Throughout one's spiritual journey there are often significant life-events that test our relationship with God. Often times when we are faced with a devastating setback we think that God has abandoned us and often get angry with God.
6 years ago I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s disease, and as so many caregivers experience, the journey was very challenging for our family. As I cared for my mother I was dealing with some challenges of my own. I often found myself asking: Why me? Why us? Why, God, are you giving me more than I can bear?
I found comfort from Robin Roberts, of Good Morning America, in her book “Everybody’s Got Something”. She reminds readers that everyone carries burdens and hardships. For her it was a harrowing medical diagnosis and the subsequent difficult journey through it. Her journey was hard but there were so many that gave her hope. In her words, everyone’s got something, but everyone’s got something to give as well.
What I realized as I looked back at my own challenges is that all the times that I thought God wasn’t there he was actually revealing himself through so many people in my life. It was my circle of friends, family and even strangers who gave so much; they made me realize that God was indeed everywhere around me.
As Christians we are called to carry out God’s work so that in someone’s darkest days they are able to see God through us and have hope that there are better days ahead.
A faith community brings a sense of kinship, a comfort of knowing that we are all in this together. Maybe this Sunday you came to church with something to give or maybe you came to find hope. Each Sunday we get an invitation to receive a smile, a kind word, an uplifting scripture, a heartfelt homily. Sometimes we don’t even realize we need these unintentional gifts. But they are here for the taking.
Barb Ernat, a mom to St. Juliana preschoolers Tom and Jack, works in corporate marketing and together with her husband Ray have been members of St. Juliana for the last two years.