Is anyone out there feeling overwhelmed? Are there more tasks on your list than hours in the day? Maybe some important relationships are challenging. Or you are grieving the loss of a loved one. I could fill this post with all of the ways life is hard.

I hope you’re feeling supported in your struggles. But sometimes, when you courageously reach out for comfort, the response you get leaves you feeling even more discouraged.

Jesus offers hurting people companionship, wisdom, and rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV).

In the presence of gentleness and humility, troubled souls find peace and gain strength for their healing journey.

When this tender offer is clear and compelling, why do so many people turn instead to, “God won’t give you more than you can handle?” Not only is this not an actual verse, the verse that underlies this twisted version refers to temptation and reassures us God provides a way out of it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

How does it feel inside when you read the passage from Matthew compared to the statement, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”? Do you notice the protective energy in the latter, as though the person saying it wants to distance themselves from your struggle?

Maybe you’ve also been trying to avoid the pain you hold—distancing from it by numbing or minimizing or distracting yourself with busyness.

It makes sense that we try to avoid pain. Parts of us are sure it will be overwhelming if we pay attention to it. So they want to keep it locked in the vault. And they are creative in helping you with many strategies—all well-intentioned. Some days that’s what you need to do to survive, and that’s okay. There’s no shame in adapting to your circumstances the best way you know how.

But we all know that doesn’t heal our pain. So, at times, we need to negotiate with our protectors to take a break. We thank them, reassure them we value their efforts, and ask them to step back so we can spend time with the parts of us carrying burdens of distressing emotions and distorted beliefs.

You have God-given resources like curiosity, compassion, and patience (yes, trust me, even patience!).

These resources are love in action, and your tender, hurting parts need love. When protectors step back, your love can flow freely—a soothing balm for your soul.

Imagine yourself in the scene where Jesus offers to accompany you on your journey.

What does it feel like in your body to know you are not alone? That you don’t have to carry this burden by yourself? Allow yourself to walk in silence—in the loving presence of someone offering kindness and compassion. Use your breath to take in more peace, and imagine it flowing to every anxious, overwhelmed, and discouraged part of you.

Pause throughout your day to bring this scene to mind, to breathe deeply in the security of loving companionship.

You will feel clear and confident about the challenges you’re facing, and your internal family members will gain trust that you can lead them through it.