The Pain I Endured Only Strengthened My Relationship With God

The Pain I Endured Only Strengthened My Relationship With God

From a Catholic who struggled to find Him during troubling times.


The past few months have been some of the toughest of my entire life. In November, I lost the most amazing grandfather that I could've ever been given. I was extremely close with him, and being away at college when he took his last breath broke me. Throughout my whole life, he was with me for every birthday, holiday and big event, and now I had to learn to live without him there to experience everything with me.

It seemed like the worst pain imaginable. I had one person to rely on through it all though, and that was my boyfriend. He helped me pray to God, and he was there while I cried myself to sleep at night. But two months after I lost my grandfather, my boyfriend and I split, too, and I felt completely alone.

Since then, I have spent a lot of nights questioning what all of this means and reaching out to the only one that could put my troubles to rest: God. At first, I questioned everything that He had put me through. I wondered why God would give people to me for only a short while before taking them away again. I started to doubt His timing and His plan for me, although I knew deep down that both were perfectly and thoughtfully made. There even came a point when I questioned where God was during all of this chaos, because through it all, I had lost sight of Him, and therefore myself, as well. I felt like He had abandoned me, too.

I was in so much pain, and nothing I was doing seemed to make it go away. I prayed every night, asking God where He was and why He had put me through so much heartbreak in such a short amount of time. All I could think about were the negatives of my situation. My perspective on my situation changed when I watched the movie "God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness."

Throughout this movie, many characters questioned God as I had been but in the end came to realize that He was putting them through changed in their lives to build something new. I started to look at my situation in a new light and recognize that He was not putting me through these challenges to harm me but to strengthen me. He is preparing me for what is yet to come, and I should never doubt His timing. When I felt most alone, God was right there with me, walking by my side.

When I started to question Him, I reminded myself over and over again that God says to us, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze," (Isaiah 43:2).

Trust me when I say, though, that in the middle of all the pain, it is hard to remember these words that God said to us, let alone believe in them. It's hard to see God and understand His plan for us when things don't seem to be going right. But I found it comforting to know that Jesus too, on the cross, cried out to God, saying, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Psalms 22:1).

Jesus understands our pain, and He knows how it feels to be helpless and vulnerable, desperate for God's mercy. God is always with us, with His arms outstretched, and if we keep reaching out to Him, we will always find Him again.

I now know that with Him next to me, I can get through any challenge that life throws my way. One of my favorite Bible verses comes from Romans 8:18, which says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." I know that the pain I am feeling now is part of God's plan for me, and there is a purpose behind all of it. His timing is perfect, and He has much more in store for me beyond the pain that I have felt in these last few months.

Although my relationship with God is nowhere near perfect, it is stronger now that I fully believe in His plan for me, and I am hopeful that it will only continue to grow in the future because I know that with Him by my side, I can get through anything.

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell


One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

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Christianity Is About Love And Forgiveness, I'm Sorry If You've Met Christians Who Act Differently

Christianity is rooted in love, but unfortunately not all "Christians" live that way.


If you've ever been hurt by a "Christian", I'm sorry. If you've ever felt condemned, I'm sorry. If you've ever felt looked down upon, I'm sorry.

That's not Christianity, and we're not all that way. Christians are called to follow Christ, and Jesus Christ loved people. All people. Granted, we are only flesh and our flesh is not perfect, a true follower of Christ would never intentionally hurt another human being. I know that there are people who claim the same faith that I do that that are leaving scars behind in the wake of their actions and words and it deeply saddens me.

As Christians, we are called to love - no matter what color, race, gender, or sexual orientation - we are called to love people as Christ loves us. Unfortunately, in the media, we see stories of people being condemned by "Christians" for their beliefs or lifestyle choices. We are not called to condemn; it is not our place. In fact, John 3:17 explains that God sent His son Jesus into the world not to condemn the world, but to save it through Him. If Jesus wasn't sent here to condemn the world, it is not our job as followers of Christ to do so either. Being a Christian makes us no better than anyone else on this earth. We are just as broken as the next person, the only difference is we've accepted a savior.

I saw a meme on facebook essentially talking about how some of the rudest customers that come into restaurants are the ones who come in on Sunday after church. I began to read the comments because I was genuinely curious about how others felt about this topic and my heart began to break.

Words like "fake" and "stuck up" were thrown around and I'm afraid they're not wrong. There are people who go to church on Sunday and walk out of those four walls only to leave their intentions of living like Christ inside. That's not how it's supposed to be, and unfortunately, those are the people who leave a bitter taste in people's mouths in regards to the church. I'm here to say, on behalf of those of us truly trying to follow Christ, that we're not all that way, and we love you just as you are.

To those who have a misconstrued image of Christianity because of a "Christian" who treated you wrong, I would like to apologize on their behalf. I simply want you to know that you are loved deeply, not only by us but by the creator of the world.

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