When I was 13, my life changed forever. This is my story. I originally posted this in 2012, but I’ve updated it and wanted to share it again. I hope, somehow, by sharing this, that it may encourage someone or help you in some way, if and when tragedy strikes your life. This is Part 2: When Faith Wins. To read Part 1, click here.
DEALING WITH THE PAIN
After the accident and Dad’s death, I spent the next several weeks and months questioning God and asking WHY.
After a couple weeks, I went back to school, but it was very challenging to try to get back to “normal life.” Many days were filled with tears, and I also heard all the cliches that people say when something like this happens.
- “I know how you feel”
- “God will never give you more than you can handle”
- “Everything will be okay”
Please, whatever you do, don’t say those things to someone who has just lost a loved one or gone through some other traumatic life event.
QUESTIONING MY FAITH
I had grown up always having faith in God, being raised in church and surrounded by family members who were strong believers in Christ. However, this time in my life truly tested my faith. I had to decide if I was going to actually trust in a God who would (in my eyes) take away my father.
Was I going to believe that He was still a good God?
Or was I going to reject all I had ever believed, and turn to other things?
Thankfully, and only by the grace of God, I chose to cling to Jesus instead of reject him. I chose to cling to my faith instead of becoming bitter and angry. Don’t get me wrong, I did go through a period of anger, but I didn’t stay there.
I truly believe God provided comfort on the days that were unbearable, peace during the times that felt overwhelming, and surrounded our family with love when we felt lonely.
Friends and family supported us and held us up in prayer and many other ways. For that I will always be thankful.
FINDING ANSWERSFast forward to today. I spent the past weekend at our church’s women’s retreat, which was incredibly powerful and reminded me once again of how much God loves each and every one of us.
On the way home, the 4 of us who rode together and roomed together were discussing various challenges in our lives, and how we often ask “Why” and even become angry with God. And I completely relate to that, obviously, because I went through it myself.
Then last night, I was reading John 9, and I came across this passage:
“As he went along, he saw a blind man from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned’, said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'” (vs. 1-3)
Basically, the disciples were asking WHY? Why is this man blind?
We are so often looking for the reason bad things happen – whose fault was it? And Jesus blows me away with his response: “so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
If you keep reading the story, Jesus chooses to heal the blind man. He did not choose to heal my dad. He chose to heal someone else I knew who experienced a serious accident about a year later. But he did not choose to heal my 14 year old friend who died in a snowmobile accident that same year.
- I don’t know WHY some get healed and some don’t.
- I don’t know why some people can have 6 kids yet abuse them and hurt them, while others who are loving, amazing people can’t get pregnant.
- I don’t know why children are abused or senseless acts of violence take place.
But ultimately, I believe this: if we allow Him to, God will use these challenges and tragedies to display His work in our lives. He will bring things to us that are even better than what we are hoping for or wanting. In the end, if we turn to Him, faith wins.If we allow Him to, God will use challenges and tragedies to display His work in our lives. Click To Tweet
Losing my dad was a turning point in my life. It forced me to choose whether I was going to rely on myself or God.
I don’t know how my life would be different if Dad had never died. But I believe that going through that has allowed me to be open to God using my life for His glory. I am in no way perfect, and I’ve messed up royally multiple times. But my prayer is that the “work of God” will be displayed in my life.
So for anyone who also has experienced loss, anger, pain beyond belief, questioning God – take heart – you are not alone. Even the disciples questioned Jesus on a regular basis.
God is not afraid of the questions.
But when the disciples questioned him, Jesus provided the answer, and He also ended up giving the blind man way more than he could have ever imagined!
That is what God has done for me as well, and He can do it for you, too.