“I don’t believe that God randomly picks someone and says, ‘I’m going to tear your life apart and make you lose everything.’ That’s not the kind of God I serve.”

Why is this happening to me?

Image     Why me? How could this have happened to me? Why did God let this happen? These are all questions that we’ve all asked in our life time. After the car accident I had so many people ask me, “Why did God let this happen to you?” I never understood this question because I didn’t feel like God had anything to do with it. I live in a fallen world and bad things happen; I knew God was giving me grace through the suffering and He was grieving with me during this time of hardship. Why was everyone questioning my God when He was the only good thing that was happening to me through my storm? As I was reflecting on this matter today I realized that I have not once questioned “why” since the accident happened. To me it was so simple that there wasn’t a “why” to be asked, bad things just happen… but then I felt God tug on my heart and remind me that I have questioned “why” with many situations in my life and I still do. The answer is the same- sometimes bad things just happen. It can be so easy to see clearly and give others the answer, but I’ve been convicted that I need to apply the answer to myself and the matters that I do question God on.

As I said, after the accident I had so many people ask why this had happened to me because they were seeing me lose everything. I became disabled from the TBI (traumatic brain injury). I wasn’t able to walk without help, my vision was so disoriented that I couldn’t handle light, movement, reading, driving, or even doing small tasks. After a few months of being bed ridden I was forced to drop out of school my senior year of college, I lost my dream job, and I lost my ability to volunteer at my school’s psychology research lab (which was helping me get into graduate school). I had no income, I was broke, my medical bills were climbing up the walls and I immediately had to move back into my parents’ house because I was unable to take care of myself. I couldn’t even eat or stand without help.

This is when the questions came from those who knew me. “Why did God let this happen to you? You’re a good person and you love God so much, how could He let this happen to you?” To me this question almost seemed silly because I knew God did not cause this to happen. I don’t believe that God randomly picks someone and says “I’m going to tear your life apart and make you lose everything.”  That’s not the kind of God I serve.

My God is a good god. It is the enemy who plans to destroy peoples’ lives. But sometimes it has nothing to do with the enemy and bad things just happen because we don’t live in a perfect world. When people asked me “why” this happened I would just say, “Because I was driving home from work and the person behind me hit me at 40mph while I was at a stop. That’s how this happened to me.” It seemed so simple and straightforward to me.

I live in a difficult world full of hardships. A world that God created for good but that we corrupted with sin. Our free choice reigns in this world and bad things happen all of the time to everyone. So why wouldn’t this happen to me? There are over 5 million car accidents that happen per year; that is approximately 13,700 accidents per day. There are also 1.4 million Americans that receive a brain injury every year- of those 50,000 die. It’s a matter of statistics and I was one of the 1.4 million Americans that sustained a brain injury. I could have been one of the 50,000 that died from the TBI, but it wasn’t my time to go. I’m not bitter that this happened to me, but instead I feel blessed to be alive and I feel like each day I wake up is a gift from God.

So if I have such a good attitude about this then why do I question God on other matters of the heart? I have lost many friends and family members in my life. I have had those who are closest to me, betray me. I have had many church-going Christians lie about me, and treat me so unkindly when I had never done anything to them. This has become the story of my life, and probably has for many of you as well. I try to love God every day with all of my heart, and I try to love those around me with the love He has given me.

However, I have still had many come against me for standing up for truth, and for showing kindness. “Why?? Why???” I complain to God. “God how can they treat me so terribly when I have only shown them kindness?? Why do they lie about me when I am an honest person??? Why is it that so many who are esteemed in the church put on a front and live a different way at home? God, here I am trying to live every day in your ways, trying to love others in the way you love me and I am lied about, slandered, and treated cruelly. WHY??????”

So here I am guilty of asking the same question, “why?” And then I realize that the answer for me is the answer I give about my car accident. Sometimes bad things just happen. Why am I persecuted for doing right? Because there is evil in this world. Why am I treated cruelly by those who are “leaders” in the church? Because unfortunately there are a lot of fake people in the church. Why do people lie about me when I have done nothing but loved them? Because Satan is the father of lies, because he loves to create dissension, especially among believers. People lie, cheat, and steal. Some people are just hateful. God does not cause those things to happen. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20

My loved ones don’t want me to go through this physical suffering that I face every day due to the car accident; I also wish to be spared the physical suffering. I wish I didn’t have to face the emotional pain I have endured for years due to others treating me badly. I want the truth to come out and the lies about me to be exposed.

I said earlier that God has been the one good thing that has happened to me since the accident. The same is true about the emotional hardships I’ve been through, God didn’t cause them but He is the only good thing that has happened to me through them.  Just as I believe that God will use my physical suffering to make something beautiful I also believe that He will use the lies and the persecution about me to bring something beautiful. I may not like that I have to walk through the storm, but I know that I won’t get my rainbow unless I put up with the rain :).

So why do bad things happen to us? Bad things happen to everyone all of the time all over the world. Until we reach heaven we will have things that we don’t understand and don’t deserve happen to us. We don’t have control over what happens to us, but we do have control over how we handle and view the situation. So instead of saying, “Why me, I’m a good person?” I want to say “Yeah me because I live on this earth.” Instead of saying, “Why God did you let this happen?” I want to say “Thank you God for being with me through it.” Instead of saying, “My life is ruined because of what has happened.” I choose to say, “There is something really beautiful that is going to come out of what has happened.”

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5 Responses to “I don’t believe that God randomly picks someone and says, ‘I’m going to tear your life apart and make you lose everything.’ That’s not the kind of God I serve.”

  1. Ken says:

    Hi Rachel, your positive and uplifting attitude and outlook on life is wonderful!! The Rachel I meet two years ago is still so encouraging. We keep praying for your full recovery. You’re special!
    Ken Gibson

  2. Libby Smith says:

    Rachel, thank you so much for posting! I am currently going through a tough bout of physical pain and your words reminded me again that no hardship we go through as His children will ever be wasted. I am so excited to see that your are walking with the Father through this, allowing Him to form Christ in you. It is a radical road this journey of faith. I just heard today someone break down F.A.I.T.H. as: Forsaking All I Trust Him. That’s the testimony He has given you. Thanks for walking in it and proclaiming His faithfulness. 🙂

  3. angklocke says:

    I’ve sat with your blog open all day. I read it, then again. Then glanced at different sections. Perspective. You offer it so beautifully. I am encouraged by you and know that you are lifting up others as you go. I love you!

  4. Rachel I truly love your heart!! you have the heart of Christ and it’s so very beautiful to see. so many times in life we blame God for things that he did not do and then we dont thank him for all that he’s done but your life is a life that beautifully and fully reflects God. thank you for posting this!! it’s very encouraging and a good way to refocus on the TRUTH of God and who is REALLY is!! Ps I miss you so much!!

  5. Joy says:

    So much wisdom from such a strong woman!


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