"Pain is the soil where the deepest kind of faith in God grows." - Sarah Sumner
via 'Where is God in Tragedy', Relevant Magazine.
Throughout the seasons in your life, you are bound to endure some form of tragedy, in one way or another. These events could be anything from being involved in a serious accident to losing someone close to you. No one ever wants to think about these things happening for fear of jinxing themselves, but they happen every day and to everyone. I am no stranger to tragedy. Today I'm here to share a story of pain, anger, revenge and understanding.
On April 26, 2008, my twenty-one-year-old brother hopped on a motorcycle to go for a ride with a group of his friends. They got on the interstate and he never made it home. He was involved in a high-speed accident, laid his bike down and was thrown, head first, into a telephone pole. We never got to say goodbye.
One thing you need to know about my brother is that he was the most selfless person I have ever known. He would go above and beyond to help anyone with anything. He couldn't go anywhere without making a connection with someone. He never met anyone he didn't call a friend. He had his life together and was going places. He was a Christian and made no secret of it.
So, why was this kid, so young and on the road to such good things, ripped from life so suddenly? Why did God allow him to be taken from us?
I think, when going through the stages of grief and dealing with the pain of any tragedy in one's life, the natural human tendency is to want to place blame on someone or something for the hurt we are feeling. Someone needs to be held responsible, In my case, this someone was God. For a long time, I blamed God for my brother's death. I couldn't understand how He could take such a good person away from this world. I heard over and over that "God had a plan that we couldn't see" and frankly, I didn't care.
It was only after years of dealing with my grief and pulling myself away from God to get "revenge" for my brother's death, and a whole lot of self-reflection that I finally realized that blaming God for this tragedy was not the answer. Allowing myself to harbor these feelings only kept the anger and bitterness in my heart and it hurt me in the long run.
I came to understand that sometimes we simply don't have reasons for the tragedies in life. This is where faith comes in. As a Christian, we have to hold on to our faith and believe that there truly is a greater plan that we cannot see. All I know now is that my brother was ready and God said it was his time to go home. I have to trust that, even though it hurt so much to lose my brother, there was a purpose for his leaving this world and I will see him again one day.
I truly believe that Christians can only find real and complete healing from these tragic events when we let go of the anger and resentment for the pain imposed on us and trust that God has it all in His hands. He has the road map and we might only be able to see a tattered corner right now. We must have faith that He will guide us through the pain and bring us to understanding and peace once again.