By Becca Christensen
If you’ve been following the Beautiful Blog for a while and you’ve read my previous posts, this one’s probably going to seem a bit out of character. Normally I’m the girl with snarky sense of humor, the prayer wall, and the stories about using game nights and good food to draw people in and tell them about Christ. If you pop by my desk at work you’ll hear me from halfway down the hall chatting and laughing. That’s me. But this year has been really hard and for any of you who have had a year like mine, well, this post is for you.
As a kid I had a book my parents bought me called ‘Where is God When…’ and each page had a different scenario. Sometimes in life now I think about those – where is God when people are cruel? Where is God when my family is hurting? Where is God when I feel helpless? Where is God when I’m sick?
This spring I boarded a plane. I wiped at the tears welling up in my eyes for the umpteenth time that week and I took a deep breath. I was flying to be with my very best friend when she got the results of a test for cancer. It was the second time ever she’d said “I need you” and there I went. And I had thought, prayed, and cried my way through the two weeks between that test and the result I was on my way to hear. Where is God when we’re scared and hurting?
As the year went on the Lord gave me my second beautiful niece. A healthy, gorgeous gift. Then a month later my sister would be hospitalized for emergency surgeries and those emotions came back full force. I was set to leave on a mission’s trip the very next day. I cried all day and all night as she had two surgeries. After she told me to go on the trip I cried the entire drive to the Miami airport. Five hours. Where is God when our hearts are broken and our loved ones are sick?
My beautiful, strong sister came home from the hospital a week later. Things weren’t better yet but they were going to get better and that was enough. My heart felt hopeful and like it may be starting to rebound – when that very week one of my friends lost her child and my Dad lost his best friend. I thought, ok Lord, when does this end? How much hard can one year hold? Where are you when everyone I love is struggling and I don’t know how to help?
Before the start of the year I had made a commitment to the Lord – my faith will be steady. I have pursued him every day. And in the hardest, ugliest moments of this year, he has been there. That’s where He is, with us. Psalm 34:18 says, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’. I kept praying and he kept giving me the strength, the peace, and the answers as I went. It didn’t make it easy. It’s truly been the year of the ‘ugly cry’ as I call it. True to His word though, he hasn’t left me in it alone and he won’t leave you either.
My verse for this season has been this ‘My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart’ – Psalm 108:1