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“Where is God when it hurts?” “Doesn’t He care?” “Why would He let this happen?”

Those are questions I often hear from women who are in the midst of suffering. A betrayal, an illness or injury, a devastating disappointment — they can all make us feel that God has been negligent.

And I understand.

It’s easy to believe that God doesn’t care about us when we’re experiencing pain.   But a closer examination of Scripture tells us that God is intimately acquainted with the events of our lives. In fact, in many situations in my life and in the lives of women I know, He is the One who has protected and comforted, in spite of the pain we have endured.

If you are believing right now that God wasn’t there or didn’t care about you (or you know someone who is feeling that way right now) consider these truths from Psalm 139:

  • God intimately examines you, not to find your faults, but to know all about you (verse 1).
  • He knows where you hang out, what time you get up in the morning, and what you’re thinking before the thought even comes your way. Not only are you noticed, you are constantly watched over (verse 2).
  • He familiarizes Himself with everything you do. He is not only familiar with your ways of doing things, He has them memorized (verse 3).
  • He knows what you’re going to say before you even say it (verse 4).
  • He places hedges around you to keep you safe. In other words, God hovers over you (verse 5).
  • He won’t let you wander out of His sight. He is aware of everywhere you go. And He sticks to you like glue (verses 7-12).

God is there. He is aware. And He does care.  And if He’s allowed something painful in your life, He has a reason. And He promises that reason is for something eternally good that you might not see this side of heaven (Romans 8:28-29).

Think about something painful that has happened in your life and something good that you now have because of it. As you do, you may find yourself saying, “Aha. God was there. He does care. And He is still working His plan in my life.”

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below about where you found God in your painful situation …and what blessings are now yours because you have gone through that pain. And if you’re still in that place of hurt, let me know how I can pray for you and help shoulder that load.

 

Do you ever stumble upon something from years ago and find that it still touches you today?

I recently found an old  journal I kept during my high school and college years and discovered that what I wrote about my God 30 years ago still applies to His character today.

That tells me that although our situations change throughout the years our God never does.Though we may have forgotten certain heartaches or experiences in which we needed Him, He has not.

I hope this is a gentle reminder to you, too, that His love for you is still constant, His forgiveness is still faithful, and with all that you’ve been through, He is still the Friend who sticks closer than a brother:

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JoyI recently posted a devotional on the Proverbs 31 Ministries site and received about 900 comments from women, most of them with heartbreaking stories.

Just when I think I’ve heard it all, another woman will break my heart with what she has gone through in her marriage, as a parent, or as a woman who has experienced physical or emotional pain. Hurt will never go out of style. And I remember thinking, as I read through those stories, that as long as I’m writing for hurting hearts, there will, sadly, always be an audience for my books.

It’s sad, but it’s a reality of the broken world we live in.

And yet…I’m thinking you could use a little joy about now. Well, I’ve got good news for you: Experiencing joy is easier than you think.

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Where is God in the story of your life? When God Sees Your Tears

  • collecting your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).
  • recording every detail in His book.
  • weaving His plan and purpose into your circumstances.
  • building a legacy out of what you might feel is wasted time.

It’s difficult to imagine how God can have a purpose or happy ending to our life’s story when we’re right in the middle of discontent — longing for something more or missing something we once had. But God sees our story from beginning to end and He knows exactly what He’s preparing us for.

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mother-daughterWould you say your relationship with your Mom is as good as the relationship you have — or hope to have — with your own children? Or is it something you’d rather not talk about?

As I was writing my book, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, I discovered that some of the deepest wounds in a woman’s life can be traced back to her relationship with her mother. Whether it was having a critical mother, an emotionally distant mother, or a mother who never affirmed or spent time with her children, many women today still feel affected by the dynamics of their  relationship — or lack of one — with Mom.

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Are you one of those people who believes you’ve done something that God could never forgive?

It took my friend, Jean, about a year to even bring up the subject with me. She had done something years ago that she was still ashamed of. She couldn’t forgive herself or believe that God could forgive her, either.

Jean had made a decision, years earlier, to abort her unborn baby. Although her doctor advised that she terminate her pregnancy because of a history of miscarriages, she never questioned the doctor’s advice. Today, she wishes more than anything that she had. She could barely talk about it with me, let alone forgive herself.

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I’ve heard many women, through the years, tell me their story of pain and frustration and ask “Where was God, anyway?” “How could He just stand by and let that happen?” “Didn’t He care?”

Have you ever asked found yourself asking those questions? If so, it’s possible you’ve been believing some lies.

In my book, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts,  I point out the third step to healing and wholeness: Reject the lie that God didn’t care about the hurt you experienced. read more

If you’ve ever found yourself saying “This wasn’t supposed to happen” I know how you feel.

I heard myself saying that at 19 years old when my father’s alcoholism was revealed and my parents divorced. Everything I found security in seemed to crumble beneath me. I found myself wondering why God didn’t hold my family together.

My comfort came when I stumbled upon these verses in the Bible:  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

It was as if God was saying “I know what is going on here, Cindi, and although you don’t understand it, you must trust Me through it.”

I chose to trust God that day, rather than question Him. And I can honestly tell you today — nearly 30 years later — that God has worked that entire situation for good in my life,  in the life of my father who is now 30 years sober and ministering to countless other recovering alcoholics, and in the lives of my other family members. Did God cause those hurtful situations in my family? No. But He was able to work through them to bring some purpose out of our pain.read more

When I started writing my eleventh book, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, I figured I’d overcome most of the baggage from my past.  I was healed and whole and it was time to help others get that way.

But funny how old wounds creep up on you when you least expect them.

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It took interviewing 50 women and hearing the worst of the worst stories for me to come to two conclusions:

  1. Although my hurts in life pale in comparison to what’s out there, they have affected me, nonetheless.
  2. It’s a daily surrender – not a one-time thing – to focus on the Healer, rather than my hurts, and to stay in a place of healing and wholeness.

So, just when I figured I was doing pretty well, emotionally and spiritually, God showed me how very much I still need Him.

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