Have you ever paused to reflect on all you have been through and been tempted to ask God....”Why me?”. I know I have.
If we were all asked to write a book about our life’s journey and experiences, we would have many instances of heartbreak, trauma, rejection, humiliation, suffering and abuse to share. Many unfair things have happened to us. After all, we live in a fallen, broken world and we are not exempt from experiencing the consequences of living in such a world.
We also live in a world where Instagram, facebook and other social media platforms encourage us to share the highlights of our lives. We often look on at someone’s highlights, reflect on our own story and jump to the conclusion that according to the images being portrayed, others are exempt from the pain and suffering we have faced. This can make us feel rejected, forsaken and forgotten by God.
“God why haven’t you blessed me more?”, “God why couldn’t you have protected me a bit better?” “God, I don’t deserve this”…..on and on we go with the questioning of Gods goodness and love for us, all because of the pain and suffering we are forced to face as we traverse the hilly terrains of life.
I know I can relate to this quite well. In fact, I have a very recent story of a trauma I experienced to share, to give a real practical example of certain experiences that tempt us to ask “Why me?”
Last week Tuesday, I had anticipated a simple, ordinary day. I would wake up, jump online to join class and after class I decided it was that time of week to do my regular “shampoo and condition” routine. I would then head out to the supermarket to grab a few items and reach home just in time to join a second class for the day and sit an online exam. To be honest, I was nervous about the test, but I was confident that I had studied well enough to get “flying colours”. I anticipated nothing more. I was looking forward to make it through the day and face the day after when I would head to my aunts workplace and earn my weekly “bonus” which helps me financially while I use my other days doing online class this semester.
Everything changed however, as I made my way to the supermarket and proceeded to walk back home which was only a few minutes away. When I reached 8 blocks from my home, a motorcycle man with a helmet so thick I couldn’t see his face, approached me, pulled his gun, threatened to kill me and robbed me of all my possessions except for the bread I had bought at the supermarket. The incident happened in about 1 minute. The minute before I felt safe, secure and free from any perceived threat. The next minute, I was left traumatized, screaming my throat off, and petrified of anything with an engine and two wheels.
As I began to process the situation a few hours after, I questioned God. “God” I said “You know I have been through so much this year, why now, why this, why me?”. Honestly, I felt angry, sad, puzzled and shocked all at once. The days passed however and at the time of writing, it is now 9 days post robbery and Im doing much, much better, however I’m still experiencing some after-effects.
I have learnt a few things post-robbery.
As one of my previous articles mentioned, suffering is universal, but Gods victory is promised. While I cant figure out “why me”, I have figured out one thing: “God’s got me”. I feel thankful I was spared my life and I was not physically harmed. Psychologically I was hurt but thank God, a hospital visit, which could have easily manifested from a robbery by gunpoint, was not warranted.
If you have ever struggled with the question “God, why me?”, I challenge you to exchange the focus on self and suffering to a focus of gratitude and God.
Yes, you may have lost someone you loved, but God has cushioned the blow with support and never ending comfort.
Yes, you may have lost your job, but you have never been without shelter, water, food and air. New doors will open.
Yes, the marriage may be hard, but thank God for the wisdom and knowledge you are gaining to become a mentor to a young and maybe naïve person who may one day become your protégé.
Yes, the cancer, diabetes or lupus may be in your body, but you have never seen death’s door and until you do, each day is a testimony of God’s grace, strength and victory.
I am learning from trusted mentors and counsellors that self-talk is the deciding factor between life and death. Gratitude is the secret sauce for a recipe that brings peace in a world of chaos and confusion.
It’s okay to ask “Why me?”, just don’t stay in a place where all that comes from your mouth is “why me?” When you move through the phases of processing your pain, you will realize each grey cloud can have a silver lining: If you let it.
I hope you will truly be encouraged and remember that perspective even in negative circumstances can make your day if you keep being optimistic, hopeful and positive.
Until the next article,
Elizabeth is a student of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Special Education, a proud public speaker at Toastmasters International and budding entrepreneur. In my free time, she loves reading, cycling, crocheting and most recently, mastering cuisine in the kitchen. Her life’s ambition is to own an international non-profit ministry focusing on eliminating poverty in Africa and Asia as well as ministering mental and emotional healing.