Awhile back in our Sunday school class, we were talking about how and when we felt we were closest to God. There was a list of things like when you read your Bible, at church, during fellowship with other believers, and a few others. It turns out it was a trick question, because the number one answer was one that wasn't listed. The number one time when people felt the closest to God was during trials. And I totally agree.
When we were in that dark place after the boys were born, we felt so surrounded. We felt embraced by our family, friends, church family, and strangers who had heard our story. The prayers of those around us, carried us closer to Jesus when we weren't able to do it ourselves.
And? My relationship with God has never been deeper and truer than during that time. A time when I had nothing else. When we are walking through our normal day to day life, it's so easy to rely on ourselves. We can manage to get by, and sometimes we even think we are doing pretty well. And then, in an instant, everything changed. My son was gone, my other son's life was hanging in the balance, I was away from home, and I was alone. When I was at the very bottom and there was nothing else to cling to or trust in, God was there. He gave me the strength to keep going when I didn't want to and didn't think I could. He took my anger and my sorrows and he felt them all with me. Those were the times when I felt His presence the strongest.
No matter who you are, or what you believe in, trials can shake you to your very core. They can make you question everything you ever thought you knew. In those moments, you make a decision to walk away from what you claimed to believe, or you are reassured that everything you said you believed in was in fact the truth. I'm not going to pretend like I didn't question God or his goodness. I did. For many, many days. I was so angry. I never got all the answers I wanted, but what I do know, is that God is faithful. He was there and he never left, and he was all I had, my light in the darkness. The things I had claimed to believe were reinforced as the truth.
I'm not perfect, and sometimes I still wrestle with doubt. I don't know all the answers to the hard questions, and maybe I never will, but I have faith in God because I have seen him work miracles. I have seen his goodness even in the hard places. And I know without a shadow of a doubt, that Carter is with him. Whole and healed and waiting for us.