Some people distance themselves from God or blame God when they are going through hard times. I’m going to write about God intervening during low and chaotic points in my life. This RAW series uncovers personal accounts of when God has been the rock and the saviour in circumstances of vulnerability and emotional instability. I’m sure all Christians switch between relying on God to help them through and blaming God for the things that they go through.
Just as I had started secondary school my parents told me that they were splitting up. By year 8 (13 years old) we had sold the family home and I was living in a different smaller house without my dad. Although as far as divorce goes, this was a civil unaggressive divorce, I was extremely upset. My family had divided, my parents were feeling depressed, I no longer lived with my dad and I’d lost my family home which meant so much to me. I never blamed God for this or thought – how could you let this happen to me?! However, I did distance myself from church and I completely stopped thinking about God. I don’t think I was doing this deliberately or consciously. I was actually avoiding thinking about most things to protect myself from facing the reality of what was happening in my head. I would often drift into my imagination or I would listen to music and watch films to avoid what was going on inside my head. I avoided talking to my family and thinking about anything really. After a while I started to miss God. I had this deep longing for him. I missed him like a friend or a close family member. I cried to my mum and she contacted my old church and got me back in the youth group.
Despite ups and downs I began to feel happy again. After getting used to secondary school and with the support of friends, church and God I came out of a low point. Although I’ve had other low points especially in year 10 due to friend problems and missing my dad, believing and trusting in God has given me a positive perspective and a light at the end of the tunnel. Not only was God there (and still is), comforting me, talking to me and loving me, there was the knowledge that this was a stage and part of a plan that would not last forever. This was comforting and helped me feel more positive as I felt like I wasn’t alone. Another way to describe it was as if there was a father figure always by your side, part of you, guiding you and giving you advice in your head. This may sound bizarre to people that have never experienced God or don’t believe in God but it’s as if speech pops into your head or you see a smiling face or you feel love, hope and assurance. It’s amazing.
Sometimes I’d gaze at the trees, or at a lake and think of God and his beautiful creation. Nature sometimes givens me a perspective on how big the world is in comparison to myself. For me, when bad things are happening I gaze at God’s beautiful innocent landscapes that continue to exist regardless of the chaos. Although I’ve believed in God my whole life in year 9/10 I went to youth group event at church where God spoke to me during hard times. There were several weeks at this group where the talks were exactly relevant to how I felt at the time. I couldn’t deny it and it happened week after week. If I had an argument with someone, it was covered in the talk, the next week I’d have low self-confidence and the talk would directly address it. It was a weird sensation but I knew God was speaking directly to me. This spurred my faith, comforted me in hard times and erased any doubts I had in God.
Through hard times such as my parents’ divorce and teenage low points in year 10, I consider these bible verses and values:
Psalm 30:5 ‘Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.’
I often hear God say, ‘there will be joy again’ to me. As if this is a stage and joy is around the corner.
This makes me feel like everything will be alright because there is a careful path that you are on and God is looking after you every step of the way.
Romans 8:18 ‘Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.’
This gives me a larger perspective of the bigger picture. Your current suffering is nothing compared to eternal paradise in heaven, a place of nothing but love.
To finish, in hard times for me personally I have reached out to God, told him my issues, cried to him and felt comfort and support. Not only is he there with me but he has wisdom that gives me a wider perspective on life. He is the knower of all, he created everything I know and thus he knows there will be joy again. He also knows exactly what’s happening in my life and he feels and understands the pain that I feel. As he does for you too. So, whatever you are going though Jesus loves you and is guiding you through it, catching you as you fall.
I pray that you rely on God as a source of comfort and hope in times of suffering. I pray that you realise that you are never alone. Amen