Friday, February 13, 2009

Sometimes Bad Things Happen

Hi -- it's me, Jennifer. I'm a rose-colored glasses-wearing, everything will turn out for the best optimist.

Part of it is my faith -- my faith that God is in control and knows what He's doing. But a lot of it is my genetic makeup, I think. Denial helps a bit too ("Oh, let's not think about that. Let's focus on the positive.").

Recently I've been hit with some really bad things. They haven't happened to me, but to those I know and love, and I think that's worse. You see, I know that I can endure hardship. I know that God has used my trials to strengthen me and to refine me. I know that.

But do others? I don't know. I want to spare them the pain of finding out. Spare them the frequent result of that pain -- bitterness and loss of faith.

Breast cancer. A father's death leaving behind two very very young children. These are the bad things of which I speak.

Sometimes bad things happen. And sometimes it shakes me. I know that I'll endure, and I can only pray that they will too.


Carrie said...

Good post.

So I summarize as you do - I'd rather take someone's pain because I know I'll eventually get through it. However, I'm not a generally positive person. My attitude seems to be:

"Show me the WORST of everything. Let me believe the worst IN everything. Then, once I've handled the worst of it all, I'll be ready to move on and be happy."

I like things after I know about the faults. I'm more loyal after mistakes are made. I like knowing about imperfections.

I'm starting to think I'm weird so I'm going to cut this comment short. ;D

Amy said...

i know how you feel. this past fall it felt like every one i cared for had a tragedy happening in their life. it broke my heart and even worse i didn't feel like i could physically do anything to help them. oh of course i could take care of some meals for them and pray, but sometimes you feel the need to do more and when you can't it can be frustrating.

Dianne said...

Sometimes I wonder if we struggle more when it's those we love going through things because they are assured of grace . . . but are we? I think certainly a measure, but not as much the one in the midst of it is. Maybe we are a minister of that grace? Maybe that's something for you to hang onto, that all-sufficient grace - for them and you. I'm sorry you're struggling under this burden though.

Beck said...

It's HARD - I have some people suffering around me right now, and it just SHAKES my faith. So I know. I pray that things will get better for you and for those that you love very soon.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...


Sorry to hear your loved ones are going through such trials. I'm reading Spectacular Sins by John Piper, and it's a wonderful book about the WHY of evil in the world. Perhaps reading that will help you in helping those who are struggling.


Lisa writes... said...

I second Melissa's recommendation.

Life is just plain hard--for me, you and the ones we love. Like you, I want to spare my loved ones (my children, Lord, especially) from heartache and pain. I've realized it comes down to trust--can I trust the Lord that He is sufficient for me? For those I love? That He has a plan and purpose for their good and His glory? Hard questions, very hard...

Katrina said...

Oh, it IS so hard. I often wish I could spare others all the pain that springs from the fallenness of this world -- in part, because of my faith; but in part, because I'm a "fixer" and I want to just handle things for others.

The hard (and heart-breaking, and evil) things we encounter remind me that this is not meant to be our home. They make me long for heaven. But they also make me think -- am I praying for others as I should? Am I sharing my faith when the opportunity arises? I want others to have that other, perfect place to look forward to as well...

Anonymous said...

Hey Jennifer,
I was reading your blog and thinking back to the time three years ago when Cole's best friend died of cancer. We felt so bad for them and so guilty that we had a child with a heart defect...but we had a child that lived. Fast forward to the last three months, John and I have been going through probably the best marriage book ever...Sacred Marriage (and subtitled) What if God designed marriage to make us Holy Rather than Happy by Gary Thomas. What makes it great a great book is that it isn't just about marriage it is about life. What if God made designed these difficult times to make us more holy...would we be begrudge trials (like a difficult marriage or cancer or a death) if we truly understood that through it all God has designed the particular trial to draw us ever more closer to Himself and to enable us to keep that overarching command of Be ye Holy as I am Holy. The book puts trials, ours and our friends' into a new light, and really has spurred me on to face what lies ahead with joy and gratitude (okay I need to work on that) because I know it is making me more like CHrist.