Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

No matter what happens, He is good, and He has a plan.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Christy Quinton

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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