As a tear rolled down her cheek, she closed her eyes and asked the repetitive question … “Lord when will this change? I have nothing left.”
Her family had been hit hard. For over two years they had been in a consistent season of loss. It started with the passing of her mom whom she had cared for over the years and loved dearly. Shortly thereafter her brother-in-law passed away leaving her sister stricken with grief. Then the heartbreaking news of a very dear friend who attempted to save a dog that fell into a river. The dog survived, he did not. The painful shock was unbearable; his beautiful wife and two amazing sons were left behind.
So much loss, her grief was painful and deep.
Her son is struggling with depression and his mental health was at risk. The effects of online schooling resulted in isolation and declining marks. Screen time ramped up and social media took the driver’s seat. Every day she wondered what was to come next. After a visit to the hospital and strategizing with doctors as to the plan of approach, she realized this was completely out of her control. There was no manual for parents. Only through prayer and surrendering to God could she cope.
The fear of losing her son was real and unbearable to ponder.
She experienced the loss of three beloved animals. Her sister had to put her dog down, which was shortly after her husband passed. The second passed away suddenly with no warning after their routine night of playing fetch, and the third knew it was their time to depart and provided one last cuddle. Such a loss of unconditional love and loyalty. As a dog owner to three of her own, her heart continued to break.
The tears were often, and her sadness was heavy.
Their finances collapsed. Unfortunately, like many other families, her husband was not exempt from the effects of our world being shut down. After 17 years they let him go. As a result, many adjustments were made to weather the storm, including selling the family cottage which was to be their retirement home. Their future dream was gone. They continued to make financial sacrifices and aggressively applied for work. Unfortunately, there is no law for discrimination against age. Her husband has yet to find a job.
The fear of their financial future was staring her in the face.
She had gone through the wrath of a divorce and was familiar with the lonely and fearful journey. However, witnessing her sister’s divorce was nothing no one deserves. He had left her to fend for herself in every capacity. Watching her struggle to manage the home with her physical hardships and trying to financially survive with minimal disability income was gut-wrenching. It was through her hard work and finances that enabled them to purchase their dream home, and through his actions of financial ruin their home is gone, and she walks away with a broken heart and financial uncertainty for her future.
She is helpless watching her sister struggle to survive.
She and the rest of the world experienced substantial loss through social distancing; unable to see or hug friends and family – especially our seniors. The loss for our children without school interaction and the challenges of online learning. The loss of celebrating major milestones such as marriages, graduations, birthdays, etc., and the loss of not being able to grieve with one another. The loss of our economy, and most importantly, the loss of trust in what is truth.
She is worried about the world’s state of fear and stability.
She was tired. Although her faith was usually strong, she had to admit she stood in a place of uncertainty wondering why and where God was in all of this. This extreme level of loss was overwhelming.
She started to pull away from those that she loved suffering many times in silence. Her tears were painfully private. She was not speaking to God; her faith was weak. She understood that we experience seasons in our life, but this was the longest season she had ever endured. Why? What was the purpose?
Where was God?
Slowly, over time instead of asking where God was, she began to ask where she was. Was she leaning into God? Was she meditating on His word every day to ensure she was equipped to battle the emotions, fears and doubts of such loss? Or was she the only one at her “Pity Party?” Where was her focus? Was she spending time in prayer? Or complaining to family and friends? Did she believe that God had a purpose for all of this? Did she believe that God was lovingly refining her during this time?
Where was she?
It was then she realized that her attention was focused upon herself and her own circumstances. She was drowning in her surroundings, and in doing so she was not looking for God. She was consumed with her trials, and we can only see the things we look at. While we are looking at ourselves, we simply cannot “behold God.” She began to understand that God does not hide Himself; He is always there in full view of all who look unto Him; but if we are looking in another direction, we cannot expect to see Him. She was looking in the wrong places.
You see, when you find God in the struggle you find faith. Remembering how God has been faithful in the past gives us faith in the present for the future. We quickly forget how He has brought us through so many other storms and that He will continue to be faithful. God promises, if you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
God’s Truth: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18
It is the devil’s business to cause you to think that God has forsaken you and does not care. God is too kind to do anything cruel. You are His child, and He loves everything about you. He has a plan for your life regardless of how dark it may be. He still has plans to mold you into a vessel he can use for his glory. He is much aware of all your pain and anxieties, your loneliness and the trials you face every day. He knows about your family troubles. He knows about your finances. He knows about your heartbreak. He knows how you feel inside, and He is right there with you. Draw near to God and he will draw near unto you.
Although her circumstances have not changed and the pain of loss is still there, her faith now grows up beside it and through it. If she believes what she says she believes, it will change everything. When we know “Who” we can stop asking “Why.”
God’s Truth: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” Romans 8:18
God’s Truth: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
There is a Purpose. There is a Promise. There is Hope.