Don't those three little letters pack a BIG punch?

I remember as a young mom that word was one of the most important words to a 2 year old. It didn't matter if I was driving in the car, in the grocery store, giving the girls a bath or putting them to bed... that question was asked countless times a day and about anything and everything imaginable!  In fact here's a crazy "why" story I will forever remember.

We were in the Cerritos Mall eating lunch in the food court at Chick-fil-A (the only place they had it back 15 years ago).  They had sky lights in the ceiling and it all of a sudden got really dark.  My oldest daughter (6 at the time) asked "Why did it get so dark mommy?"  and before I could answer, my 2 YEAR OLD answered it for me: "Well duh, the sun went behind the clouds!"  WHAT?  We all just looked at her like she was from outer space... A 2 year old KNEW THIS?  I guess I should thank Sesame Street or something for that one b/c I don't remember answering that WHY question!  hahaha

Since then the WHY questions have become much harder to answer though and I think that word still is one of the biggest questions asked, by anyone at any age.  And I can honestly say that I don't know WHY things happen... Why is life so hard?  why do horrible things happen?  Why, you fill in the blank.... 

But I do know with certainty that if I stopped at that one word WHY and stayed there, I wouldn't be living my life.

Yesterday at church I thought a little bit about this. It was Mother's Day.  As a mom who has a beautiful life with three daughters, a great husband I get to go through life with and family and friends who support me... I am honestly SO blessed!  But the pastor started reading an article from Huffington Post about recognizing that Mother's Day isn't always a great holiday for some people.  Not everyone lives the perfect "Hallmark Card" life and there is pain on this day for a lot of people.  Many may not have had the best mom, or any mom.  Some moms have lost children.  For those like me who have suffered the loss of children through miscarriage you think about those kids you didn't get to hug and answer those why questions for.   There are a lot of single moms trying their best to raise kids on their own. Husbands that have abandoned their wives. There's a ton of WHY questions in all of these scenarios... 

You may never have the answers you are looking for to the WHY'S in life, but I do believe there are reasons for our pain, reasons WHY we go through things and reasons why the Lord make take us through the hard times.  

And what I do know is that there is always HOPE!

I believe one of those reasons for the difficult times in our lives is to eventually use our pain to help others.

Hard as it may be I do think that sometimes the reasons why we go through difficult situations as kids or young adults is to find out that our calling is to help others in those same situations.  Don't for a minute think that the struggles you have faced in life are solely yours.  Those same hardships, struggles, pain you've gone through is going on probably in every corner of the globe.  

I think of the verses above in Romans 15:1-7 "But we who are strong ought to bear the weakness of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."  For whatever was written beforehand was written for our instruction, in order that through patient endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.  Now may the God of patient endurance and of encouragement grant you to be in agreement with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that with one mind you may glorify with one mouth the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore accept one another, just as Christ also has accepted you, to the glory of God."

In my bible journaling page above I summarized it like this "Let us build up our neighbor with ENCOURAGEMENT of the Scriptures, that we may ALL have HOPE in Christ."

There is HOPE.  And it's not in some "self help" book at the bookstore.  It's in the Word of God. Just look at the crazy characters God uses in the Bible!  He didn't write the Bible with pretty stories of perfect people.  All through the scriptures He uses messed up, hurting, no good sinners... just like us, to show us He LOVES US ALL, and ultimately wants to USE US ALL.  And WHY?  Those examples are in the Bible for us to learn from.  So that we can see His hand in their lives (and ours) and to show us that He can take even the most horrible situation and turn it around for His glory and our good!    God seeks to restore us and then "send us out" to help others, encourage others and give THEM the HOPE which is in Christ!  

I don't think my job as a parent is to protect my kids FROM the hard times in their lives.  Over the years of sitting on their beds while they are in tears asking the WHY questions, I have asked the Lord to speak through me, help me to comfort them and console them.  But sometimes the words to make it all better just aren't there.  Sometimes the whys just have to be lived.  MAYBE these things are happening in their lives so that they can be used some day.  Both my oldest daughters are feeling lead into the ministry.  I know that isn't going to be an easy road.  I honestly don't like to think that they have to go through difficult times in order to use those times to help others.  I WANT a safe, happy, protected life for them.  I pray every day for their health and safety and for a hedge of protection around them wherever they go.  I WANT that.

But I also have to have FAITH that the Lord will be there for them, in any situation.  That He knows whats best for them and that He IS always faithful.  

And I want YOU to know that truth too.  

Romans 8:18 says" The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that is coming."

So when you ask yourself those WHY questions, do this:

Remember all the places that He has been FAITHFUL in your life.  

Let's give God the control of our WHY's...

I saw this online somewhere and I don't know who wrote it, but it's good:

"If we can trust God with the outcome, lets trust Him with the process."

John 16:33 says "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."


And your calling just might be in the WHY's too...

Look at the cute coffee mug Rebecca got me for Mother's Day!  Had to put it to use today!  And the little succulent was from our church yesterday.  Had to share it's cuteness too...  :)

Have a GREAT day everyone!