If you’ve ever questioned God, you’re not alone. I’ve had my fair share of heartbreak, struggles, and suffering. Those experiences made me question God, His goodness, and even His existence altogether. But, in spite of my doubts and questions, I’m learning to find God even in the middle of my pain. In fact, I’m discovering an even deeper faith in God through my doubts. Let me explain.
At seven years old, I was raped by someone I knew and trusted. At that young age, I couldn’t really understand what had happened to me, so for five years, I was oblivious to what I had gone through.
Then, when I was 12, my brother gave me “the talk,” and my heart sank. I remember flashing back on that moment and finally understanding what had happened. Immediately, I felt so ashamed. I honestly felt really dirty, violated, and most of all unworthy because I felt like I was no longer innocent.
That situation led to a lot of struggles in my life, and it made me question God and His goodness. For years I struggled with questions and doubts about my faith in God. In fact, for almost a year I decided God wasn’t real. I kept wondering—why does God allow suffering?
I grew up going to church, so even in the middle of my doubts, I had the amazing opportunity to see God move and change people’s lives. Even when my faith in God was rocky and I had so many questions for God, I couldn’t deny how God was working in other people’s lives no matter how much He seemed to be absent in mine. This led me to other questions—questions about why I couldn’t feel God or why He would let something so horrible happen to me as a kid or why He even allows suffering in the first place.
I honestly have no idea. I’m not sure why God allows suffering. And I’m also not sure why I don’t always feel Him working in my life. But just because you can’t feel God or see the tangible ways He’s working in your life doesn’t mean He isn’t with you.
I prayed and prayed for years for a sign that God was there and that He loved me. At the time, I was trying so hard to find God in my suffering, but it didn’t even seem like He was listening. I kept praying and asking for a sign, but I never got it. If I’m honest, I don’t think I truly wanted it.
I wanted a relationship with God, but I was so hurt by what had happened to me as a kid. I blamed God. I didn’t understand why God would let that happen to a seven-year-old. I have talked to counselors and mentors about my struggles, and they all gave me great advice, but it was still so hard to accept what had happened until I found this verse:
He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4 GNTD
Of course, what happened to me was horrible, but after reading this verse, I wouldn’t take it back. I get to share my story with people who have been through the same thing. I get to comfort those who are lost in life and in their faith just like I was. So if that’s why I went through what I did, then so be it.
I still don’t understand why God allows suffering. I still have some questions about God. And that’s okay. Here’s what I do know: God wants to use your story to change other people’s lives. Whether it’s someone you met at the grocery store or if you’re sharing your story in front of thousands, God trusts you to impact the world around you by sharing the beautiful symphony He has written from your life.
Through my doubt, I developed a stronger faith in God. I had people around me in my Switch group who let me wrestle with my questions and who have helped strengthen me along the way. And now, I get to be that person for others who are struggling. So if you’re questioning God right now, you’re not alone. And it’s okay to do that. Don’t do it alone. Find your people you can process your questions with, and keep on asking God to reveal Himself to you.