He loves even more than I do. And that He loves my husband in a way I could never on my own. I feel helpless as a parent…completely helpless when it comes to what my husband will say next or how he’ll say it most especially…helpless over the future of our son…and helpless over my own ability to keep my cool when I’m just so frustrated with the inconsiderate nature and grace-less nature of my husband right now. But God is so much bigger. His Grace is so big. His love is so wide. And this whole *issue* is Grace…as it draws me from my husband, from my own insecurities, to Him – my Heavenly Father, and my ultimate Groom.

      Thank you for sharing about your story of Grace…Praise to Him who makes {all} things beautiful!

      • 27

        praying for you and your family, Amy… that God helps you find a way to open the dialog with your husband for the protection of your son.

    • 28

      we have to go through the pain of working through the hard things for the “beautiful and glorious” to settle in… i admire you so much in this…

  14. 29

    Great words of Wisdom! Hopeless: the never ending pursuit of what my “perfect” career should be, but I find peace now and my marriage is so much better

    • 30

      i love that you put “perfect” in quotes… i’m so glad you have the perspective to take care of your marriage and let God help to guide you in what’s best for you and your family.

  15. 31

    Thank you for sharing. The Lord knew I needed to read these words today! I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you again (SO MUCH!)

  16. 33

    Everytime I give something to the Lord something even bigger comes out of nowhere. Yesterday I found out something that was upsetting to me and I was literally shaking inside. I stopped and cried out for Jesus to take this worry, too. Please pray for my family as we are suffering through the loss of a business and my husband being on narcotics to deal with horrible back pain due to an L5 slip and fracture. Our life has literally been turned upside down. Remembering FAITH: Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him. Thanks so much – Love, Stacey

  17. 35

    I felt so helpless as my marriage fell apart. I was powerless to stop the traumatic choices that my husband made, confused as why God would allow the devastation for me and my little ones. That helpless feeling forced me to depend on our Lord like never before and freed me to cease striving to work out my solution. It was tough, but it has changed my life.

    • 36

      My heart aches for you as I read your comment. Choices. Such a small word with huge impact. Please know that I will be praying for you and your children.

    • 37

      My heart aches for you as I read your comment. Choices. A small word with such huge impact. Please know that I will be praying for you and your children.

    • 38

      my sister was in a similar situation as her husband left her no choices after he made his own. it was such a difficult road for her, but as in all things God knew that beauty would come out of the hurt. i’m praying the same for you.

  18. 39
    Nanette says:

    Thank you, God, for Sara, and sending your message through her. I will listen when you tell me not to worry, that You will tend to my fears.

  19. 41
    Sallie Howell says:

    I think that yesterday when I met with the dr about some health issues that have been with me for awhile. He ran specific test to give us more realistic answers. The answer came that the issue is mostly a gene problem and I wouldn’t be able to control it. I felt so helpless at that moment. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I can control it with the help of medication, but I had tried controling it on my own. As I walked with my friend this morning and related the story to her, I realized, that I’m not helpless. God is in control of my life. I’ve known this for awhile, but sometimes the distance between my head and my heart is far. God is my strength and my redeemer. He loves me and I’m His treasured possession. He will be my helper even in health issues that I can’t control.

    • 42

      “I realized, that I’m not helpless. God is in control of my life. ”

      exactly… it is a freedom to know that we’re not supposed to be able to control it… that He does and has and will. praying for you and your health.

  20. 43

    Big sigh of relief and release. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to be (and can’t be) in control. Appreciate you and your joy-seeking heart so much, dear friend!

    • 44

      the “and can’t be” is the part I need to constantly remind myself of every day. i’ve started to look at it less as giving up control [since i never had it to begin with] and instead see it as offering my trust to Him. the distinction helps me :)

  21. 45

    I, too, feel helpless over my dis-eases…autoimmune problems with lots of fatigue and pain attached…I have a home business that allows me to work when I feel best, but lately I feel lost in a low cycle, and constantly feeling inadequate and frustrated that I haven’t made more, inadequate as a mom to my teens. I am on a new medicine that has helped greatly with the pain levels. But I am still so fatigued some days that I fall asleep at my sewing machine. I haven’t wanted to say anything…don’t want people to be afraid to order from me…but reading your post today, I realized that helpless/out of control of it is exactly what I feel, and I laid back in God’s big arms and surrendered it all. I know I will need to do this over again, but thank you for sharing your truth, which helps me see my own. Bless you!

    • 46

      I know *exactly* how you feel… i try very hard to achieve certain things even when i’m not strong enough to, and can so easily look at it as a failure when i can’t. i try very hard now to look at managing this disease as my first primary job, and all other comes in second. it’s frustrating, i know. praying for you today.

  22. 47

    So well said Sara. Such and important reminder that we are not supposed to be in control. Trusting… that IS in our control. Thank you friend!

    • 48

      it is amazing how many things… when we strip away the layers… all boils down to trust, isn’t it?

  23. 49

    THIS is good! I needed this today.
    Praise God, for being so faithful.

  24. 51
    KnownByHim says:

    Praise His name that EVEN the ability to trust Him is because He gives us the grace to…. He controls it all….and that is why He is so deserving of all the glory….I can’t take credit even for trusting Him….b/c He was the one giving me the ability to do so….what a Saviour…. To Christ Jesus be praised!

    • 52

      He does give us the ability to trust Him, but He also gives us the free will of choice. And choosing that trust in Him is a beautiful way of showing and expressing our love for Him. If He didn’t give us the choice, the expression of love wouldn’t exist.

  25. 53

    I have been feeling helpless for the last 4 months as our newest babe was born in November and has an array of issues….In January she was admitted 2 times for failure to thrive but released when she started making gains…then after a week home in February she got a respiratory virus and lost all she had gained in the previous 2 weeks and then this week she stopped eating enough and they are maybe putting her in the hospital tomorrow for tube feeds and then heart surgery. The thing that is driving me nuts is that she goes back and forth between doing okay with her feeds and then all of a sudden it drops off and we lose so much ground but just as they are getting ready to make a choice to admit her she starts doing better. It’s just very taxing and easy to worry so I have to keep reminding myself that God has her and the whole situation under control and that he will bring glory for him somehow out of this messy situation and he loves her more than we do. That’s the only thing that has kept me somewhat sane {;o) Thanks for reminding me again who is in control

    • 54

      oh, Sarah, i’m sorry for all you’ve been dealing with. i’m sure you are an amazing advocate as your babe’s mother, just as Jesus is an advocate for you. keeping you in my prayers.

  26. 55

    Sara,
    As a trying-to-recover control freak I can’t stand feeling helpless. I’m a terrible sick person!
    I just shut down and hibernate. It’s not just sickness with me though, when my kids, relatives, or friends are sick, I have a tough time too.

    • 56

      i don’t think any of us are meant to be great sick people… we’re just meant to be faithful in all circumstances. and thankfully, He is faithful to us as well.

  27. 57
    KnownByHim says:

    Yes your point is one of the “wheels within THE WHEEL”.
    Sovereignty or free will…. And the mystery is that it is BOTH…. And by His grace given the choice I choose is to understand that without Him I can do NOTHING.
    All His love to you & peace.

  28. 58

    So timely, as I just got off the phone with my Mom, who has metastatic breast cancer and is suffering the effects of chemo and organs not working correctly. I feel completely and utterly helpless. And, honestly, I just can’t grasp why she was chosen to be one who has to spend her days this way.

    • 59

      i don’t think any of us can grasp that, Kelly. it’s so hard to watch, i’m sure. for me, being the sick on, I had to start thinking “what and how.” i realized that every person who ever gets sick has someone saying, “why them” … and there is just never a good answer. so instead I started asking “what” does He want from me in this and “how” can I further His kingdom in it.

      it doesn’t take away the hurt, but it does help give another focus. i’m sorry you’re having to go through this.

  29. 61
    cathleen says:

    i am currently struggling with fear of tornadoes…especially the ones that come late at nite when i’m asleep. i hadn’t given it much thought until we actually had a warning one evening about a week ago and i had to wake my hubby. this is the first time it’s happened for me. a few days later, there was the threat of one around 3am and i couldn’t go to sleep because what if one came and i was sound asleep? it wasn’t until i read your post today that i realized i was feeling helpless and that i was letting fear get at me instead of trusting Him. your post has let loose the floodgate as i realized, apologized, and chose to TRUST Him. THANK YOU for your help!! there will be more possibilities of tornadoes. i pray that i will remember and apply when needed. :)

    • 62

      growing up and living in Iowa, i totally get it. i am so immune to them that i don’t even pay attention to the watches/warnings anymore [i know, that's awful] but i have friends who are truly terrified. when a nearby town got hit, and homes were gone but lives were spared, it really did hit home for me that they are called natural disasters for a reason. they are nature, which only God can tame, not us. it did take that weight off my shoulders of thinking i could do anything about them other than be careful and trust Him. i really hope that in your moment you can find that peace in Him, too. :)

  30. 63
    December Rose says:

    I feel helpless to be there for my daughter. I live several states away so I can’t help her when she’s sick, while she was pregnant, taking care of my grandson, etc. Yes I can visit, but it’s not the same as being there. It has challenged me to find creative ways to encourage & support her – drawing us even closer :)

    I realize that I all of the years I would tell my daughter to trust God, that He would always be there for her, do I believe that? I do… and for that reason I still feel helpless, but also comforted that she will always be taken care of.

    Helpless, but not hopeless.

  31. 65

    This is wonderful, and I so needed it! Thank you for sharing of your beautiful heart!

  32. 67

    Helpless, yes. Helpless, watching my son suffer. Helpless, in agony with him and for him.

    Learning to trust; praying for the willingness and strength to be weak in His arms, to let go, and embrace the helplessness.

    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight

    • 68

      i am so sorry you have to go through that, teri. i often, as the sick person, think it’s harder on those having to watch me than it is having to go through it myself. praying for your strength and fortitude in your and your son’s journey.

  33. 69

    This is such an important post! And timely for me. Just yesterday, I laid my head on my desk and cried. Ugly sobs. I was trying so hard. I finally said audibly to God, “I CAN’T DO THIS.” I felt a peace and a reminder from Him, “Good, now I CAN.” xoxo

    • 70

      oh, girl. i think anyone who reads this comment will say, “I have so been there.” that moment of defeat when you realize you were fighting a battle that wasn’t yours to fight in the first place. thanks for sharing :)

  34. 71

    I love this line: I think its something i have to learn how to do too..
    I drew a line in the sand and chose God over the worry.

  35. 72

    We are weak, but God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.

    “My grace is sufficient for my power is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
    2 Cor 12:9

  36. 73

    Your words resonate with me, Sara. I am helpless too, and I also have learned to be comfortable with that. In fact, I prefer for God to be the one with the paddle.

  37. 74
    SheaGirl says:

    am praying for someone I recently met, who grew up living on the streets and thats the only life he knows, But somehow we met and having somewhat deep feelings for each other and I felt god sent him to me and although we come from totally different worlds it felt right.. well he went to jail a couple of days ago and we have only know each other about a month and I always believe in changing people and wanting to impact peoples live in a positive way.. should I go to him and try to help him.. everything is telling me to, but on the other hand I always have faith in the imposiable and someone told me that I am wasting my time trying to help / change people that are in need. But that is me its in my nature.. what should I do??

  38. 75
    Elizabeth says:

    I have been struggling with this very difficult divorce from man in my worst nightmares I would never guess I would have marry. The guilt that this man is the man I ended up having a child with. Feeling helpless, what is my relationship with my child going to be like given, the child’s father will talk very negatively about me to this child as well as his family as they have been doing.
    I was very naiive when I met this man going through a lot and he hid a lot of things from me. I feel helpless in knowing who I can trust, as he was claiming to love God and that is one of the reasons I let my guard down. Now he lies about why I left, accusing me of doing the things he did to me. I thank God I left without losing my life as some women do, but I feel helpless being judged by other Christian women as how could I have been so foolish, and some distancing themself from me as they do not want to be a part of this ordeal I am facing.
    I feel helpless wondering if my son’s future will be worse for the things that are happening now.
    Thank you for letting me know it is Ok to feel helpless and to know no matter how bad things seem, God is in Control.
    I love God and He loves me and my mistakes do not take that away. In Jesus Holy Name Amen.

  39. 76
    sincerely says:

    Everything. I have gone through a lot! And once again going through a lot! My daughter is moving, two days later my son goes to open heart surgery. Our house burned completely down,just two years ago, no saved objects but family survived which I am greatful. Was homeless for seventh time for six months. Just settling down and wanting to move and my sons sudden surgery needed. First time he was eight months old. I cried for three days in a row. Thought it might be easier this time, seems harder to take this time. Even once surgery is successful praying a lot about it, recovery will be rough. I had a heart surgey in feb. this year, husband diagnosed with two illnesses and only one income s.s.d. Much prayers needed here.