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April 10th, less than 9 months ago, is the day I got the call; my mom had collapsed and was now in critical condition. I rushed to the hospital, and as I entered the waiting room my brother was the first one to speak. “Mom is gone.”
I burst into tears not knowing what to do or think. As we sat in silence for the next hours all I could think was, what did we do to deserve this? And why didn’t God save her? The days following I felt like things would not get better and all I could do was curl up and cry. The Wednesday after she died was the funeral. The Pastor talked about my mom’s relationship with God, and how she was going to heaven. As I listened, I just kept thinking, “That might be true, but it doesn’t help me at all. If my mom loved him so much, and he was so good, why did he let her die?”
I was mad at God for letting this happen. I felt like nobody could help me because they didn’t have any idea what I was going through. And I didn’t want anything to do with God. He was the one who had messed everything up in the first place.
A week after my mom died I was hanging out with my friend Blake and I was telling him that we were trying to find a new Church. He invited me to check out Northwood on the upcoming Sunday because he thought that I would probably like it. We did, and liked it enough to start coming regularly. I began to feel at home, and I felt very loved, which was a feeling that I desperately needed.
The one thing that my mom wanted for all of her kids was for them to believe in God. I had a hard time with that because I was so angry with Him. But the more we talked about trusting God, and the more the people at Church cared about me, the more I started to feel that maybe God cared about me too.[pullquoteright]”I was mad at God for letting this happen.”[/pullquoteright]
But that was a problem. I had spent so much time focusing on the negatives and unanswered questions. I had decided that God was a jerk, or that he didn’t care how I felt. It was his fault that my mom died, and I didn’t want anything to do with him. I was going to do this on my own. But maybe I was wrong.
In October I went on a retreat with the youth group, partly because it sounded fun, but mostly I just wanted to get away from my house for awhile. I did not once think that I would come back changed. When I was on the retreat we had a lot of time to spend alone and just listen to God. During one of those times I went off into a field to lay under the stars and as I laid there I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt since my mom died. It seemed like God was saying, “I am here.”
The next day when I got home from the retreat I was so tired that I was planning to take a nap, but I couldn’t seem to fall asleep, so I laid there for hours thinking about the retreat. I realized that I felt different then when we left, but I didn’t really know what was going on. I felt… happy, but it was even bigger than that. I felt joy.
I started to feel like I was finally letting God take care of me, and trusting him instead of trying to do everything on my own. I honestly never felt like I would be able to get to that place, that I would always be angry about my mom, or I would need all the answers.
Later, I was explaining this to someone and they suggested that I finally knew what it really means to be a Christian. I thought I already knew that. I figured it was just believing in God and trying to be a good person. I didn’t realize that it was more about trusting God, having faith that he is looking out for you, and admitting that you need him.
Letting God take care of me opened up my eyes so much to everything. Now that I have put my trust in God I feel so much happier, the happiest I have felt since the death of my mom. Dealing with a death is the hardest thing that I have ever had to experience and to be honest, it sucks. More importantly though, is that even though it sucks, God is right by my side.
I know that all of you have gone through something crappy in your life, even if it’s something small, and you probably all thought the same thing: “God isn’t here for me.” I am here to tell you that God is here for you and I know that sometimes that’s really hard to believe, but trust me, he is doing more than you know. Sometimes we need to stop focusing on the negative things and worrying about controlling everything. I pretended that I could figure it all out and make things better, but it didn’t work. When I stopped worrying about fixing everything, things started to get fixed. That’s how God works.
Don’t ever forget that others love you and so does God. Coming to realize both of those things has helped me so much. When we worry we tend to push God away, and I know that doesn’t help at all. When you let him in, it changes how you look at things, and it gives God a chance to remind you that “You are loved.”

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