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Life has a way of bringing many trials and situations that cause grief and heartache. The death of a loved one is not the only thing that brings these feelings. Over the years I have realized that other things cause emotions just as devastating as death. Years ago I was faced with one of these situations and it about destroyed me. For a few months I remained strong believing God was still in control and that He had a plan but the pain of the circumstances I was facing, the lack of support in church, the tremendous difficulties I was enduring as a single parent and the challenges of life began to eat away at the grip and trust I had in God. It was like I was hanging from an enormous cliff and there was nobody to help support me. God was there but He seemed so far away and in my sorrow and heartache my vision was too cloudy to see that He was still there. My grip on that rocky slope began to loosen as I began to focus on the questions that plagued my mind, the "what ifs" that I could not change. For many long months these questions kept harassing me and washing away at my faith and belief in God. Instead of trusting in what I always believed, I slowly began to turn away from God. Church wasn't helping as I was so poorly accepted as a single mom and there were no support programs or small groups to help me regain my foothold. There was nothing practical for me to hold onto at church and I found my footing and stronghold slowly slipping away. I became angry with God. He promised something to me and I literally watched it walk away. My heart was bleeding and hurting so deeply. "Why?" was a question that I wrestled with day and night. I spent many evenings in tears with the same thoughts Job wrestled with. Years passed before these questions and my anger would end but God began to bring truth into my wounded, hurting heart and I began to turn back to Him. My anger dissipated. A deeper trust developed in Him. The questions still were not completely answered but I realized He was still in control. Eventually, I placed my trust in God and my relationship with Him was restored.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This is the text I continue to claim when the difficulties and sorrows of life press their ugly head on me. Holding onto this truth keeps my faith in God strong. He has a plan for all of our lives despite the suffering we may be facing. He is indeed in control. May we not lose sight of this promise.

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