Death, divorce, difficult diseases, natural disasters – even devastating breakups – are heartbreaking. Asking where God was when Something Bad happened to you and your family is normal. It’s healthy to question God and express your anger, grief, frustration and hopelessness! This helps you heal and build a personal relationship with Him.
Here’s what one “She Blossoms” reader recently said:
“I still feel depressed and shocked about my brother in law’s death – why did God allow that to happen to me and my family?” asks Mark on Helping Your Sister Through Grief After Her Husband Dies. “My sister prayed to God for so long, and yet her husband died. I prayed too, but where was God when it happened? I don’t know. I’ll never know and I’ll never forgive God for letting a good man die. My family and I will never get over this.”
I don’t know where God was when Something Bad happened to you and your family, but I can offer you a suggestion that might help you heal. It’ll take a little work on your part, which isn’t surprising. All growth and healing requires a bit of effort, doesn’t it?
What’s more, God always requires us to show up in some way. We don’t have to work our way to Heaven; Jesus took care of that for us. But, we do have to show up and receive His grace, love, and freedom.
To receive healing, peace, and joy you don’t necessarily need to know where God was when Something Bad happened to you and your family. But asking the right questions could help you understand both yourself and Jesus better, which will bring you a sense of closure.
Here are two questions that helped me work through my own struggles with God.
“God, where were You when _________ happened to me and my family?”
Fill in the blank of that sentence: “God, where were You when ________ happened to me and my family?”
Are you struggling with unresolved grief over a loved one’s death, or loneliness and depression for no specific reason? Perhaps you’re dealing with guilt and shame over a pet’s death (this is surprisingly common!), or you and your family don’t know how to cope with an accident or disease.
Write that sentence in your private journal — or in the comments section below, if you like. Ask God where He was when the terrible thing happened to you and your family. Tell Him how hurt you are and how abandoned you feel. Write about your family’s feelings of loss and grief.
I finished that sentence three different ways in my journal yesterday:
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- “God, where were You when my mom was in the hospital getting shock treatments because of her schizophrenia?”
- “God, where were You when I was living in foster homes? Why did that happen to me and my family?”
- “God, where were You when my husband and I were trying to have kids? Why did you let infertility happen to us?”
And I sensed something amazing, yet incomprehensible. I realized God was there through it all. God was with my mom while she was getting shock treatments for schizophrenia. God was with me in those foster homes, protecting me from a million possible bad things. God was with me and my husband when we were trying — and failing — to have children.
God was there through my fear, grief, and loneliness. He never swept away all the bad people, diseases and situations from my life. He’s never done that, not for anybody. Not even Jesus. But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.
Where was God when Something Bad happened to you and your family? Ask Him. Give Him time to speak. Write down what He says.
If you’re struggling with loneliness and low self-worth, read What to Do When You Feel Like Nobody Cares.
“God, if I was totally honest with You, I’d say ____________.”
I answered this question in my journal yesterday. I told God how amazed and humbled I am at His presence in my life. I feel His light, love and joy whenever I turn my heart to Him. I sense His love and freedom when I turn my attention to the Holy Spirit. I know Jesus’ voice, I can hear His words and see His work in my life.
I spent most of my life avoiding God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I could hear His call, but the call of the world was stronger. Lots of things happened to help me build a relationship with Jesus…but the first step was asking Him where He was when all those terrible things happened to me and my family. Where was God when it all happened? Right here, walking beside me, carrying me, giving me strength and protection. He was there the whole time. And He’s here now.
If you were totally honest with God, what would you tell Him? Write it down, and keep writing until there’s nothing left. Allow yourself to be as honest, angry, frustrated, critical and real as you want! Express yourself, let your truth come out. Take time to talk to Jesus, to receive His healing, peace and joy.
Help Finding Answers to “God Questions”
In The Shack, William P. Young shares a man called Mack’s questions about his young daughter’s tragic murder. Mack challenges God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in “the shack” – and he expresses his anger, grief and confusion about his family tragedy.
When Mack asked, “God, where were you when this happened to me and my family?”, God answered.
Read the book or watch The Shack. You’ll find your own answers and meaning.
Are you struggling with the loss of a loved one? Read How to Trust God After a Heartbreaking Loss.
What do you think about these ideas for asking God where He was when the Bad Thing happened to you and your family? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, but don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.