By Kaitlyn McCracken
We all face so much hurt and pain throughout our lives. Each one of us must deal with personal struggles, and many times those around us have no idea what we are going through. In the midst of our suffering, it can be all too easy to feel lost, alone, and confused. In our times of greatest hurt, feelings of doubt can creep in – we can feel as though God has left us alone in the middle of overwhelming pain. He is supposed to be a gracious and loving god, so why would He let us suffer so much?
My life has forced me to come to a very real understanding of the depth of this issue, and God has so graciously revealed to me the answer along the way. When I was only four years old, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and given mere months to live. However, she fought to spend every moment she could with me and all the others in her life she loved so dearly; she defied all odds and continued to fight through her illness. But after two years, she eventually lost that battle. My mother died when I was just six years old.
As a child, I was forced to confront the pain of losing a parent – something most individuals don’t face until they themselves are adults. But, the pain of losing a parent pales in comparison to the hurt caused by growing up without them. God has blessed me with an incredible dad. But there have been, and continue to be, many times throughout my life where I have really just needed my mom. In the times when I have most needed her to advise me or comfort me, her absence has been unbearably crushing.
I’ve spent many sleepless, tearful nights crying out to God why, desperately asking Him why He would put me through so much suffering. And it’s that very thing that is so significant – the fact that I have always been able to cry out to Him. He was there. In the midst of my greatest moments of suffering, God has always been right there. In the moments when I am overwhelmed by the pain in my heart, when I have no strength left to support myself, I must lean wholly on God. And what an incredible thing that is – that He is right there to support me. Even though I may lack the strength to withstand the hurt I am facing, the God of the universe is my total and complete support.
I may not understand why, but that doesn’t matter – I am His. He loves me so genuinely and deeply that He purchased me through the blood of Christ. His Son died to redeem me, and the Holy Spirit is within me. God holds my entire life within His mighty hand; He knows the reason behind every struggle I face. He has used everything I have gone through to shape me and mold me according to His plan and purpose. Standing where I am now, it is so easy to look back and see God’s hand guiding me every step of the way. He has used and continues to use the loss I have suffered to further my life for Him. He has not wasted an ounce of my suffering.