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From “Why God?” to “How God?”

I didn’t grow up in a religious family, and I found out about God from high school friends whose dads were pastors. I grew in faith through the Young Life organization’s meetings and activities but became stagnant in my pursuit of God when I attended college.

I thought that believing He existed was enough. And if I were a morally superior person, who always worked hard and made the right decision, then I’d go to heaven. I remained in this place of misguided assumptions until I entered a season of struggle so challenging it caused me to question everything I believed.

I received good grades in high school, participated in the honors program at a great college, met a boy, graduated, began my first job, and married my sweetheart. I was doing all the things that young adults were supposed to do. The next logical step was to start a family, and I had it all planned out. We got pregnant right away and experienced much excitement about our growing family. It was all going according to my plan. Until it wasn’t. 11 years ago, on a beautiful fall day, I had a miscarriage.


Why was this happening to me? Why was I being punished? Why couldn’t I have what I wanted? Why did You take this from me? I didn’t just have one why question for God. I had them all.

I was angry with a God I barely knew, frustrated with the lack of communication from a God I had never talked to, and disappointed in a God who broke promises I didn’t even know existed.

I knew that I had done everything right. I had done everything that I was supposed to. So, why did it go so very wrong? At first, I fell into a hole of despair. There’s no rhyme or reason to life, and everything is random. If bad things can happen to good people, why waste my time?

After a few days in there, I heard someone going through the same situation say, “In life when setbacks and disappoints occur, we choose one of two things: fear or faith. And we choose faith.” I didn’t think that I was choosing anything, and it chose me, but I wasn’t going to let fear win. Why would I want to stay in that hole?

I started searching for answers the only way I knew how- in books to get out of it. I looked for books that spoke to how I was feeling, and I came up with titles like When Life Is Hard, Always True: God’s 5 Promises When Life Is Hard, and Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up The Way You Thought He Would?  Why did life have to be so hard?

The common theme was along the lines of “maybe you didn’t get what you wanted because God had something better planned.” Although I wasn’t completely sold on this idea, I kept searching. I kept seeking different ways to get to know God through books, church, and prayer. I didn’t think it was possible to have better than what I wanted, but I decided to remain open-minded and watch for that possibility. After all that I’d already been through, why not give Him a chance?

Around what would have been the due date of that pregnancy, my husband’s boss was fired, which put his job in jeopardy. The following month and a half of uncertainty forced me to dig deeper into this idea.

We received three options. Option number one was my husband staying at his current employer but taking a break from his very competitive field. Option two was to stay with his current employer and in his present occupation but work under someone he didn’t think could help his learning and growth. The third option was so far out of my comfort zone. Why would we even think about taking it?

Before my miscarriage, I loved my comfort zone. I set up shop there and never planned on leaving it. But this idea of God having something better swirled in my mind nonstop. There is no way the timing could be a coincidence. I am admittedly thickheaded, so I figured God was trying to make it as straightforward as possible. It was time to leave my place of safety. Why did He have to keep using difficulties to get me to act?

We decided to take option 3, which meant moving and starting over. However, I had a sense of peace about it. I promised God and myself that I would continue to pursue a relationship with Him, seek His guidance, and remain open to His path. In other words, I thought, show me what you got, God.

Option 3 gave me a wonderful home filled with three babies. It gave me laughter, love, and all the chaos that comes with becoming a mother. It gave me a church and a community that filled my soul with so much overflow that I could turn around and serve others. It gave my husband the knowledge, adversity, and strength to make a name for himself in his field. It gave us more than we could have possibly even dared to dream. No way I’d ever doubt God again.

It wasn’t instant, and it took the better part of a decade. But year after year, I had fewer “why questions” for God and more “okay, I’ll see where you’re taking this” statements of faith. And He hasn’t disappointed yet.

My story is one of thinking I had control, I knew what was best, and only I could make it happen. Being forced to work through my series of “why God?” questions, I learned that these previously firmly held beliefs were very wrong. They say God doesn’t make bad things happen, but He will use them for your betterment. I now understand this to be the truth. My struggles caused me to ask why, which led me to trust God, and that grew my faith. Now I have hope when new struggles arise. Instead of asking “why,” I have learned to ask “how.” How will God use this for good?


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Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.