But I Did Everything Right!
by Sharon W. Betters
A few years ago, a friend wrote: Funny how when people would ask me, 'Why would God do that? Why am I struggling so much?' my first gut reaction was to impatiently retort, 'just trust Him, He knows better than you do, and He has a plan...' but now...Now that I'm in this situation where my husband and I did EVERYTHING RIGHT and nothing is going the way we hoped. We prayed, we asked God to direct each step, we sought counsel from people wiser than us, and now we're living in a nightmare...all I can think is, "How could this not work out? We did everything right!" Knowing He knows me better than I do, and He has a better plan, well that doesn't make it easy, and certainly doesn't bring me comfort right now...How could anything be better than what we wanted to do? Help! What did we miss?"
My edited response: This is a hard question, and my answer might not satisfy your hunger for the pain to go away. But this is what has helped me. Your question takes you to the core of what you believe about God. As one who tried to do "everything right" and then faced the loss of her son, I feel your pain in wrestling with God's purposes in this disappointment. God is using the process you chose to answer your prayers. Just not the way you expected.
You ask if you missed something in your search for direction. I don't know if you missed anything but we are flawed people who live in a broken world. Looking inward is a good place to start. Is it possible that your desire for a certain outcome shaped the way you viewed or heard the counsel you sought or the way you read scriptures? Did you seek a good thing, convinced that there was no way God could be against your desire, because it was so good? And did that desire color your response to any negative input or counsel to slow down or change directions? Did you seek wisdom from those in authority over you? If those authorities discouraged you from pursuing your plan, what was your response? Did you submit or did you go around them? Did you avoid people who are not always positive but seem to always find the obstacles? Depending on your answers, is it possible God is using this disappointment as a means to answer the desire of your heart to be more Christlike, by giving you a glimpse into a prideful heart rather than a heart of humility?
Let's say that no one advised against your plan, everyone you respect was on board and encouraged you to go forward. Let's conclude that you did not read the map the wrong way. That you are exactly where God was leading you all along. Yet, everything appears to be falling apart.
Can you still trust Him?
For the Rest of the Story visit treasuresofencouragement.org.
In His Grip,
Sharon W. Betters
MARKINC Ministries is committed to leaning into the pain of life experiences that often go unnoticed by the church. The Learning to See When the Lights Go Out audio library addresses life's darkest circumstances that are difficult to discuss yet we are called on to help one another walk by faith, even when darkness falls. These are the real-life testimonies of people who have walked through these experiences and have learned to see when the lights went out. Browse the library for free downloads on such topics as Drug Addiction, Suicide, Loss of a Loved One, Chronic Illness, Chronic Illness in Young Adults, Widowhood, Divorce, Sexual Abuse and much more. Click here to learn more.
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