Why God?

Why God?

Rachel Groves
Life is HARD.  Does it surprise you when hard things show up in your life on a yearly basis?  Monthly? Weekly? Daily? When I first became a follower of Jesus, I didn’t realize that this truth would be something that I would learn more and more as the years pass.  I remember asking God for just one good day, whatever that means.  

I’ve asked Him the question:  Why God?  He has given me so many answers.
At some point, I have learned:  I know He is at work, even when I cannot see it.  I trust He has a reason for every season (Ecclesiastes 3).  I know He works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) even when they do not feel so good.  I am thankful to carry these truths that have been written upon my soul.  

Think of the worst things that have happened to you in this lifetime.  What if I made this statement:  in these moments, God’s glory has the greatest opportunity to be revealed?  (2 Cor 12:9-11)  I think back to some of the worst experiences of my life.  One in which I felt terrible pain and shame, yet to this day I would not trade it for anything.  Why?  I know that God’s love is all the greater in me and the response of my love for Him still moves me more than anything else.  That specific experience was a catalyst for me to run to His arms, and that is where I have been running ever since.  Grace and Love await me there in those arms.

Oh the trials, how they come.  How life’s hard can take breath from my lungs and bring tears to my eyes.  Yet, my joy has always remained because my Hope, my God has my trust and He has never failed to provide.

Just this year.
Our one and only fostering journey ended in early March.  We brought these precious littles into our lives and they became the focus of our world.  We went in hibernation mode, letting them adjust to us, pouring out all the love that we possibly could, and so much more.  Eddie and I had conversations about the what ifs and we knew that if God opened the door, we would be adopting.  I can proclaim that grief and joy can coexist.  Our babies went back home to be with their mom.  A mom that I had become a friend and cheerleader to because I truly wanted her to succeed.  I sat in our final meeting, listening to how our relationship had an impact on multiple lives, my heart was both overwhelmed with thankfulness and loss.  I made a quick exit of that meeting and sobbed alone in my car.  Drying my tears, I clung to my joy for our littles and envisioned their excitement when mom would pick them up that day.  Even then, I felt the loss of the little arms that would not wrap around me that evening.
Within weeks, I would experience my next loss.  At work, I was helping my boss who over the course of 6 years working together had become my friend.  She was preparing for a job interview in South Alabama.  I cheered her on and lifted prayers for God’s Will.  Days later, she let me know she had accepted the job.  As I cheered her on my smile covered the loss my heart was feeling.  To this day, I tear up when I hear from her.  We worked so closely together it was like the ebb and flow of the ocean.  Her leaving left me in a darker sea of unknowns and changes to come.
A month passed.  We received a call around 3 a.m., Easter Sunday, that  Eddie’s mom had a heart attack.  For weeks, she was in a coma.  She was transferred from one hospital to the next to attempt to give her the best care; yet she died.  As we went through the funeral, so many shared how shocked they were because they had just seen her alive and from all appearances thriving.  That is how all of us felt.  Shocked.  Grief stricken.  My husband’s heart.  My daughters’ hearts.  This is where it is their story to tell more than my own.  I went through the weeks praising God and thanking Him in the midst of so much pain.  My grief held tight as we just tried to survive what we were all feeling.    Some days, I think my grief is still holding on pretty tight and shows up in moments when I am not expecting it.  
One month later, my best friends and truth be told, my only friends at work would inform me, they would not be working with me any more.  I expressed how excited I was for both of them in their new positions, but my heart began to cry out.  Lord how much more?  A dear friend called me at just the right time.  Water was leaking from my eyes, as I whispered to her I don’t know if I can do it.  My job is filled with sadness, pain, and trials.  I take in a lot of stress as a School Counselor to over 500 seventh and eighth graders.  In a normal year, I take in much secondary trauma.  Having a friend to laugh, cry, or distract me can make all the difference.  To go through this year and experience so many personal losses and the thought of having no friendship outlet at work left me feeling as though I was on an island.  My pain from one loss moved into the next and the next until my heart felt shattered.      

After the above mentioned moments in my life, someone brought up the word “Joy.”  My brain began to really think upon what joy looks like in my life.  Joy in the midst of so much heartache and pain.  I think after much reflection, I have found my ultimate answer:  God truly is my joy.  He is everything that I need (Psalm 23:1).  Sometimes, you have to cling hard to Jesus.  I have found my hope in Him is my joy when many big things around me are sadness and loss.  The world may see me sitting during praise and worship with my arms wrapped tightly around my middle and tears streaming down my face, but my heart is tuned into Him who exchanges my mourning for joy.  Those tears hold both joy and sadness (John 16:20).  For this world is not my home (John 16:33).  

This year has been one of pain and trials; yet it has also been one of surrender, hope, trust, love, and joy.  Through it all,  I turned to praise.  TO GOD ALONE BE ALL THE GLORY my heart will be forever thankful for His care during this season.  He surrounded me with His presence.  He has brought Scripture to my heart to feed my parched soul.  I still feel weak.  I am still drawing on His strength to navigate this pain that I carry.  This pain that these words I have shared don’t even reveal a fraction of it.  Most of all, I pray that His Glory was revealed and continues to be revealed for His grace carries me.  And I promise, His grace can carry you too.