I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I came across a shared article called, "Everything Doesn't Happen For a Reason." Wondering what the heck this author had to say about the subject of hardships and loss, I opened it to see what exactly he had to say. His overall theme was that instead of saying "Everything happens for a reason," which is "bullshit" in his opinion, the only words of solace that should be given are, "Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."
These words are definitely true. You can't "fix" the grief that comes with the loss of a brother or sister. You can't "fix" someone after they've gone through a major trial in their life. He hit the nail right on the head by stating that. He also made some good points about how those who have helped you in your darkest days, and not said much at all, are great friends that should be treasured. I definitely agree with that too.
However, one of the first things he stated in this article pushed me over the edge:
Let me be crystal clear: if you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life.
I've faced tragedy. I've lost a teammate, a grandmother, and one of my "bigs" in my sorority. I've seen my best friends lose parents and siblings too soon. I've watched the girls in three sororities on UGA's campus overcome with more sorrow and grief than I've ever seen before. And you know what? I don't think I would've made it out of those situations of sorrow without relying on my Heavenly Father who has a plan for my life.
"Everything happens for a reason." I agree with him when he states that it's one of the most cliche, overused statements used in times of mourning. I can't say it's necessarily my "go-to" statement for reassurance or love. However, I can tell you one thing: there is a reason.
This is most easily taken as "God made my mom die," or "God wanted me to lose my best friend." God never wants you broken. He never wants you angry with Him, and He never plans to "ruin your life." However, He does allow death to happen. Is that something I'm necessarily pumped about? No. But he does promise us this:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
This isn't an excuse. This doesn't mean that tragedies like a parent's suicide or the Orlando shooting have "good intentions" or aren't meant to leave us devastated. It's OK to grieve, it's OK to be frustrated with God, and it's OK to be heartbroken. But the Lord doesn't want us to run away from Him and be bitter in these times of sadness. He wants us to run to Him and know that He is the source of comfort and peace.
In my opinion, there is a reason we lose people when we don't want to. I think the Lord's hope is that we cling to Him and grow with Him in times of tragedy. Unlike the arguments that the author of this article poses, human comfort and condolences will never fully heal your heart. A friend's support can mask the pain or temporarily fix it, but I can promise you that the Lord will bring you much more relief than you could ask for.
After losing four girls at the University of Georgia this spring, the students in Athens clung to the Lord. They put their trust and hope in Him, and it ultimately brought more peace and comfort than I think any of us could've asked for. It made clear to people who were unsure about the power of the Lord that He is good. It mended broken hearts and brought out a lot of joy. There was a revival in Athens, and it was all because of what the Lord did through the loss of our four good friends. Was it still a sad time? Absolutely. However, the comfort that followed these losses was so, so sweet.
So, Mr. Cynic, there is a reason that bad things happen. No, this doesn't mean that someone should push aside the grief they're feeling. No, this doesn't mean that your tragedy was "meant to be," or you have to take responsibility for it. This doesn't mean that it's not OK to be sad. It doesn't mean you can't be angry with God. However, this means that the whole purpose of the bad things that happen in your life is that they're going to show you the power of the Lord. He is the ultimate healer and the ultimate comforter. And whether you like it or not, He is your only source of hope and joy in your time of need.